Keeping “Clean from the Blood of All Men”
THE nations of the world continue to pile up a mountain of bloodguilt by reason of their wars, persecution of Christians, misuse of blood and the wanton slaying of animals. For all such they will have to make an accounting at Armageddon. If we, as dedicated Christians, would be free from all such bloodguilt, we must follow the example of the apostle Paul, who was able to say: “I am clean from the blood of all men.”—Acts 20:26.*
Although Paul, as Saul the Pharisee, was blameless in regard to the Law, he had burdened himself with bloodguilt by persecuting and even killing Christians. But because he acted in ignorance, confessed his sins, converted to Christianity, accepted Jesus as his ransomer, dedicated himself and was baptized, God’s mercy was extended to him, and he came out from under all such bloodguilt. However, once a Christian, he became liable to another kind of bloodguilt. How so? In that God had decreed the destruction of the nation of Israel because of all the blood it had unrighteously shed, and which decree was to be carried out A.D. 70. That Jews of good will might escape that destruction, Christians had to urge them to convert to Christianity and then to flee Jerusalem and Judea when they saw Jesus’ prophecy at Luke 21:20, 21 being fulfilled. Neglect on the part of Christians such as Paul to warn their fellow Jews would make them guilty of the blood of all those that perished because of not having been warned!—Gal. 1:13, 14, 16; Matt. 23:35.
That he might keep free from the blood of all men, Paul preached in city after city, from early to late, suffering bitter persecution, not counting his life dear to himself. He did not hold back from declaring the entire counsel of God, and he supplemented his oral preaching by writing fourteen inspired letters.—Acts 20:24, 27, 28.
Like the apostle Paul, we today also must first free ourselves from the bloodguilt resting upon us because we either directly or indirectly shared in bloodshed in that we supported nations that violated God’s laws regarding the sanctity of blood and persecuted Christians. To get free from this bloodguilt we must flee to the antitypical city of refuge, coming under the sin-atoning merit of God’s high priest, Jesus Christ.—1 John 1:7.
After that, we, even as did Paul, must keep clean from the blood of all men by preaching the good news of God’s kingdom, for we too are living in a judgment period when Jehovah will soon square accounts with the bloodguilty nations. We love life in happiness, do we not, and would we not want others to enjoy it with us? Jehovah God takes no delight in the death of the wicked and neither should we. Dare we let any plead ignorance because of a failure on our part to take our preaching commission seriously?—Ezek. 33:11.
Time is fast running out. We may not be slothful nor may we procrastinate if we would keep clean from the blood of all men. Truly, woe is us if we do not take advantage of every opportunity to warn all we can. Let us give the warning with earnestness and intensity, yes, with a sense of urgency as though this were our last time to warn our hearers. Who knows how soon this actually will be the case?
So let all dedicated Christian ministers of Jehovah in the special campaign for October see to it that they do their part so that when Jehovah takes an accounting at Armageddon, we may, as did Paul, be able to say that we are clean from the blood of all men.
For details, see The Watchtower, November 1, 1959.