Devotional

Innocent of Their Blood (18 October)

The Lord spoke to me. "Mortal man,"" he said, "tell your people what happens when I bring war to a land. The people of that country choose one of their number to be a lookout. When he sees the enemy approaching, he sounds the alarm to warn everyone. If someone hears it but pays no attention and the enemy comes and kills him, then he is to blame for his own death. His death is his own fault, because he paid no attention to the warning. If he had paid attention, he could have escaped. If, however, the lookout sees the enemy coming and does not sound the alarm, the enemy will come and kill those sinners, but I will hold the lookout responsible for their death. Now, mortal man, I am making you a lookout for the nation of Israel. You must pass on to them the warnings I give you. If I announce that an evil person is going to die but you do not warn him to change his ways so that he can save his life, then he will die, still a sinner, and I will hold you responsible for his death. If you do warn an evil person and he doesn't stop sinning, he will die, still a sinner, but your life will be spared.""
Ezekiel 33:2-9

We as believers in Jesus have a spiritual responsibility to share the truth of the gospel with the people around us, wherever we may go. If we do not do so, we must bear the responsibility: "I will hold the lookout responsible for their death [their blood]." This does not mean, of course, that we should be pushing the scriptures on people roughly or rudely. It means, rather, that when the Holy Spirit opens a door and gives us an opportunity to share the gospel, we must seize that chance. We need to take advantage of the moment to speak to them of eternal life.

It is true, of course, that we do this because we care about people. But we also do it because we recognize that evangelism is our spiritual responsibility, and God will call us to account.

The principle that is set down by the Lord to Ezekiel was reinforced by the apostle Paul when he spoke to the elders of the church of Ephesus: "I have gone about among all of you, preaching the Kingdom of God. And now I know that none of you will ever see me again. So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible [I am innocent of the blood of all of you]. For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God." (Acts 20:25-27). Paul was "innocent of their blood" because he had been faithful to tell them the whole purpose of God, that is, the gospel. He had seized every opportunity God gave him to share the gospel.

Let us pray that at the end of our race we too will be "innocent of the blood of all."

- 18 OCTOBER -

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