Thought for Thursday

He heard the sound of the trumpet and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. Ezekiel 33:5

During a recent series of Gospel meetings, one of the preachers made a point, during the prayer meeting just before the Gospel meeting, to pray for every person he had visited that day. There were times when that list was extensive. And there were times when the same names were mentioned that had been mentioned in previous days. I remember thinking that those folks – even though they did not come to any of the meetings – were visited with tracts and invitations, and with the prayers of the preachers and the saints. Those people received fair warning of their need to prepare for eternity, and they ignored the watchman’s warning. How terribly responsible they are!

The scene set by Ezekiel in our text reminds us of two important needs: the need for the watchman to be faithful in sounding the warning, and the need for the people who hear the warning to heed it. There were dire consequences if either shirked their responsibility. As Christians, we need to acknowledge our responsibility to the lost around us. We can’t all be preachers or teachers or out-and-out witnesses, although we might all do more than we do in those areas. But we can be faithful lights shining forth the love of our Saviour in good and kindly deeds to those we see and know. We owe it to them, when we consider that we might be the only Gospel they will ever hear or see. We also owe it to them when we consider how much our Lord did to save them. It should be our constant desire to be a faithful watchman.

But what about those who hear, or receive an invitation, or are given a Gospel tract, and turn away? If we have been faithful, the outcome is not our responsibility. God has given everyone a free will, and they are responsible for every warning they receive. If they never are saved, they will stand before a Judge Who will remind them of every one of those opportunities. They will have no excuse to give, no reason for ignoring or turning away from the Gospel. They will be reminded that the watchman sounded the warning, and the warning went unheeded. And the blame will fall on them forever. The tragedy of such an outcome should grip us now, but the blame will be theirs, not ours, if we are faithful now.

It is a privilege, and a responsibility, to be a watchman. Let us discharge our duties in light of the eternal consequences. – Jim MacIntosh

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