God takes interest in relationships. He clearly demonstrated His interest at the earliest time of Bible history when He spoke to Cain about his brother Abel. It seems like when the two sons of Adam and Eve grew up, they cared for each other and God would have easily asked from any one of them where the other was. God asked not because He has difficulty knowing where the other brother would have been but because He likes for us to have interests in the affairs of others. This thought is contrary to what the world teaches us today. In Genesis 4:9, God asks Cain not because He does not know Abel’s whereabouts but encourages responsible for a brother.
The same God of Adam, Eve and Abel, is the same God who takes interest in our relational issues today. The New Testament encourages the same; love one another (John 13:34 – 35), love your neighbour as you love yourself (Mark 12:31) and encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The apostle Paul mentions hospitality by accepting strangers into our homes as one of the ministries we should pursue (Hebrews 13:2). These are some of the actions expected from a believer.
The responsibility to preach the Gospel to a brother
Mark 16:15 records a direct instruction from Jesus to all His followers, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation’. The reason is simple, ‘the kingdom f heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 20:7). The nearness of the Kingdom equally denotes the nearness of the damnation of disobedient souls in hell.
If you forbid preaching to a brother or sister, you are not being faithful to your calling of being a brother’s keeper. It means therefore that when you let your brother die and go to hell without having preached the Gospel to him, you are responsible for the loss (Ezekiel 3:18 – 19). You also may be disqualified for heaven just for not being a good brother’s keeper.
Preaching is about sending the message of living right with God in any way possible. It could be through your comment on a social network, a blog post, a video you post on youtube, a comment during a discussion, etc. I wrote a complete article on the importance of Christians to participate on the internet. Not all of us may get the chance to take the pulpit but options are limitless for us to evangelize.
The responsibility not to cause a brother to stumble
Caring for your brother or sister takes into account the responsibility not to cause them to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:13, Romans 14:13 – 23). When you do, you cause many to harden their hearts in the wrong yet you shift the blame them and say they are weak Christians. God does not look it that way.
I want to quote some issues of major controversy in the church today.
- Performing controversial miracles. According to Pastor Jethro Tfwala from Nhlambeni, miracles are for non-believers to believe in the power of God. Miracles should in no way deter people from God. Most of the miracles we see today do not give glory to God but to the miracle pastor. People are turned away from God from the types of miracles that take place in our churches today. Pastor Tfwala also says that miracles are for saving believers from life huddles that they find hard to overcome.
- Woman wearing trousers, weave and make up. If there is a weak brother somewhere that has expressed that for woman to wear trousers makes him question their Christian faith, the believer should stop the practice. In other words, it means that the brother stumbles from seeing a woman wearing a makeup, trousers or a weave. I know that most woman don’t care about this requirement, rather they blame the weak Christian for being wicked.
Probably a solution to helping the weak Christian is to create or use existing forums to express your point of view on why you do what you do. Until then, you have to remain on the right side. Not until those that have a problem cross the line, you are not expected to remain doing what causes a brother to stumble.
I want to conclude by saying that you have to be watchful for your brother as the Bible says and God will count it on you as obedience and for that He has a reward for you.