Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways then they will die in their sins and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent they will die in their sins but you will have saved themselves.
It is our duty to tell others about Christ. It is our responsibility. As followers of Christ we are called to present the Gospel to the lost. I came across a quote by Timothy Simpson the other day, “The Great Commission is hindered when the Great Commandment is disregarded” and it really got me to thinking. We owe it to the person who is a lost sinner just like we were before Christ. We owe it to their eternal future. We are called to love them, to not want to see them die without Christ.
I needed shelter, I was an orphan
Now You call me a citizen of Heaven
When I was broken, You were my healing.
Now your love is the air that I’m breathing.
I have a future, my eyes are open.
Passion (featuring Kristian Stanfill)
What are we doing with our time? Are we spending it on ourselves? Are we ignoring God’s plea to reach out to those who don’t know the Lord? If I’m being honest I’m spending way too much time on myself and not enough time witnessing.
My pastor recently preached a sermon series on the story of Jonah. If you’re not familiar with the story, Jonah was called to go preach to the wicked living in Nineveh. Jonah was like, “Nope, nope, nope. Not doing that!” Jonah knew how wicked they were and fled in the opposite direction to Joppa where he discovered a ship heading towards Tarshish. He hopped on board hoping to escape the Lord. “But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. How can you sleep at a time like this? he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god. Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives. (Jonah 1:4-6, NLT)
So the sailors cast lots to try to figure out which god caused the terrible storm. Jonah was honest with them and told them to throw him into the sea. Once this happened the storm stopped at once! And the Lord caused a “great fish” to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and cried out to the Lord and the Lord had the whale spit him out on dry land.
Finally, the Lord once again told Jonah to head to Nineveh and this time Jonah obeyed. He headed to Nineveh and warned the city that in “forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed.” (Jonah 3:4b) Nineveh’s king heard Jonah and announced to the crowd “People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence” (Jonah 3:8)
And so when God “saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.” (Jonah 3:10)
How many times is God going to ask us to reach out to the lost? How many times are we going to run the other way?
We must do better. We must love them so much that we can’t bear it if they were to die without knowing the Lord, spending an eternity in hell.
We must love. We must care. We must obey the Lord.