By Ronny Milliner
“. . . then the people did bide themselves in eaves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits” (I Sam. 13:6). In this verse the Israelites seem to be playing hide and seek with the approaching Philistine army. The children of Israel must have had the attitude that if the Philistines could not see them, then they would not have to fight.
By comparison, many of the brethren appear to be playing hide and seek with the rest of the world. There are those in this world who are seeking salvation. Yet many of us are hiding behind some sort of excuse and are not going out to meet them with the gospel. Some Christians bide behind other members. This type sits back and let the elders, preachers, or some of the other saints seek the lost. Then others will say that they do not know how to do personal evangelism. They tell of their shyness and of their fear of talking to people about religion.
In the latest figures I could find, there are about 142,500,000 people fifteen years old and older in the United States. (I do not mean to imply that the exact age of accountability is at the age of fifteen years.) There are estimated to be about 2,500,000 members of the Church of Christ in the United States. What would happen to the 140,000,000 if the Lord should come now? Also consider the unfaithful members included in the 2,500,000.
Brethren, we all have been left with the responsibility of declaring Gods plan of salvation to the lost. In Matthew 10: 27 Christ told His twelve disciples to proclaim what they bad heard from the rooftops. When was the last time you declared your faith from a “rooftop”? Paul was not ashamed of his faith in the gospel, but declared it boldly everywhere he went (Rom. 1: 16; Eph. 6:20). He urged people to be as he was (Acts 26:29; Gal. 4:12). We should not sit back and wait for the lost to come to us, but go out to find them. In the parable of the sower the one who sowed the seed had to go out to the ground. It would have been ridiculous for him to have sat back and waited for the ground to have come to him.
If we are going to play hide and seek, then we bad better make sure we are on the seeking side instead of the hiding side. We need to remember that we have competition in this seeking. While we should be seeking to save the world, the devil is “seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). The way the figures look, our opponent is winning by great odds. We had better stop hiding behind our excuses as the Israelites were hiding in caves, thickets, rocks, high places, and pits and get to seeking to save souls instead. “Youre it!”
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 30, pp. 12-13
June 1, 1972