It's not your job
After directing John to make sure all his worship and adoration is properly directed toward God, the angel continues:
Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness; let the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; let the holy still be holy.”
This is John’s next step – to make the prophecy given to him available to others. Verse 11 deals with the response of the people who hear the prophecy – what they do, which pours out of who they are.
Notice, too, that the angel doesn’t put the responsibility of the people’s response on John’s shoulders.
This is similar to what God said to Ezekiel about his preaching to the nation of Israel:
But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says.’ Let the one who listens, listen, and let the one who refuses, refuse – for they are a rebellious house.
Jesus also gave a similar statement in many of his parables and to the churches at the beginning of Revelation – let anyone who has ears to hear, listen…
As much as we may want to, we can’t make the Salvation choice for others. Each person is responsible before God for what they decide to do with the gospel message. Whether they are our child, our spouse, our leaders, our co-workers…it’s not our responsibility to choose for them.
Truthfully, that’s freeing thought. I can’t shoulder the load to make sure everyone chooses to believe in Christ for eternal life, that burden is too much for me. Thankfully, God never puts that burden on us.
The best thing we can do for them is to share the message we’ve been given, just like John was instructed to do with his message.
And what is our message? Here’s what Paul had to say about that:
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
Everything is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: “Be reconciled to God.” He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
They need us to be ambassadors, but they don’t need us to choose for them.