Does this mean that we are ultimately responsible for other people, and that they are not responsible? No, ultimately every person stands before God, and before all people, and is responsible for their life.

But what it does mean is that every one of us has a responsibility to love our neighbor as we would love ourselves. To love someone means to give them the best thing that we can. The best thing that we can give anyone is God’s saving truth in Jesus Christ, offered to all people. So John said, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
(1Jn 4:10)

We have a responsibility to love everyone by giving them this truth, and calling them to embrace it as their own. But we have a greater responsibility to love our Christian brothers and sisters in this way, because we are closer to them (Mt 12:49-50). Christ is our head, and we are members of the same body with everyone who believes in Him (1Cor 12:12). We are above all to love them by praying for them, and encouraging and admonishing them to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word (Col 3:15,16).

This includes not only the members of our congregation, but every member of our denomination, and indeed every person in the world who claims faith in Jesus Christ. As we do this, we will find ourselves more and more full of the love of Christ for His people, and for all people.

Grace and cheers, Jonathan