Silence kills. We all remember hearing of stories of people in danger who remained in danger because those who knew their plight never opened their mouths. There are movies made about such things. My statement is not based on a movie, but real life.
The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel wrote that he was a watchman on the wall for the house of Israel. The job of the watchman was to sit in a place of observance on the wall and shout any time danger approached the city. The gist goes like this (Ez. 3.16-21): if, as you watch, you see danger approaching and you choose, for whatever reason, not to warn the people, the enemy comes, and harms the people, their blood is on your hands. If you see danger and turn to warn the people, they disregard the warning and die, their blood is on their own hands. Of course, the goal is for your warning to be heeded and the people to respond and annihilate the enemy’s forces.
This story has immediate application for the believer today. You, believer, and you, church, are the watchmen on the wall. You have the direct responsibility to warn our world of the death and destruction sin brings. If you choose not to speak, your silence will lead to their death. If you speak and they ignore you, as is often the case, their punishment is their death. Do you see the urgency required here?
Church, we are in a state of emergency! I’m not saying that because of the recent laws that carry moral implications for our country. I’m not happy with the laws, but we’ve never been one to expect a secular government to carry out moral truths to its people. I’m not saying this because of the recent elections. I’m not saying this because the economy is doing whatever the economy is doing. I am declaring the same state of emergency Jesus declared when He said “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Pray, therefore, to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into the harvest field!”
I see a problem when there is Kingdom work to be done and few hands to do the work. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The hands are many. There are just too few willing hands. Our churches are full of hands and feet. However, we have grown quite adept at convincing ourselves that lost people will watch the way we live and somehow figure out how to come to Christ based on the way we pay for gasoline at the pumps or the way we navigate the grocery store aisle. What?? You know what I’m talking about. We’ve convinced ourselves that it is perfectly ok to remain silent when it comes to the lost world that is swimming and drowning all around us. IT’S NOT OK!! It’s just not! Silence never has been ok and it is not ok now. It’s time to speak!
What would you do if your child was lying in the ER dying and the doctor suggested that his presence in the hospital was enough to make your child well again? You would give him a piece of your mind quickly! No doctor believes healing happens by osmosis. We don’t absorb health. Healing comes as a result of operations, hands on treatment, and proper care. Healing requires touch, compassion, and knowledge. You, as a Christ follower, have all of that and more.
God has personally given you hands-on care. He rescued YOU. He didn’t just include you in the lump when He rescued the people around you. He touched you. He had compassion on you. He placed His Spirit inside of you and gave you the ability to care for others in His name. He put truth in your mouth that gave you the ability to make disciples, teaching them to obey everything He commanded you. Your silence should be like a fire shut up in your bones. It should torment you to not say anything day after day to your lost friends. You don’t have any lost friends? That should make the torment all the more horrible. I pray God begins opening your eyes to the people in your life who do not know Jesus and giving you the courage to be vocal about your faith.
Thanksgiving is a perfect time to share the truth you’ve experienced about our Lord. All your friends and family are around the table. Pray for the words and opportunity to share with words. Will you pray now, asking God to give you the wisdom to discern conversations and relationships with people who are drowning in rebellion? Will you ask Him to give you the boldness to love them, show them compassion, and build the trust with them to be able to ask and share with them about their eternity? Will you do this? If you will, the Kingdom will grow. If not, the harvest will remain on the ground until the enemy comes along with a sickle of his own. Bring the enemy down, church! May your Kingdom come, Lord Jesus. May your Kingdom come.