26 May 2011

Thursday's Spurgeon

From "A Neglected Duty," first published in the 1865 Sword and Trowel.
The Word of God is very plain as to the duty of rebuking sin, although, from the neglect into which the work has fallen, one might have imagined that it was left optional, or allowed, rather than commanded. It is a most weighty observation that, according to God's law, silence concerning sin is consent to it. "And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity" (Leviticus 5:1). Trapp has pithily said, "By ill silence to leave men in sin is as bad as by ill speech to draw them to sin. Not to do good, saith our Savior, is to do evil, and not to save is to destroy" "And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?" (Mark 3:4). To leave others in their sins unreproved is to be "partakers of other men's sins." Paul teaches us this when he writes, "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them"—as much as to say, if you do not reprove them, you have fellowship with them. If I see a thief breaking into a house, and give no alarm, am I not, by my silence, an accessory to the act? Without the aid of my silence the burglar could not perpetrate the robbery; if I lend him that assistance, am I not, morally, his accomplice? The same holds good in all cases; but we are not left merely to infer the fact, for the Lord has told us by the mouth of his prophet Ezekiel, "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." The ruin and sin of others we shall surely partake in if they perish through want of our admonition. Eli must break his neck for very grief when his sons are cut off in their sin; it was not meet that he should outlive those whom he had not endeavored to preserve from ruin by timely rebuke: had he made their ears to tingle with his upbraidings, his ears might never have tingled with the news of the terrible judgments of God. How few Christians will be able to say with Paul, "I am pure from the blood of all men"?—none of us can be in that happy case if we neglect the duty of warning our neighbors for their good.

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