“If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And, I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.” NLT
When I was in high school, I saw an act of disobedience in a study hall. Another boy used a rubber band to shoot a paper wad at a light bulb. The result was a loud “ping”. The student sitting in the seat in front of the “marksman” had been turned around talking to the shooter. When he saw the paper wad hit the bulb, he turned back around in his seat, trying to look innocent. But, of course, the teacher assumed that he was the guilty person.
The “guy code” was that you did not “rat” on a fellow student who had misbehaved. Although he proclaimed his innocence, the victim took a paddling in place of his naughty “friend”. While the rest of us may not have realized the severity of the impending punishment; by not speaking up we were guilty of the “sin of silence”.
As Christians, we know the punishment for sin is death. (Romans 3:23). We know that Jesus has already paid the price of our sins by dying in our place. (Romans 6:23). Right this very minute, people are dying in their sins. We must speak out. We must witness and tell the story of Jesus and His saving Grace. If the lost ones reject our witness or delay making a decision for salvation, we need to tell them anyway.
God’s word in Ezekiel is clear about our responsibility to warn the “wicked” so that he has an opportunity to turn from his wicked ways. If we fail in our duty to witness, we will be held accountable.