Question: Is your conscience clear?
Acts 20:25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
26 “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
27 “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
The NLT translates v 26 and 27 as ….
26 I declare today that I have been faithful. If anyone suffers eternal death, it’s not my fault, 27 for I didn’t shrink from declaring all that God wants you to know.
Paul was faithful to tell the whole counsel of God to the Ephesian Elders and the church at Ephesus. Paul’s conscience was clear. He knew he spent the time to teach them about repentance, God’s grace, faith in Jesus Christ, His kingdom, and three years worth of teaching the whole counsel of God.
Are we negligent to testify of the things of God?
The NKJV says, I am innocent of the blood of all men. The NLT translates it as, if any one suffers eternal death, it is not my fault. Paul was confident that he adequately taught the gospel to the Ephesians. How about us? Most of us are not Pastors. Obviously this verse can apply to Pasors sharing the gospel with those in their congregation. But what about us Fathers and Mothers? Have we taken multiple opportunities to teach our immediate family the gospel? In addition to immediate family, do we not also have a responsibility to reach out to extended family and coworkers? Oh, it is so much easier to tell a perfect stranger the gospel than it is a cousin, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. Oh, it is so much easier to support a foreign missionary on the other side of the earth than to tell a co-worker just over the partition about salvation from their sins through faith in Jesus Christ. This passage has really challenged me to be more bold to tell them about our Savior, to share an email with them about Jesus, or to write a letter to them about The Lord. How about you? If an extended family member or a co-worker were to die, could you point to the time or times when you shared with them the gospel. Is your conscience clear? Mine is not! Father, help me to be more bold.
Ezekiel 33:2-9 (NKJV)
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked [man], thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked [man] shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Have you shared the whole counsel of God?
I think of two things when I read this verse. First, just because a person says they believe in God, doesn’t mean they are a Christian going to heaven. We need to tell them the whole counsel of God. We need to tell them about their sinful condition, their doomed judgement, the grace of God, repentance toward God, and faith and forgiveness through The Lord Jesus Christ.
Second, sometimes even born again Christians need the whole counsel of God. Sometimes others and ourselves need to be gently and respectfully confronted regarding some area where we are deficient. Do we love a spouse, a grown child, a fellow believer enough to confront them with God’s whole counsel in an area where they are negligent? Are we willing to bear the conflict that may follow when they feel offended and convicted. For sure these are times that are uncomfortable and require much prayer, gentleness, and humility.
Let us not shun / shrink from telling others the whole counsel of God’s Word.
God bless, Bob