Solomon writes some very poignant words here in these verses.
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? (Proverbs 24:11-12)
Every day, people are going to hell. They’re being led away to eternal death. They’re staggering toward their own slaughter. What are you doing about it?
Because hell is such an unpleasant subject, people don’t want to talk about it. But not talking about something does not make it go away. And God will hold us accountable if we don’t warn people about where the path they’re taking is leading.
We cannot force people off the path which they were taking. That’s not our responsibility. We can’t make people change. But God does call us to warn them.
He will not accept the excuse, “But I didn’t know they were going to hell.”
Many people try to convince themselves that their loved ones will go to heaven even though they haven’t put their trust in Jesus.
People try to convince themselves because they are afraid to confront their friends and family with the truth. They’re afraid that they’ll be rejected. That the people they love will get angry with them if they share the truth.
But deep down, they know what God has said about the matter. And Solomon warns us that God knows our heart. We can hide nothing from him.
And so what God told once told the prophet Ezekiel concerning Israel, he now tells us concerning our loved ones. Paraphrased, here is what he says.
I have made you a watchman for those around you; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to your father or mother, your brother or sister, your husband or wife, your child, your friend, or your coworker, when I tell them ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their lives, they will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.
But if you do warn them and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. (Ezekiel 3:17-19)