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Thursday: Our Responsibilities — 25 Comments

  1. Jesus hardly had anything to say about the unconcealed injustices and patent abuses of the Roman government of His day (Mark 12:14-17), and certainly did not organize any movement to take action through civil disobedience, political pressure or peaceful protest (John 6:15). The Messiah’s silence was certainly not an indication of shared guilt with criminal minds, nor did His inaction make Him an accomplice. The Savior was preoccupied with salvation.

    The church while concerned about the evils in the society should be mindful its mission is not the same as government, which acts to constrain conduct (Romans 13:1-4), but to effect a change of heart (Matthew 4:17). The remnant church’s primary and overriding responsibility is to help build another kingdom, not patch up the earthly one (John 18:36). This means sharing Jesus and getting out the Three Angels Messages.

    Some may rather lend their voices and energy to civil and social activism than deliver the last message of mercy and warning. Godly warning, although intended to save may draw contempt and ridicule from those unaware of the danger and who get offended. Yet the marching orders to the keepers of the flame are to seek the lost and point to the escape (Hebrews 2:3).

    It was the same work committed to Noah, the preacher of righteousness in an extremely corrupt world (Genesis 6:5, 11, 12). Insulted and despised, Noah remained true to purpose, to build a boat and direct traffic to it. As a pilgrim and a stranger He endured suffering along with others for a season knowing his citizenship was on the other side of the Flood (Hebrew 11:13).

    We are aliens and have no permanent residence here (1 Peter 2:11). Let us not get distracted at this late stage, but work while it is day, for the night approaches (John 9:4); and then comes the morning! (Revelation 21:1)

    (47)
    • While I do agree that this is not our permanent home and that we have a mission, I feel that it is our responsibility to patch up this world. That is what Jesus did. He did not ever stand by while someone was being hurt. He did not allow the adultrous woman to be stoned. He continuously corrected their erroneous beliefs and actions. He cared so much about this world that He died for our sins. We need to care about this world like He does and that means caring enough to warn people and correct our brothers lovingly. If we do not, we are just as guilty. We should not keep silent.

      (8)
      • Karen,
        Thanks for your reply. In support of the point, "He did not ever stand by while someone was being hurt." can you cite Biblical examples or Spirit of prophecy references that might help?

        The woman caught in adultery was actually brought to Jesus. And He did not stop any from casting a stone (John 8:7). One occasion when invited to be an arbitrator the Messiah declined ( Luke 12:13-15). There were courts for that issue if necessary. However Jesus made it clear if the heart is in the right place the problem goes away and shared a relevant parable (Luke 12:16-21).

        (2)
    • God calls some to full time gospel ministry. He calls other to work in "secular" lines of work. Both groups need to be vigilant in seeking opportunities to be both God's mouthpiece and His hands. Who knows what will touch the hearts of one or another. One may respond to the direct preaching of the Word. Let's share faithfully the word God puts in our mouths. Another may need to see "love with skin on it" before being open for more obviously spiritual contact. That's why the Seventh-day Adventist church has branches of its work such as ADRA, and church schools, and the religious liberty department. While we need to keep our eyes on the goal, and recognize the signs of the times, may God help us each to be faithful in the work He has put in our hands. And I pray that each of His people may be growing to be even more useful in His service as the day of His appearing approaches.

      (2)
  2. The question is, should we not act on racism and any form of injustice happening in our society even in our own church? The lesson is somehow encouraging some form of response. How do we respond as christians?

    (19)
  3. Matthew 6:33,If men had gotten Jesus(salvation) then all of those other things will be given to them. Even if we were able to remove all evil from society, without salvation we would have done nothing. So let us be mindful of our mission of making disciples of all nations Matthew 28:19,20 preaching the three Engels message as outlined in revelation 14:6-9 and remember, this good news will be preached the whole world. To be a witness. Matthew 24:14. Thanks all be blessed.

    (10)
  4. I will quote from the passage above "The law of Moses clearly warns that those who fail to report what they witness will bear guilt (Lev. 5:1). We may not be able to act against crime, but if we keep silent about what we see, we then share the guilt with the criminal. By our silence, we become accomplices"

    The question remains, should we be silent? Our main mission is to make disciples, that's a given. How should we tackle such injustices and at the same time not forgetting our disciple making mission?

    (9)
  5. It's really a big challenge to Christians, because many bad things happen & we witness yet it seems very complex to report them. But we are to live for God in all situations.

    (5)
  6. Our responsibilities
    Prov 24
    11If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain;
    12If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
    23These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.
    24He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
    28Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.

    I see 3 issues where we miss to do our responsibility
    1. Failing to be of help to one in trouble. The Pic used here on Thur lesson drives it home; so touching to see the lady almost falling in ditch v11,12

    2. Failing to rebuke wrongdoer v23,24

    3. Maliciously talking abt another when not even asked or no situation requires v28

    * ofcourse when ever we must speak out against evil we must but my #3 is more about gossip. Yes your story is true but u are not even in court, uve not been asked (probably u won\'t even be ready to defend it if asked to) so wats yo point?

    Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
    E. Johnson
    FALSE AND UNCALLED-FOR WITNESS. But criminal, though in a less degree, is the volunteering of evidence without cause against another; i.e. when no object but private hatred and revenge is to be served.

    SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, PAGE 64
    This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor’s reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale-bearing.

    SDA BIBLE COMMENTARY, VOL. 1 (EGW), PAGE 1106
    16 (Galatians 6:7). Flippant Speech May Be False Witness—Slander covers more ground than we suppose. The command, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” means very much more than we realize. False witness is borne again and again in flippant speech concerning even the workers whom God has sent. The seeds of envy, of evil thinking and evil speaking, germinate and produce a harvest of their kind, to be garnered by the one who planted the seed. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Letter 9, 1892).

    (4)
    • I agree, but you are quoting sections where the witnessing is false. In the paragraph above, we are told of a murder incident happening and the evidence being the dead woman the following day (not false). Injustices happening in front of everyone is the question to a Christian. do we rebuke it if asked or we remain silent is we never saw it.

      (6)
      • Thanks bro Garikayi. I've made 3 different points, labeled 1, 2 and 3.

        My Point 1 based on Prov 24:11, 12 addresses our need (yet we fail many times) to help those who fall in trouble. My answer again is, no we must not be silent! We must speak out, we must help, we must do all within our power by God's grace.

        My point 2, based on v23,24 addresses our need to be bold also to rebuke the evil doer. So in the case of point#1 if a sister is being abused, we must help to rescue her that's wat point 1 says. But point #2 goes further that we must not end at only helping the sister but rebuke the abuser too (hopefully in a reflecting and attracting them to Christ).

        Finally my point #3 was based on verse 28 plus those commentaries supplied. U will notice v28 has 2 points 1. Volunteering evidence where not required is the first part and 2. Falsehood being the second. The first part on point #3 hinges on gossip in my view, where I simply want to chat away abt others, howbeit true. This most of us fall into, oft times. The 2nd is wat we all clearly know is sin, falsehood.

        That's my understanding but I wud be glad to look at it from any other angle you have taken. U may pls share

        (3)
  7. Reminds me of a SS lesson way back in July of 2014, the week of the 27th to be exact. There are somethings we need to do.
    HOW TO BE SAVED. Zechariah 8:23
    Have Faith in God. John 3:14,15
    1. Ask God to Creat a Need For Him in You. Luke 5:32
    2. Repent. Matthew 3:22, 4:17
    3. Believe in Jesus. Mark 9:23
    4. Accept the Invatation and Wedding Garment. Matthew 22:2-14
    5. Follow Jesus. Acts 4:12,

    (4)
  8. Is not being about Jesus' mission of salvation the same as "fighting" injustice. Once Jesus' love is received in one's heart injustice desolves away in all its forms. It has to be a one on one matter and our sincere living as Jesus did is the best fight of injustice known to humans. Our fight of injustice is really about a positive life lived demonstrating fairness to all.

    (8)
  9. Jesus stood up for those who were cast out of society- prostitutes, women, disabled, blind. It is part of our duty as his followers to help those who are being oppressed - racism, sex trafficking all of that is OUR business.

    By helping others we share we reflect God's love onto them. We need to remember God's commandment in loving him and loving each other, he didn't look at the lame and say 'I'm here to tell you about heaven and how everything will be alright there' no he did not. He healed them! He said 'walk, and sin no more'

    All of us have different gifts that when used in the correct intended way, will bring others closer to Christ. I am saying as Christians we need to realise that our role is much larger than just warning people from hell, talking and preaching.

    Each one of us must do what we can to help who is put in our way - so few people are willing to look outside their own life and beyond their own path to help others: this is what sets us apart we do not share God's word because we are 'selling' heaven, we do it because we care! And care means speaking out, standing up and choosing to understand the people who the world has forgotten.

    (19)
  10. Sometime I don't understand things as I should .I read Jesus came to seek and save those that were lost, to mend the broken hearted heal the sick. All these things he did to help any one that would come to Him. He had no respect of person. Then what should we do? Micah6:18.

    (3)
  11. In short Jesus first loved and next preached. 1 Corinthians 13 is dead on about having love for others along with many examples from the Bible. If a priest/minister would have went by the stabbed woman on the street would have started to preach/pray for her or he would have taken action like the Samaritan did? Preaching without showing love it won't save a soul. I remember of pastor Ron Halverson who in the middle of the night he went to a sandwich place where people coming from the bars would stop to eat. That place was also frequented by prostitutes. He bought food for some that were in need before he could tell them about heaven. Job is another good example and many other. Lord, we need to go back to our first love. Thank you for your eternal love!

    (3)
  12. What we are discussing of the so called "social gospel" is critical and yet elusive. There is so much that needs to be done in the social realm and also in the spiritual realm. None of us can do all that we see that needs to be done in social injustice or for social and physical needs nor should we. Jesus, at the pool of Bethesda (John 5) ignored the immediate needs of every single one of the sick except the paralytic who was the worst. He came to do God's will.

    “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God." (Hebrews 10:5-7 ESV)

    How I solve the issue is to look at my talents, my resources, my opportunities and as I see a need, to ask my heavenly Father sincerely, "What will you have me to do Lord?"

    It may be that I will need a multitude of councilors.

    (2)
  13. Cheelo - I appreciate the statement you made regarding a repentant citizen is better than a civil activist. Many of the demonstrators of civil rights today allow his/her emotions to direct their actions. I believe in justice for all, however I have a problem with violence in order to make a statement heard. God can do more with prayer than sticks and stones. Let's keep God first in everything that we do. A closer walk with God will ensure that our words and actions are in harmony with His plan for our daily encounters/experiences. God bless.

    (1)
  14. our great message is not about patching this world because the Saviour Himself said '' I have not come to bring peace but a sword '' , did He try to save John from Herod , no but He made known to him that He is the one who John had prophesied about . Only hearts turned to Christ can realise their duty and act right in a way that pleases the maker for He is not much troubled by actions but by heart's desires , '' he who looks at a woman and desires her has already committed adultery '' , the change Christ needs is conversion of heart to Him . Society needs salvation more than right doing , saved peopld can do nothing but right things .
    When Christ knelt down and wrote on the ground sinners saw their personal sins and walked away , and He afterward told the woman to go and sin no more , who ever is not a sinner let him throw the first stone , we are quick to blame others yet in our own spheres we are somewhat unjust in a way , let us pray to Christ to melt our hearts and mould our hearts so that we become the difference or change and not expect someone to be .

    (1)
  15. John
    Chapter 6 of Micah is taking about the punishment of Israels fallout with God. They were not fulfilling His will which is found in verse 8. "He has shown us, O mortals, what is good. And what does the Lord require of us? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God."
    Sounds like there are responsibilities we have to do. We can't do it alone. We put our faith in Him to have: "Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenent--not of the letter but of the Spirit;for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

    (2)

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