Many years ago a young woman was being attacked in a nightclub. While others stood by, her life was forever changed. The onlooking crowd could have intervened, but they chose to walk away. The laws were challenged that day concerning the bystanders. States adopted new directives, which imposed a legal duty to act in some situations. Vermont’s law states that a person must render assistance if they know someone is in grave danger of physical harm. The penalties are not great, but the precedent has been set.
A similar instance occurred with a neighborhood house fire. Authorities say that there was sufficient time for bystanders to help those trapped inside, but the gathering crowd never opened the door. Those standing outside were holding their camera phones, recording the scene. They never thought that they would be found as defendants for those who died.
Jesus took up the matter with His parable of the Good Samaritan. A priest and Levite passed by the wounded man. Those with heritage and Temple service walked by “on the other side.” They had the means to help the man of whom the Bible says was “beaten and half dead.” The parable is a view of the church juxtaposed against the wounded in every era. Jesus said, Luke 10:33 “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.”
There is work to be done in the “temple.” There are duties, activities, and all manner of service to be rendered. However, the people will not be helped if we do not go to where they are. The Great Commission does not say, Come. It says, Go! We must go and reach! Go and heal! – go talk – go teach – go compel – go help – go feed – go love! The danger for us is that we love the activities of the “temple” and we forget about the wreckage sin has made on our city.
Lives are in need and we must open the door. People are in grave danger and we have the answer. The end time church must not turn away. Our salvation may hinge on what we do with what we have. Jesus said, Matthew 25:42-43 “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.”
Recently a Ukrainian leader made this plea. Upon seeing the hundreds of lifeless people sprawled out on the ground, he called out to the world: “Please, Don’t look away.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole