Watchman, What of the Night?

 Ezekiel 33:1-11

In Bible times the occupation of a watchman was an important one, standing on the fortress wall. On his alertness depended the lives of all men, women and children within the walls of the city. Even today the armies all over the world have their men that do sentry duty. During my training years ago in the Artillery I also had my share of guard duty. It is at night that the duty becomes the most important because visibility is at most times zero and one has to rely on one’s senses, especially the hearing. Yet the hearing is not reliable – one is inclined to hear all sorts of sounds and it is at this time that the imagination runs riot. Have you ever been in that situation? I’m sure you have!

This not only happens to the physical senses, but can also happen to the spiritual side. In the darkness, away from the other born-again believers who are in the light, one hears all sorts of whispers in the ear. Satan sows doubt, fear, etc. into the mind. Confusion starts to reign, and unless a wide awake and faithful watchman is nearby, to shout the warning, the worst can happen.

In Isaiah 21:6 God said to Isaiah, “Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.”

This is what we did in the mornings. One morning, after brother John’s message, someone made some remarks, among which were the accusation that we were not qualified to bring messages to the lost. According to him only those who are paid are eligible to preach the word. On what he bases his statement I do not know. My Bible does not state anywhere that I have to be paid to preach, and if I am perhaps paid, will it make my preaching any better? What I do find in my Bible is that I am commanded to go out and preach the word in season as well as out of season.

Paul gave the youthful Timothy this word of advice and encouragement, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.” This you can read in 2 Timothy 4:1-3.

Jesus, the highest authority there can be, had this to say to His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Jesus has passed this authority on all His disciples, even today, and that includes John and myself and anyone also who brings the Word in Spirit and in Truth, whether we are paid or not to do so.

Our payment is the reward of the Crown of righteousness that awaits us in heaven. That payment is worth more than all the money and treasures of the world. Just in passing, I do happen to be trained in Homiletics, ie, the art of preaching, I have been trained in Old and new Testament Theology, Exegesis, etc, both at the Baptist Theological Collage and at the Rosebank Bible College. That does not guarantee that I am a wonderful preacher. The only thing that makes a preacher a good preacher is that genuine inner urge and desire to please God, to live the Kingdom way, to be obedient to the working and calling of the Holy Spirit in one’s life, and to operate in the fullness of the gifts of the Spirit given by and through the Baptism of the Holy spirit, and to live out the fruit of the Spirit as well. His top priority MUST be the saving of the lost, to direct them from the darkness of the world into the wonderful light of Jesus Christ. Some of the biggest revivals have started through the inspired preaching of simple uneducated men.

What I have just said does in no way discredit all the men and women who have spent years studying at Theological colleges and are now full time in the Lord’s work. They are to be greatly respected, and if they preach the Word in Spirit and in Truth they too are in line for their crown of righteousness. Unfortunately, however, there are men of the cloth who do not preach what Jesus commanded, and herein lies the difference . In Isaiah 21:11 the question is asked, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” Readers, the time for salvation is short, shorter than you may think. Do something about it now!

The CB Christian Corner was in existence since 1980 to 1991, and in this period of time many have come to know the Lord. Some have even gone into full time service. The CB Christian Corner performed a function that not even a full time paid minister of religion can easily do, and that is to preach into the houses of many who do not even go to church. We preached to those in motor cars, and even to people who do not like our messages, believe it or not! Praise the Lord that they did listen, even if only with half an ear, for you see, the seed had been sown. The Lord will do the rest, even if it may be years later than we would like it to be. God’s Word goes out and it does not return to Him void. No matter what comments we got from the public, this station continued to preach and broadcast in season as well as out of season.

Every disciple of Jesus has to be the salt of the earth, and has to a light among the Gentiles, leading the lost to eternal life with Jesus. Being paid to preach does not guarantee results. Results do not come from money, but they do come from a heart that is in tune and obedient to the call of Jesus upon that preacher’s life!

We are watchmen, God’s watchmen and watchwomen. This is what God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel.” What a responsibility that was put on Ezekiel’s shoulders! Let us read again just what a terrible responsibility that was, and still is today. Verse 6 says, “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.”

John and I, and who ever else we allowed to bring messages over this channel, are held accountable to God for whatever message goes out from this channel. We are the watchmen. If you do not heed the message and ignore the call of our Saviour Jesus Christ, then your blood is on your own head, not ours. We have blown the trumpet, and will continue to blow the trumpet for as long as we are allowed to do so.

Every pastor, priest, minister, dominee, bishop or lay preacher has this awesome responsibility whether he or she is paid or not. If he or she fails to warn of the penalty of sin, fails to preach the Gospel, fails to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God, fails to preach Kingdom Living, then God is going to hold them accountable for life lost. He or she will stand before Jesus, for Jesus Himself will be that Judge, and they will answer, and pay, for their negligence.

Pray for us who bring the Word to you on the CB Christian Corner in the mornings for indeed we need your prayers. Pray that we bring to you the unadulterated Word of God. Pray that we may stand firm under the attacks of Satan, for Satan attacks all those who rob him of his subjects. Pray that we have the full armour of God and that God continues to supply us with courage and strength to minister to you In spirit and in Truth.

Not only have the watchmen to be on guard, but you, dear readersers, have to be on guard as well! Jesus said in Matthew 25:13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour where in the Son of Man cometh.” 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” As the Lord warned the watchmen of his duties, so the Lord also warned those over whom the watchmen kept watch.

You have heard the Gospel come faithfully to you, day after day, week after week, year after year, over this channel. Have YOU responded to God’s call? Have you given yourself fully to Jesus? Have you accepted Him as YOUR Saviour, yet? If not, then you are in dire peril my beloved friend, for God is very serious when He says in verse 4, “If anyone hears the trumpet but does not take the warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.” Have you the surety that you will still be alive tomorrow?

Dear Readerer, what have you done with your life? Is it in Jesus’ hands and care? Or are you still stubbornly refusing Jesus’ call on your life? Remember, your life is in your own hands, to choose between eternal life in heaven, or eternal life in hell. Which will it be? “God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” but rather that they turn from their wicked ways and liv

Watchman, what is left of the night?”

The watchman has sounded the trumpet today. Have you heard it? Have you listened to it? Have you acted upon it?

 

Amen.