The closer you get to sin, the greater the chances of being defiled by sin. When we help sinners, we are necessarily getting closer to sin and the chance our eyes and ears are exposed to sinful things is greater. A couple of passages come to mind.
“22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude 22,23
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Gal. 6:1
These passages teach that as we engage in the work of saving sinners, we must approach with fear and trepidation, praying to God and trusting in Him, to help us stay clean and remain guarded against Satan’s schemes.
If you have entered the den of Satan to pull a man out, you have entered danger. The evil will lash out at you. The evil will entice you. Just a glimpse of the carnal can subdue a weak man. If you are too weak, so that a glimpse or a word might cause you to crash and burn, falling to porn or drinking or drugs, then don’t go or else take someone with you who will help you be accountable.
It’s dangerous work saving souls. It’s fraught with peril but it must be done. Look again at the passages cited above. “Looking to yourself.” “Have mercy with fear, hating…”
If you live in a cave and care not for the lost and expend no effort to save them, then you will be safe from such dangers. Perhaps. But then again, didn’t Jesus tell us to go into the world? And didn’t Paul say, “9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.” 1 Cor. 5. I don’t think God is giving us the option to live shielded lives. Christians aren’t hermits. So being in the world means seeing the dangers of world and engaging people in the world. But it should never mean us succumbing to the world. We have a mission to be holy and show others the path to holiness.
It’s dangerous doing God’s work, so gird yourself up with the armor of God. With the breastplate of righteousness, with the mission of carrying the message of peace, with a weapon that will dash sin to hell, and with your salvation intact, hold up that shield of faith. Pray at all times. Pray at all times. Pray at all times. And pray at all times.
(my “art” shows why I’m not an artist, but the point is clear which is all I care about)
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