Could it be that by standing by innocently, we are in fact guilty of allowing the thing to happen? I’ve often thought it was in my power to prevent something from happening, but I did nothing to stop it. Does that make me guilty? Not at all, in fact, that makes me an innocent bystander.
But I know that I’m not innocent, only cowardly.
Are we truly innocent… ever? Well, you already know what I’m gonna say here: we’re all sinners, so we start out guilty. Truth, but I’m not in the mood to just stick it there and leave it loosely hanging. Like the line of the declaration of independence stating:
“….when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to subject them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and provide new guards for their future security…”
I’m paraphrasing slightly, but that’s the gist of this statement. We who recognize the threat to our lives and freedom have the duty to take action. But apply this to our current query, we who stand by, are guilty of the crime as much as the instigator. When you look on as others are enduring, “a long train of abuses and usurpations, that doesn’t just make you a selfish jerk, but you are culpable to the crime also.
Let’s apply this to real life. By that I mean, life that is of worth and importance: spiritual life.
God is on the move around you, and when you stand by and watch Him move, but do not take the initiative to get involved with Him, you are guilty of disobedience; if not to the direct command of God than certainly to the indirect call of God to EVERY Christian. (By the way, everyone always includes you).
But conversely also to our practical example, if we witness a crime and do nothing, we are innocent of the blame. However, if we witness a work of God and do nothing, we are innocent of the blessing and the reward. Kinda weird that everything always seems to twist around and come back on our own head huh. But that’s life. Our actions, right or wrong, have consequences.
That’s the Christian life. Every choice you make or choose not to make will be upon your head. Yes salvation is by grace, but through faith (voluntary action on your part). Sure, justification (before God) is by faith, but justification (before men, the evidence of a spirit-filled life), is by works (voluntary action on your part). Man’s responsibility in salvation is not proportionate to God’s in means, effort, and importance, but it is necessary. Ultimately, your choice will condemn you or save you.
Will you be a guilty bystander to the work of God? Or maybe you’re a guilty bystander to salvation of Jesus Christ? Could it be that you’ve seen God do miracles in the lives of others and you still do not believe? Let me warn you that is a choice you do not have to make, yet one which bears eternal consequences.
“He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” –John 3:18
So make your choice, but whatever you do, choose something or lose everything…..
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist