Weekly Reminder...The Weekly Reminder is an informative tool to help people who read it consider what the man of God has said. This weekend’s articles are based on what was heard on December 4 & 5, 2010 in the Westbury assembly.
written by Br. Samuel Damus
Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: - Colossians 1:28
Warning is a caution against faults or evil practices which incur danger. A warning usually comes before something bad is about to unfold, to keep us on guard. Most times a warning is given to us to get us to change our bad habits because if we continue in them the outcome will not be good. The purpose of the warning is to prevent the hearer from being in a position of being exposed to injury, loss, pain, or other evils; just like the label on our medicine bottle which warns us to not take more than the recommended daily amount or it may cause temporary or permanent danger to our physical health. In the church, we too are being warned by watchmen which the Lord has placed to warn us for our well being (Hebrews 13:17). Paul was warning the church to hold on to their faith because with faith come works, good works (James 2:18, 26). When we set aside our commitment to be faithful we become idle in doing good works and our time is spent doing other things that are not spiritually productive. Paul warned and counseled the church in this matter so that they could correct their ways (1 Timothy 5:10-15). Unfortunately, sometimes warnings get ignored.
The reason why warnings in the church get ignored is because of a lack of belief in God’s words. Our faith relies on what we see and feel at that very moment in time and not what the word of God has says will come. In Jeremiah chapters 42-44, the people of Israel would not listen to Jeremiah’s warning because they believed they were better off comfortable, being free and living contrary to God’s laws than being in bondage and living within the will of God (Jeremiah 44:15-18). A sinner feels that they are free to do wrong because they are not reprimanded right away (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Just as the wicked feels that they are prospering for the time being the righteous also sees this and begins to question their faith in keeping God’s commandments. David explains to us that this is exactly how he felt in Psalm 73 but it was the hearing of God’s words that enlightened him (verse 17) to not follow what he saw and felt but believe in the promises of God. His prayer reflected his faith in God’s words. “Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Psalm 19:11-13). It was the words of the watchmen in the sanctuary that helped David change his thinking.
These watchmen are the pastors and elders in the church that are ordained by God to help us in our walk with Jesus. These watchmen are held accountable to give us what the Lord wants us to hear. The Lord said, “If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to warn them about changing their ways, then they will die in their sins, but I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don't repent, they will die in their sins, but you will not be held responsible” (Ezekiel 33:8-9 -NLT). This scripture shows that there is accountability on both sides: the pastor must give the warning and the people must take heed and change their ways. The watchmen are told to not fear but to deliver the message “whether they listen or not” (Ezekiel 2:6-7). The warnings will continue to be preached in the sanctuary, who will take heed?
To the churches in Revelation chapter 2 and 3, the warnings were given to help the saints to become victorious in their quest to have eternal life. To become victorious we must take heed to the warnings, repent and change our ways for the better. We must trust in our God that He did not make a mistake in the message presented to us and whom He uses to present it to us. Remember, if you receive the messenger, you also receive the Sender (Matthew 10:40). The Lord said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19). Let us not continue to go thru this journey of ours ignoring the warnings because if we ignore the warnings presented in our lives, it would be hard to imagine surviving in these perilous times. Let us live righteously for our fate is in the Lord’s hands. “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).