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Would you save him?
March 22, 2004
By C. Bryant Glisson, Master of Divinity student, Southern Seminary

High above the busy world at the height of a treacherous mountain pass, three witnesses watch in horror as a blind man strides forward on the path with a confidence that is neither warranted nor wise. Inches and seconds lay between him and a long fall to his death, yet he shows no signs of slowing.

The first witness longs to call out to him and tell him what lies ahead. But not a sound escapes his lips. He reasons with himself, “How awkward would it be to tell a complete stranger he is about to fall to certain death. Surely he would not listen to me. And what if I called to him and the lack of eloquence in my report only spurred him on even more determined than before? Yes, it would be best to remain silent.”

The second witness parts his lips and nearly puts a voice to the words he mouths. But he too says nothing. Instead, he begins shuffling with much haste through his expansive library, reading and studying as quickly as is humanly possible all the works dealing with “men plummeting to their doom.” He thinks to himself, “I must prepare! I must be diligent so that when others pass this way I shall be able to speak intelligently about what lies ahead and thereby convince them to turn.”

The third witness too is distraught over the predicament and wishes that he could speak to the man and alter his course. But as he checks through his list of things to do, he sees that his schedule is far too full already. And so he glances down, and his mind drifts to “more important matters.” With a glance at the other two men, he determines, “I shall let those with more time who are not quite so involved in such worthy pursuits as mine handle the matter.”

As the sun sets, the three men close their eyes to the world and to yet another casualty of their own tragic shortcomings. If only something could have been done ...

But something could have been done. If but a single man had even dared to whisper a warning, is it too much to believe that God might have so stilled the air that even a faint whisper might have found its way to the ears of the blind man. What’s more, what if all three had called out together, “Stop, you’re about to walk over a cliff!” Even a fool would not ignore such a proclamation when issued with such forceful unity. Yet we remain silent.

Brothers and sisters, we are these men. Like the first witness, we are so concerned that our less than eloquent witness or perceived personal inability will be so awkward that we might single-handedly seal the fate of a lost person to destruction, not realizing that their fate is already sealed and that our witness can only shed light upon their lives. Like the second witness, we rush to prepare for our future ministries, diligently looking ahead for what is to come -- all the while missing the missions of service that have been set before us today.

Like the third witness, we busy ourselves with all kinds of endeavors, which in and of themselves are truly worthy pursuits (let us hope), but we fail to accomplish our most critical task in this earthly existence of being a light to the world. This should not be! What has become of our priorities? Surely we would never confess that we had no time to warn a man that he was about to step over a cliff, yet so often our actions betray us as having just such an attitude when it comes proclaiming the Gospel to the lost. Brothers and sisters, as we make evangelism a priority, we shall find the time. The problem is that evangelism for most of us is not a priority.

The blind in this world are many, and many run leaping to their doom. But we above all are not without hope in this daunting task that lies before us. We have Christ! Therefore, Christians, have faith! God controls the ways of the wind, and no matter how loudly we proclaim it, there are some the Gospel will never reach. By the same token, no matter how weakly we proclaim it, there are some the Gospel cannot fail to reach, if we would but proclaim it. Like these men, we all have our excuses, but Christ answers those excuses in a single word, “GO!” And as Christ goes with us, we cannot fail.


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