by Pastor Steve Ellison
In Proverbs 24, God asks you and me a very significant difficult to answer question with eternal consequences. We should consider our answer very carefully. We also ought to understand that our answers are not given so much by our words but with our future actions. Proverbs 24:11-12, “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” (NIV)
Every single Christian whom I know, would say that God sees all and knows all, that nothing is hidden from Him. However, much of the time, our lives do not reflect that confession of words. Weakened by our own fleshly desires, we give in to any number of temptations moment by moment. Our actions indicate, maybe even prove, that we really do not believe that God is aware of exactly what we are up to. Perhaps we don’t really believe that last part of verse 12, that God intends to repay each person according to what he/she has done. We better believe that. That idea is all over both the Old and New Testaments. Job, Proverbs, Matthew, Romans Galatians, 1 Corinthians, Revelation, etc. all clearly indicate an accounting of our earthly actions.
But what is God’s point here in this particular passage? What can He mean by “rescuing those staggering toward the slaughter”? It seems to me that God is pointing out to us the absolutely imperative need for us to be involved in personal evangelism. Who fits the description of “staggering toward the slaughter” better than the lost? The person who lives without Christ is certainly staggering toward the slaughter. The person who dies without Christ is certainly being “led away to death” and be assured that it will be unending separation from God. Do not be deceived into thinking that this “death” will resemble sleep or any other experience in this current life. Be certain that absolute, complete, separation from the influence of God’s perfect characteristics will be unimaginably awful.
When was the last time that you personally led anyone to a saving knowledge of Christ? Do you regularly seek out opportunities to share the good news of salvation in Christ? Do you actually do it? If you think you are not capable, may I remind you of verse 12 above, “But we knew nothing about this”. Please do not be guilty of making this excuse. God clearly says that He sees and knows and will repay. The excuse of claiming to “not know anything about this” will not work. If you believe that you are not capable, share the gospel anyway, and regularly. Seek out training, both from church leaders and from the Holy Spirit. If you believe that it is mainly the job of church leaders to evangelize, you could not be further from the truth. It is the job of church leaders to train you, encourage you, exhort you, and equip you. Church leaders ought to regularly evangelize also, but they must carefully budget their time so as to have time for teaching others how to evangelize. All those years of sitting in Sunday School classes and worship services should have equipped you to be a good soldier in God’s army of evangelists. If you are a believer, that is your calling. If you are not equipped, it is not too late. Ask for help. If you are not a believer, it is also not too late. Call upon the name of the Lord before it is too late.