One of life’s lessons as a parent or friend is that you cannot make someone else’s choices for them. Regardless of having given the most wise, loving advice possible, it’s up to the listener whether or not to put that advice into actual practice to make the “right” choice or to pursue their own agenda.
Paul personalizes this phenomena when he states in Acts 20:26-27, “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” Paul is stating that to every person with whom he came into contact he shared the truth of the Gospel so that whether or not they listened and applied God’s Word to their life they are without excuse. Paul knew he couldn’t “save” anyone – only Christ can do that; Paul’s job was to ensure that he, personally, had performed his responsibility of communicating the truth.
There’s a curious description in 1 Chronicles 12:32 revealing an interesting role of some of God’s chosen people, “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command.” Amongst a rolling inventory of tens of thousands of warriors enrolled through the various tribes of Israel we find these men who knew what Israel should do; however, it was still Israel’s choice as to whether or not to follow the terms of such knowledge. The responsibility was in the communication of the knowledge which was no substitute for the people’s responsibility to listen and put it into practice.
As it turns out, this is not a new concept in the “job description” of God’s followers.