HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND…THY SOUL
“The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest,” (Ezekiel 1:3), saying, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezekiel 3:18). God told Ezekiel, “I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel” (Verse 17), “give them warning from me.” (Ibid). Ezekiel was to warn the lost, or he would be lost. (Verses 18-21). He would not be responsible for the lost if they refused to heed his warnings. (Ibid). Ezekiel could not make Israel do right, but he was responsible for telling them what was right, and persuading them to live accordingly.
Similarly, Jesus initially sent the apostles only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5, 6), then to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:1-11:18; 13:46; 28:26-28; Acts 1:8). Following His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus said His apostles would go to “every creature” in “all nations” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19), to teach them His saving gospel, His power to save them. (Romans 1:16). This they did from Pentecost forward. (Acts 2). This powerful message was intended to produce faith, leading to baptism, at which point the lost would be saved. (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16).
It is imperative that we preach the gospel of Christ to every soul upon the face of the earth, for Jesus “is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Hebrews 5:8, 9). Jesus “is the saviour of the body” (Ephesians 5:23), the church. (Colossians 1:18). It is equally necessary that we bring true believers to
repent of sin (Acts 17:30, 31), confess Jesus (Romans 10:9, 10), and be baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:26, 27) and His church. (1 Corinthians 12:13). We read of Jesus saving such people, but not of any who fall short of doing His will, outside of Christ or His church. Paul told Timothy, “And the things which thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2). Verses 24-26 say, “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Christians are required to teach what they know.
W.A. Bradfield, the late and beloved faithful gospel preacher and educator at Freed-Hardeman College, now FHU, was one of the most diligent and energetic evangelists known. It was not unusual for him to baptize and restore many during a gospel meeting. He frequently said about those of the early church: the found found the unfound; the saved saved the unsaved; the taught taught the untaught; and the disciples discipled the undiscipled. This writer in class and with him on trips heard this many times. His great and unmatched enthusiasm was felt. He wrote and distributed millions of soul-saving tracts. What might the great brotherhood be today if every Christian shared his zeal for lost souls?
Paul, inspired of God (1 Corinthians 2), said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad:….” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Realizing that the disobedient will be lost, and “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men:….” (Verse 11). It was for that reason that the persecuted “went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:1-4), and that, by A. D. 62, “the gospel, which ye have heard,… was preached to every creature which is under heaven;….” (Colossians 1:23). This they did on foot, on camels, donkeys, horses, and such like, by sail boats, and by other primitive means. What might they have done with modern travel?
Personal Question: What am “I” doing with all “I” have at MY disposal? High speed printing presses, jets, computers, unbelievable telephones, CD’s, DVD’s, and the like, afford all today opportunities to mass distribute the saving gospel of the Christ. With the touch of a button, one can teach people all over the world. Many computers have cameras on them, enabling one to teach others from anywhere. Some send humorous and news stories. One can send the saving word as easily. Some tell funny stories and jokes. One can just as easily tell others about salvation, hand them a tract, issue an invitation to the services, ask to have a home Bible study, even if one has to have help to do the teaching. Moses had Aaron to help him. (Exodus 4:10-14). Much money is spent on physical things. What about the spiritual? Cf. 1 Timothy 4:8.
Beloved, good papers, tracts, CD’s, DVD’s, the radio and TV, and so much more, are excellent means of getting the gospel to the lost. However, nothing can replace sitting down with open Bibles with others, and studying together. (Isaiah 1:18). This writer has 20 sermons on Acts 26. He believes it is the greatest work on evangelism ever written by God or man. See the scribe’s Web Page. The sermon of Acts 2 converted about 3,000 souls out of an estimated one and one-half million. Philip preached Jesus and the kingdom to the Samaritans, and converted many (Acts 8:5ff), then preached Jesus to an Ethiopian eunuch, one on one, and converted him. (Acts 8:26-39). Ananias met with Saul of Tarsus, one on one, and baptized him. (Acts 9:1-18; 22:16). Peter met with Cornelius and his family and friends, converting them. (Acts 10:1-11:18). Acts 16 tells of Paul and Silas on the second missionary journey. At Macedonia, they “sat down, and spake unto the women who resorted thither”, Lydia and other women. She and her household were baptized as a result of this Bible study. Later, in this chapter, Paul and Silas converted a “jailor” and “all that were in his house.” (Verses 23-34). The word of the Lord was taught, and “he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.” (Verse 33). Obedient believers in God are led to be baptized. (Verse 34). Christians need to get back to studies like these to save the lost.
Christian, become active in teaching Jesus to family, friends, and others, and do not see blood on your hands.
What can (must) one do to keep blood off one’s hands, or to remove blood from one’s hands? First, one must study the word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), searching the scriptures (John 5:39; Acts 17:10-12), to advance from being newborn babes (2 Peter 2:2), to adulthood. (Hebrews 5:11-14). Second, one must live the Christian life faithfully (Revelation 2:10), being “stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Someone has correctly said, “You cannot teach what you do not know, and you cannot lead where you do not go.” Third, one must take what has been learned to those who do not yet know truth, or who know the word, but have not obeyed Jesus. Cf. 2 John 9-11. Fourth, one must lay aside things that hold one captive in one’s house, whether, electronics, sporting events, or any other. One must realize that there are so many things which can consume one’s time on fun but non-important things. One needs to focus on things that are eternal. Sitting in one’s “ceiled houses” (Haggai 1:4) or church building, will not get the job done. How many visitors are there to either of these? It is past time that saints “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind…Go out into the highways and hedges.” (Luke 14:21, 23). The Jacksonville Church, Jacksonville, Alabama, publishes a great door-opening paper, House to House Heart to Heart, edited by Allen Webster. It is a wonderful tool to open doors. However, local churches and Christians must do the follow-up work to save souls, closing the sale. There are a number of things that can be used to do this. Get them, and Follow up! FOLLOW UP!!!
IS THERE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS? Whose is it? A friend? A family member? A co-worker? A casual acquaintance? A stranger? WHO????? Wash your hands now, and do not allow more blood to stain your hands. Will you not try?