Am I My Brother's
Ezekiel 3:18, 19
I am my brother's keeper,
for God laid down a principle, "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.
Yet if thou warn the wicked . . . thou hast delivered thy soul" (Ezek.
3:18, 19). These are solemn words. Am I responsible for everyone with
whom I have dealings? No need to quibble; we need to begin sharing the
good news about Christ.
Observe the purpose of warning someone: It is "to save his life," not
to condemn. God does not mean we should scornfully jump on people
about their sins every time we see something wrong. Some seem to take
delight in condemning the world in an unkind, holier-than-thou
attitude. A doctor never announces with glee that a man has cancer and
is about to die. Should not Christians be as gentle and considerate in
God simply tells me I should try to help everyone with whom I come in
contact to know Jesus Christ personally. Paul felt the urgency of
these verses and could say, "I am not responsible for the blood of any
of you, for I never shrank from telling you God's whole plan" (Acts
20:26, 27, Williams). No one could point a finger at Paul and say,
"You never told me about the Saviour when you had the chance."
On the other hand, God encourages us by promising that if we do
witness, whether they receive Christ or not, "Thou hast delivered thy
soul." We shall be glad at the judgment seat of Christ that we
fulfilled our responsibility.
At a beach one day I saw lifeguards rescue five people. Each time a
guard spotted someone in danger, he would take his flag and staff from
its standard, wave it frantically a couple of times, drop it to the
ground and race to the rescue. In seconds the sirens were heard with
other lifeguards on the way to help. There was great admiration for
their alertness and dedication. At the main station a sign challenged
me to attempt such dedication to "rescue the perishing." It said
simply, "If in doubt--go?"