Saturday, January 7, 2012

Is there blood on your hands?

In Acts 18:5-6 Paul said that blood will be on their heads.

"But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

So, what did he mean by that? He was referring to the prophecy in Ezekiel 33:1-9, a passage known as The Watchman's Duty

"And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. ‘He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.'

What does this mean?

Matthew Henry Commentary, Ezekiel 33:1-9
"The prophet is a watchman to the house of Israel. His business is to warn sinners of their misery and danger. He must warn the wicked to turn from their way, that they may live. If souls perish through his neglect of duty, he brings guilt upon himself. See what those have to answer for, who make excuses for sin, flatter sinners, and encourage them to believe they shall have peace, though they go on. How much wiser are men in their temporal than in their spiritual concerns! They set watchmen to guard their houses, and sentinels to warn of the enemies' approach, but where the everlasting happiness or misery of the soul is at stake, they are offended if ministers obey their Master's command, and give a faithful warning; they would rather perish, listening to smooth things."

Last question, does this apply to us today? We are not God-ordained prophets as in the Old Testament,  and we are not apostles like Paul. Are we under an obligation that failure to meet will result in our own blood? Or theirs?

Here is how John MacArthur answered that question in his sermon on the passage:
"People say to me, "John, do you believe the Bible teaches individual responsibility?" There it is, my friend. If you die without Jesus Christ, your blood is on your own head. And I can say to you this morning what Paul said: "I'm clean. I presented you the Gospel. What you do with it will determine your eternal destiny, and the responsibility is your own."

Now, our own salvation is assured, secure and eternal. Nothing we do can cause it to be lost.

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a deposit.” (2 Corinthians 1:21)

"Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14).

And the LORD'S election of those whom he will have in His kingdom are sure. Nothing we do, or fail to do, will cause one of His sheep to be lost. Nothing hinges on us. However, we are, after all, under a specific commission to witness.

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" (Matthew 28:16-20)

Go. Make. Baptize. Teach. Obey. Command. Pretty strong imperative and verbs there.

I don't know the final answer. I do know that we cannot claim Old Testament irrelevancy just because there are no God-ordained prophets any more, because the statement Paul made about blood-guilt in Acts 6 is New Testament, and it was not the only time he said it. He also said he was clean of blood guilt in Acts 20:26-27.

I think it all comes down to indifference. It comes down to the level of indifference we have for the commands of God, and for the destiny of the lost. And the risks we are willing to take in disappointing the one who shed His own blood for us. That's all. I have no answers. Just food for thought.

10 comments:

  1. Not only are those who reject the Gospel of Christ Guilty of their accord they are also rejecting the only remedy for sin being the blood of Christ. Which I would say is the most grievous of sin's.

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  2. As a watchman, do you believe that there is hope for America? I have friends that believe that there will be a Christian revival in America and we will return to our faith, like the founders based our country on Christian principles.

    I personally, don't see us becoming a Christian nation, but more and more pagan, and ready for the Anti-Christ.

    Do you believe there is hope for us in this coming election? I am looking for some ray of hope. Are there any candidates that stand out to you as being worthy of voting for?

    I guess I am mostly concerned with preserving our religious freedoms. That is the most important thing, because I can see much more persecution coming to our country the way it is headed. And I am not sure I like any of the candidates.

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  3. Hi Anonymous, I can say with assurance that there is no hope for America to escape judgment. I am basing that on how God acted in the past with nations who were spiritual adulterers, sodomites, idolaters, and child murderers. Who are greedy and lying hypocrites. In reading most of the Old testament prophets and seeing the reasons God said He will judge, America is demonstrating most, if not ALL of the things God said He would smite them for.

    In many cases in the OT God judged for *one* of these things, and here America is demonstrating all of them! As a government we institutionalized child murder in legal abortions, when in the OT God said giving your children to Molech in the fire is judgment-worthy. As a nation we institutionalized homosexuality when we legalized it and protected it in the military three months ago. I'm not only speaking of individual sins, but corporate, national sins codified into law. No nation ever escapes forgetting God, and yet we have thrown him out of public life, banned Him from government spaces and forbid the name of Jesus to be spoken, by law. No nation ever escaped judgment for doing that, and worse, we were given many blessings on the basis that we founded our nation on Godly principles then we squandered them to throw Him out, become idolatrous, prosperity preaching, sodomites.

    Is there hope for our nation to return to the way it once was? Of course not! God wouldn't be God if He let us off the hook. That is why there is hope: He is consistent and holy and He hates sin. Even when a once proud and Godly nation commits it. No nation escapes.

    As for a revival, no hope there either. The end times (the time between Jesus' ascension and His return) were said by Jesus to be a time of birth pangs. We are told during that time apostasy (falling away from the faith) will grow, men will become lawless and sinful, cold toward God, and more. (Mt 24, 2 Tim 3, etc). The nature of birth pangs are they grow worse, so no, the downward slide into apostasy will not halt then reverse to become a warm revival, the coldness will only grow worse. But birth pangs birth something beautiful, a blessing, something precious and Godly: and in this case it will be a reign by Jesus Himself in perfect love.

    This period of anguish you are feeling is the time between goodbye to the old and before the hello to something new, Jesus glorified and in the flesh. Your anguish is the goodbye. We see our religious freedoms being taken away at a shockingly rapid pace, and that will also continue. It won't reverse.

    Hope? All this is hope in Jesus! That His word is true, that He WILL return, that He is going to judge sin! It is all good, for it means -- "When these things *begin* to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:28, emphasis mine Our hope is not in the political structure, because Jesus is coming to dismantle it. Our saviors are not in the political candidates, because most of them are Godless, and even if they were Godly, the political system is thoroughly corrupted, so even the Godly ones will be corrupted by the system simply by being part of it. He gives us what we need, but often He also gives us what we deserve. America wants atheistic, homosexual, greedy, Godless leadership. So He will give it to us. We are called to in the world but not of it. Only Jesus can solve the problems, and soon He will return to do just that. Have hope IN HIM!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about Nineveh? God says- If my people who are called by my name will hearken to me i will stay the plagues of the Egyptians. There may not be hope for an administration refusing to repent. But as a God fearing people Jesus can wash the blood off our hands if we turn from our sins and seek him with all our hearts. My prayer is that we can lead people to Christ as we walk in his statutes.

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  4. Thank you--I totally agree with you. Are you going to vote? If so do any of these candidates stick out to you? Are you going to write about them at all? I would be very interested in your insight on what the candidates stand for.

    I personally don't see myself voting this time (at this point). I don't like any of the candidates. But if there is someone out there worth voting for, I want to know about it, so I can vote.

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  5. Hi Anonmyous,

    You're welcome. No, I'm not going to write about the candidates. If I did I'd have to look into the GOP, DEM, and Third party and that is just too much work that I'm going to repeat, likely badly, since there are so many websites and newspapers that are doing the same thing. I'd recommend just looking for newspaper sites that do candidate profiles, or reading the candidate'e own web pages to get a sense of what they stand for. Though by this time in human history, I feel it is pretty pointless because either they are all lying (to us or to themselves) on their stances for the sake of convenience and political expediency, or will soon abandon their stances once in office.

    None of them stand out to me. I'm waiting to see the field winnowed a bit before delving into who they are and what they are about

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  6. Get baptized in JESUS name! Receive the holy ghost that's the only way to make it into the kingdom of God!! John 3:5, acts 2:38,39

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  7. Dear Anonymous, you have written a nice sentence but do you realize that some people reading that may think and believe that If they get baptized IN JESUS NAME that they will receive the Holy Spirit and be saved and go to be with the Lord if they continue in the faith. I'm sure you know that being baptized has never saved a soul yet!

    Love in Christ Jesus

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  8. Unless a man be born of the water and the spirit he may not enter the kingdom.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, so very true! The verse to which you refer is within the larger story in John 3:1-13. You must be born of water in order to be born physically into this world. People are born physically alive but spiritually dead. But one must be born of the Spirit to be born alive into God's kingdom.

      More information on what that verse means here for readers who may not be familiar
      http://www.letusreason.org/Biblexp67.htm

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