by: Mountainside Admin
Christians are responsible in a limited way for sinners going to hell.
Ezek 3:4-7 Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. But they will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all are impudent and hard-hearted.
Ezek 3:17 I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me:
Ezek 3:18, 33:8 When I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Christians are responsible to warn both Christian and non-Christian sinners to turn from their wicked ways to escape judgment. There are two ways we can warn the wicked of their destiny.
- It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Cor 1:21
How shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? How shall they hear without a preacher? Rm 10:14
- Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
When Christians live a lifestyle of sin and do not promote good works the sinners is not warned and the Christian is held responsible.
Paul knew the seriousness of preaching the gospel when he said, I preach the gospel for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 1 Cor 9:16
What does require mean?
- Death - From the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed. Gen 9:5-6
- War or Opposition - ..they stoned the prophet with stones.. when he died, he said, “The LORD look upon it, and require it.” War or Opposition at the end of the year a small army of the Syrians came and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, War or Opposition because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash. 2 Chr 24:21-22
- Loss of Fruit or Gifts – “Why did you not give my money to the bank, that I might have required mine own with usury? Take from him the pound, and give it to him that has ten pounds.” Lk 19:23
- Punished or Corrected - That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. He who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Lk 12:47
Will God really kill us for not warning the sinner?
Not likely, but it shows us the seriousness of not warning the sinner.
Jesus said, “This generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world.” Lk 11:50
But when He died on the cross Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Lk 23:34
Jesus died in their place. He took the penalty of death for those who had not warned the sinner to turn from his wicked way. These same people had killed the prophets that did warn the sinner, including Jesus the greatest preacher of all.
Will God really punish and correct us for not warning the sinner to turn from sin?
- As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Rev 3:19
- Do not make light of the Lord's discipline. Do not lose heart when he rebukes you. The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes all he accepts as a son. Heb 12:5-6
- That is why many among you are weak, sick, and some are asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 1 Cor 11:30-32
- Remember, Jonah ended up in a whale because he refused to warn Nineveh. God disciplined King David for sinning by slaying his son, so the enemies of the Lord could not speak blasphemy.
Sacrifice and offering you did not require. You opened my ears. I delight to do your will. Your law is within my heart I have preached righteousness in the great congregation. I have not refrained my lips nor hid your righteousness in my heart. I have not concealed your mercy and truth from the great congregation. Ps 40:6-10
Jesus is serious about saving the world from sin. He gave us the job of preaching righteousness and living it. Many want to stop at the cross, worship, praise, learning the Bible, ministering in the church, etc., but Jesus wants us to preach righteousness to sinners and live it.
Are you, a Christian, not telling sinners to turn from sin that leads to destruction? Is your voice silent and your lifestyle tainted with sin? Admit this to Jesus. Ask Him to cleanse and forgive you. Show the change by doing right. Share the gospel at every opportunity. Like prescription medicines repeat this as often as necessary till all symptoms are gone. 1 John 1:9, John 1:12