Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 16, 1967

Let Them Die (Concluded)

Jefferson David Tant

3. Fear of rejection is a very strong factor in causing Christians to fail in their responsibilities to teach and win souls. We might also label it as a lack of self-confidence.

It is known that the fear of rejection is one of the social forces governing our lives. The desire to be liked and to have approval is common to us all. We are so afraid people will say "No" to our approaches, and that this will result in (1) a loss of friendship, and/or (2) damage to our ego. As fantastic as it seems, it is nevertheless true, if we are honest with ourselves, that we think more of a person's friendship than we do his soul! Think about that a minute, and see if it is not true. Have you not hesitated and delayed your approach to one you would like to see become a Christian simply because you were afraid he or she would become angry?

But the Lord anticipated these matters long ago. He taught that such rejection is not a personal matter at all: "...he that rejecteth you rejecteth me; and he that rejecteth him that sent me." (Luke 10:16) There was no reason for the apostles to feel that a rejection of their teaching was a personal matter, for Christ told them that it was rather a rejection of God. And so it was with Samuel in the time that Israel wanted a king rather than a judge to rule over them, for the Lord told Samuel, "...for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them." (I Sam. 8:7) The Lord knew that the truth would not always be received, and told his disciples, "Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake, but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." (Matt. 10:22) Did not Paul anticipate the Galatians' feelings when he warned them, "So then am I become your enemy, by telling you the truth?" (Gal. 4:16) Read Matthew 10, starting with verse 16, and note the words Christ gives in preparation for the ordeals that would come upon Christians. They would be delivered up, betrayed by brothers, parents, children. They were not to think they would receive any better treatment than their teacher and Lord, who was despised, reviled, persecuted, and crucified. "who came unto his own, and his own received him not," (John 1:11) Christ went on to warn them that there would come a time when divisions would come within families, and concluded by saying that "a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me." (Matt. 10: 36-37)

These truths did not hinder the heroes of the faith. Joshua stood in the face of Israel's rebellion and risked rejection by all when he told Israel, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve Jehovah, choose you this day whom ye will serve? whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah." (Joshua 24:15) Stephen stood in the face of a hostile mob and spoke the truth to them in plain language, and certainly was rejected in the stoning that followed. (Acts 7) We cannot afford to be cowards with the truth simply because we're afraid we will "lose face" or "lose a friend." For shame! We must learn to rely upon the word, "for it is the power of God unto salvation..." (Rom.1:16)

4. Indifference must be included in our study. Just plain, everyday, common, garden variety indifference. Do you not care that people you know are dying without a hope in the world to come? The son of God gave his life, his blood to save men from the fires of hell, and some of us won't even walk across the street and ring a doorbell in an effort to try and save a soul! May God be merciful to us! Listen, friend, the Lord has a word for you: "So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth." (Rev. 3:16)

If you have an ounce of love for your fellow man in you, you had better emulate Paul's attitude as expressed in Acts 20: "Ye yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, after what manner I was with you all the time, serving the Lord with all lowliness of mind, and with tears, and with trials which befell me by the plots of the Jews; how I shrank not from declaring unto you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly, and house to house...." He went on to say that he knew bonds and afflictions awaited him, "But I hold not my life of any account as dear unto myself, so that I may accomplish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God." (18-24). In verse 31 he continues, "Wherefore watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish everyone night and day with tears." He told the Corinthians, "...necessity is laid upon me; for woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." (I Cor. 9:16) What about YOU?

Whatever the reason may be for failing to teach others, there are consequences that are sure to follow. Note them well:

I. We will meet these souls in judgment. As expressed in song: "When in the better land before the bar we stand, How deeply grieved our souls may be; If any lost one there should cry in deep despair, 'You never mentioned him to me.' 'You never mentioned him to me, you helped me not the light to see; you met me day by day and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned him to me."' And what words of comfort and consolation will you offer?

2. Their blood will be required at our hands. "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life? the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; But his blood will I require at thy hand... Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy souls." (Ezek. 18:19) Paul told the Ephesian elders, "Wherefore I testify unto you this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I shrank not from declaring unto you the whole counsel of God." (Acts 20:26-27) What about your hands, dear reader?

3. We will be cut off. We cannot misunderstand the language of Christ in John 15: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away...I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into fire, and they are burned." Did you note well what the Lord said? If we do not bear fruit, we cannot abide in him, and if we abide not in him, we are "Cast forth as a branch," and withered, and gathered, and cast into the fire, and burned!!!

What are you doing about these vital things, brothers and sisters? May God help us, every one, to recognize our responsibility to him, to ourselves, and to our fellow man, that we might save ourselves and them that hear us.

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