The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.”
I have an old friend who was raised in Ukraine. In that country, it was against the law to be a Christian, but this young man became a believer and attended an underground church. Being a believer and Christ follower in a place where those beliefs are illegal makes obedience to God difficult. One thing that this young man did not know how to do was to follow the great commission in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. How could he know who to trust with this secret? Who could he tell?
Years later, this man was living in the United States and attending our church in Lake Oswego. A Christian Choir from the Ukraine came to our church to perform and raise money for their efforts back home. One of the young men in the choir had been very good friends with the young man who was now living stateside. Upon their unexpected reunion the second man asked the first, “You were a believer back when we were friends. Why didn’t you tell me about Jesus?”
If you had a hundred friends stuck in a burning building and you knew the only way out, wouldn’t you tell them as soon as possible? If you know Jesus, you know how to keep your friends out of the fiery pit of hell. If you care about them, tell them. Tell them if you care about being obedient to God. Don’t worry about their judgment of you – that’s nothing!
My motives for writing this blog are not always the best. It was a project I undertook as part of my graduate school thesis project. It has certainly taught me a lot. It has prepared me for the negativity that is sure come with my book’s release. But, it has also renewed my compassion for those who do not know the love of Jesus. Those who are afraid to know. Those who think they know, but have gotten off track. And, most of all, for folks who think they’re not allowed to have their own opinions.
I’m not perfect – far from it. But I know that God loves me. And that is amazing.