The Watchmen on the Wall
by David Herring
Although this passage is addressed firstly to Israel, the principle that lies behind the instruction is of such importance that it applies to God’s people in all ages, including us in the Church age. Part of the watchman duties of His people, is to make God and His grace known, and to inform all other people of their subsequent responsibilities towards their Creator (Romans 3:19 & 14:12). After all, those who know God are well aware of His grace, and will know also of His eventual judgement upon those who reject that grace. It is this very principle that lies behind the duty of the Church to preach the Gospel with anointed passion.
In the years after the Second World War there was a great period of Gospel witness in our land and many, many churches regularly preached the Gospel. This was not just at weekly services, but evangelism was conducted in a wide variety of ways through Sunday schools, youth activities, and many other outreach opportunities.
A multitude of evangelists were called to work in villages, towns and cities, nationally and internationally, and many people heeded a call to take the Gospel to other lands, with missionary organisations of many kinds being well supported. Politically, there was very little restraint on Christian witness in this country, and in society a general sense of acceptance prevailed towards Christian activities and standards.
The situation is rapidly changing today, and the recent passing of Billy Graham would appear to mark the end of an era. Great numbers of churches and chapels have either closed altogether or are struggling with small numbers of mainly elderly folks attending. Gospel preaching is much reduced, with fewer evangelists, growing hostility from outside, and within the Church a tragic onslaught of liberal and replacement theologies and moral relativism. Many communities, especially in rural areas and on large housing estates, appear to be devoid of any meaningful Christian witness. True, there has been a measure of blessing through Alpha, Christianity Explored, and similar activities, and some churches maintain a good presence with large congregations, family-centred arrangements, and social outreach in various forms. In no way do I decry such fellowships and I enjoy teaching opportunities with those where I am invited to serve. However, often, the churches that are busy and being used of the Lord, find that apart from Sunday morning services, many of their other meetings are not so well attended, and even on Sunday mornings the Gospel is not always preached with power and authority. In all honesty, the evangelical Christian voice in our land today has very little impact and we appear to be failing in our watchman duties. We may still have a name for good works, with churches often being principally social centres, but our Biblical message is much muted and greatly ridiculed.
This being so, it is vital that we listen clearly to whatever the Lord is telling us through the Holy Spirit for these days. Of course, we must continue to preach the Gospel until the Rapture, but being watchmen, declaring all of God’s revealed will is an essential part of our duties, to individuals and to communities. If we do not do this, the people of this day will never hear of God’s righteous requirements through any other source, and the responsibility for their ignorance will be on our heads. If we are truly declaring God’s clear word to this generation at this particular point in history, then I believe it will be attended by appropriate power and authority, for that is how God works.
In other words, if the day of effective gospel proclamation appears to be drawing to a close, what is the Church’s message that must take centre stage now? We have been told to watch for the signs of the end of the age, and those signs seem to be multiplying. If this is the case, then the words given to each of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are relevant and urgent: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”. This is essential listening for the watchman on the wall, and we desperately need to be asking the Lord what He is saying to the churches today through the Spirit, that we are then required to go and declare to all around us. In order to hear the answer to this question, we need first to understand three biblical principles.
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Also in this edition of Prophetic Witness
Powerpoint - from Dr Alec Passmore, PWMI President
From The Editors Desk
The Watchmen On The Wall
Our Statement Of Belief
The Destruction Of Jerusalem
The Last Three International Invasions Of Israel
From Our Israel Desk
Signs Of The Times
Pre-Tribulation Signpost - Unique
For Zion's Sake
What In The World Is Happening?
Book Of The Month