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An obligation to save

An obligation to save
Photo by Ronny Perry, United Methodist Communications

By Jessica Brodie

God is very clear about what he wants His children to do: serve Him only. Love others. Go forth and spread the word.

You are the light of the world, we’re told (Matthew 5:14). We are to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). We must preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). After all—we are Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).

In short, my friends, we have an obligation to spread the Word. We have an obligation to teach others and spread the Lord’s good news no matter what—even if we’re certain it won’t be received well, even if we know it will get us criticized or worse, even if we’ll be laughed at, even if we know in our hearts we just don’t have the “right” words or the “right” personality or the “right” knowledge. (Remember: we can do all through Christ who gives us strength.)

God gives us what we need to do His work, and frankly, if we’re going to call ourselves Christians, it’s our job.

If you’re hired to be a cashier and show up for work in a freshly laundered uniform with a bright smile, a winning personality and a strong work ethic but are willing to do everything but ring up orders, then you’re not a cashier. If we are a Christian but aren’t willing to share the Lord with others (one of our most important job duties!), then how can we be a Christian?

I’ve been reading through Jeremiah and Ezekiel this past month alongside books in the New Testament, and it’s struck me how many themes are repeated in both testaments—particularly our call to share God’s word. In Ezekiel, after wowing the Hebrew prophet with a vision and having him eat a heavenly scroll, God tasks Ezekiel with a job: go to the house of Israel and speak His words to them. God assures Ezekiel that He will be with him and that Ezekiel should not be afraid … and then He goes a step further. The Lord tells Ezekiel, “If I declare the wicked will die but you don’t warn them … they will die for their guilt, but I will hold you accountable” (Ezekiel 3:18).

Basically, it’s on him, God tells Ezekiel. Whether the people listen or not doesn’t matter. If they don’t listen, they’ll die, but Ezekiel will be saved. If they do listen, it’s a win-win: both the people and Ezekiel will be saved.

But if Ezekiel doesn’t step up and do what’s asked of him, they’ll all perish, and the blood will be on Ezekiel’s hands.

The same applies today. We know the transformative power of God’s grace. We know the reward waiting for us. If we hoard that selfishly, keep it to ourselves, then who’s to say we’ll be able to attain that reward?

There’s an emotional risk in sharing the good news, yes. For some people in some parts of the world, there’s a risk to their very lives.

But it’s our job. We have an obligation to save.

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