Silence regarding the Gospel toward my brother/sister encourages a lukewarmness of soul and lack of diligence in guarding our hearts. Silence regarding the Gospel toward the lost robs the seed before it ever has opportunity to touch the soil of a dead heart (Rom 10:14). In either ministry, if we choose silence, we choose the way of the thief who comes to steal kill and destroy rather the way of the cross and the Shepherd who came to give abundant life.
Peter brings emphasis to this gospel ministry, “…Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.” (2 Peter 1:12-14 ESV)
And like Peter, so also does the writer of Hebrews, “…Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:12-14 ESV)
So let this be one way I am stirred up and exhorted to persevere in faith and let me offer it to you as well. These thoughts are a response to the stirring and exhorting of another’s ministry of love toward me through words from J.C. Ryle. May they stir and exhort you also… http://jcrylequotes.com/2012/04/03/the-stark-contrast-of-believers-and-unbelievers/
The Stark Contrast of Believers and Unbelievers
There are two points in religion on which the teaching of the Bible is very plain and distinct. One of these points is the fearful danger of the ungodly; the other is the perfect safety of the righteous. One is the happiness of those who are converted; the other is the misery of those who are unconverted. One is the blessedness of being in the way to heaven; the other is the wretchedness of being in the way to hell.
I hold it to be of the utmost importance that these two points should be constantly impressed on the minds of professing Christians. I believe that the exceeding privileges of the children of God, and the deadly peril of the children of the world, should be continually set forth in the clearest colors before the Church of Christ. I believe that the difference between the person in Christ, and the person not in Christ, can never be stated too strongly and too fully. Reserve on this subject is a positive injury to the souls of people. Wherever such reserve is practiced, the careless will not be aroused, believers will not be established, and the cause of God will receive much damage.
~ J.C. Ryle