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.
The Lord in His power directs every atom, every person, every angel, every demon, and every animal on earth (and in heaven). He created all ...
I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars Isn't that an evocative a...
Yesterday I looked at a popular HGTV personality, Joanna Gaines, and her testimony . She and her husband Chip are stars of a new show that a...