Rescue those being led away to death;When teaching from the Book of Proverbs a few years ago, I discovered some amazing gems of wisdom that I had never seen before. Just proves that the teacher learns more in preparing the lesson than the class does in receiving it!
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?
(Proverbs 24:11,12 - NIV)
One precious word I rediscovered (from Proverbs 24:11) is God's call for me - for us - to pull back from the precipice those who are tripping toward death. The signs are obvious. A friend's life is spiraling downward. A family member is flirting with disaster. A neighbor is shutting God out of her life. We all know people who are staggering toward the slaughter.
What to do? Intervene. Social workers know the routine: Situation. Phone call. Visit. Evaluation. Drastic measures. Intervention. Someone has to step in and set right what has gone wrong.
We're talking life and death. An issue of eternal significance. And we're to act. Immediately. We are called to rescue those who, if they don't hear and respond to the message of Jesus Christ, will be separated from God forever. We can't plead ignorance. We can't wish it away. We can't opt to do nothing. We are faced with a hazmat disaster and the time to respond is now.
How? Through positive, personal, prayerful, persistent intervention.
Positive. The gospel is good news, full of hope, delivered with joyful hearts and encouraging words. When we share the wonderful story of salvation, disapproving frowns are replaced with smiling faces.
Personal. The gospel is relational, tailored in its presentation to the unique situations of its audience. Our lives are open letters engagingly written by Christ, not forwarded carbon copies of stale and tiresome news.
Prayerful. The gospel becomes effective in someone's life through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we pray for a person's salvation, we're praying for a miracle that only God can perform.
Persistent. The truth of the gospel will stand up under scrutiny. As people explore the claims of Christ we can demonstrate love and patience, confident that God is at work. Our job is to continue to witness with our life and lips.
Have we weighed our hearts? Are they heavy for the lost? Having been rescued, are we now reaching out to others who are staggering toward death?
© 2006 Lyndon Perry
Permission granted to reprint this article.