As I wrote him, he needn't worry, for the ONE who recognizes those who attempt to save others from this "all-consuming fire" has a reward awaiting him! Of this he can be certain!
6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
He will not have to give an account to our Lord for not warning any, at the Judgment Seat of Christ!
The Parable of the Fire Alarm
March 21, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
There was once an international conference of Independent Baptists held in a large church. The facilities were impressive. The speakers were skilled. The unity was wonderful. Much good was being accomplished. Everyone was happy and deeply satisfied.
The only problem was that a fire was burning in the basement.
A passerby with some experience with fires smelled the smoke and decided to investigate. He discovered a small but steadily spreading fire. He was even told that this fire had been burning for some time. Disturbed, he looked around to see if any alarm was being raised, but no one seemed concerned. Strangely, some of the speakers mentioned the danger of fire in generalities, but none addressed the particular fire in their own midst.
The passerby decided to pull the alarm.
As the shrill sound pierced the air, the effect was immediate and pronounced, but it was not what the alarmist expected.
A few of the attendees heeded the alarm, looked around and saw for themselves that there was indeed a fire, and being convinced that it would spread, ran out of the building.
The vast majority, though, directed most of their attention to the alarm and the alarmist.
Some criticized the alarmist’s method. They said he should have first talked privately to the building superintendent in case he might have misunderstood the fire. Some were convinced that alarm pulling should only be done by the consensus of building superintendents.
Some criticized the alarmist’s discernment. These observed that there are different opinions among the brethren about fires and who is this stranger to say dogmatically that this is even a real fire?
Some criticized the alarmist’s motives. According to these, the important issue is not whether there was a fire or even whether an alarm needed to be pulled, but whether the alarmist properly loved the conference attendees and its superintendent.
Some criticized the alarmist’s timing. It is only a small fire, they observe, and who is to say whether small fires always become big ones? Some of these believe that alarms should only be raised for “essential” fires, and they are confident that this particular fire is a “non-essential” one.
Some criticized the alarm’s divisiveness. These observed that before the alarm was sounded, there was harmony and peace. Can divisiveness be a good thing, even for the sake of putting out fires?
Some criticized the alarm’s disturbance. Doesn’t the alarm take attention away from other more important things? The superintendent even told a little story about a man who allegedly became so consumed with raising alarms that he didn’t accomplish anything “positive” in life.
Some criticized the alarm’s sound. They said that it was grating on the nerves and should be toned down considerably.
Some criticized the alarm’s persistence. These commented that the alarm just went on and on, and someone should put a stop to it. There was a consensus that fire alarms are necessary at times but they should be short and sweet.
Some compared the stranger alarmist with their own alarmists of repute. “Don’t we have our own alarmists?” they said, “and don’t they give warnings about the danger of fires? Aren’t they just as skilled in fire detection as this man? Why are our own alarmists not seeing what this stranger sees? Obviously, this man is an extremist.” What these do not recognize is that their alarmists of repute typically speak of the danger of fire only in generalities and when they do become specific in identifying fires, they are fires that blaze somewhere else. They almost never warn of the fires that are burning under their very noses, because that would be unacceptable both to the superintendents and to the crowds.
In spite of the fierce criticism aimed at the alarm and the alarmist, the fire could not be totally ignored once attention had been brought to bear in such a public manner. Almost reluctantly, the superintendent and his underlings threw some water on the fire and the conference survived a few more years. What no one seemed to care about was the fact that the fire had only been knocked down in intensity; it was still a smoldering fire and it was still spreading. Everyone seemed to agree that a smoldering fire is nothing like the danger of a raging fire.
One thing is certain. The alarmist was blacklisted, and at each annual conference thereafter some of the speakers were certain to pay backhanded compliments to all such extremists.
Distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR. This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the list. If somehow you have subscribed unintentionally, following are the instructions for removal. The Fundamental Baptist Information Service mailing list is automated. To SUBSCRIBE, go to http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/subscribe.html . TO UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE ADDRESSES, go to the very bottom of any email received from us and click "Manage My Subscription." If you have any trouble with this, please let us know. We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. Some of the articles are from O Timothy magazine, which is in its 27th year of publication. Way of Life publishes many helpful books. The catalog is located at the web site: http://www.wayoflife.org/publications/index.html. Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061. 866-295-4143, email@example.com. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications, but only from those who are. OFFERINGS can be made at http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/makeanoffering.html. PAYPAL offerings can be made to https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=dcloud%40wayoflife.org
WAY OF LIFE LITERATURE SHARING POLICY: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our very expensive literature, video, and foreign church planting ministry. Way of Life’s content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, video presentations, O Timothy magazine, and FBIS articles. You are free to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print edition of our books, PDFs of the books, etc. These items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we need the income from the sale of these to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy.