Will You And I Be Able To Make This Statement At The End Of Our Lives?

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 ASV). This statement was made the Apostle Paul as he met for the last time with the elders from the church of Christ in Ephesus.

He had labored among them for over two years as an evangelist. During this time he had (1) twelve disciples of John the Baptist baptized; (2) preached in the local synagogue; (3) preached in the school of Tyrannus; (4) preached the word of the Lord ”to all that dwelt in Asia….both Jew and Greek” (Acts 19:10); (5) performed miracles; and (6) caused many to burn their books of superstition for the sake of the word of God (Acts 19:19). The inspired writer Luke summed up Paul’s work in Acts 19:20.

But what did Paul mean by the phrase “I am pure from the blood of all men”? He may have been referring to a passage from Ezekiel in Ezekiel 3:18-19). Paul felt no pangs of conscience for failing to teach his neighbors the Gospel of Christ. He had kept nothing back. He had proclaimed the Gospel publicly and “from house to house” (Acts 20:10). The Lord Jesus Christ has given each Christian a similar mission in this life (Mark 16:15). This commission was not given to the apostles and the Christians of the First Century A.D. only but to us as well. What verse in the New Testament gives any Christian permission to opt out of this blessed command? Some claim they “don’t know enough” to teach others the Truth or are “too tired” or “too busy” or “too shy” to obey the Lord in this matter. The first excuse is cured by studying the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) and using personal evangelism aids.  ”Too tired” – yet our Savior was also tired unto death as He carried our cross to Calvary. “Too busy” – the Lord was also busy with the Universe (Hebrews 1:3), yet He found 33 years to come, live and die as a man on earth. The “too shy” excuse can be remedied by the proper application of Philippians 4:13.

Yet this command of the Lord has a great blessing attached to it – Joy! (Acts 16:33-34). That joy is not only shown by the former sinner and his teacher but also by the inhabitants of Heaven (Luke 15:7). Have we forgotten (or ever known) the joy of being a part of a sinner’s decision to have their sin’s remitted by entering that watery grave of baptism? (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Colossians 2:12). Will we be able to make Paul’s claim on that great and terrible when we stand before the Judge to answer for our lives? (2 Corinthians 5:10). Roelf L. Ruffner

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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