The Blessing of a Warning

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For some reason we don’t like warnings, but a warning heeded is a blessing that can keep on giving for the rest of your life. I guess people don’t like warnings because they imply that they are doing something wrong or that you are heading the wrong way.

A warning given in good faith is actually an expression of love and concern; we don’t like to see those close to us heading for a cliff without saying anything about it. Contrary to some perceptions, also among Christians,  giving a nod to questionable behaviour is no love at all.

As a Christian of long standing I have seen believers allow their children some very questionable lifestyle choices in the name of love, only to see them hurt themselves and spoil their chances to win in life. While they win their adoration for a moment, they might jeopardize their child’s future.

Christian leaders often have great difficulty when it comes to warnings, claiming that the gospel is good news and therefore they choose to only preach motivational messages. But a gospel that doesn’t warn against the traps of the devil, the consequences of bad choices or the changing world that we live in, is no gospel at all. As a matter of fact, it is deception to make people believe all is well while it is clearly not the case.

It is not helpful to hide your head in the sand, hoping to escape the reality of the world around us. So many believers are trapped in a kind of linear thinking that makes them believe that nothing is changing, that tomorrow will be like today and yesterday, and that there is reason to live life with urgency.

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible is a message of God’s love for man. The many warnings that we find between its covers point to God’s desire for us to a life of peace and sanity in an increasingly confused world. Those warnings were not intended to rob us of a life of joy and fun; Jesus Himself said that He came to give us life and that more abundantly. (John 10:10) The path that leads to that level of life is filled with potholes and landmines, but the good news is that the Word has a warning for everyone of them. There is no need to fall into any of the enemy’s traps.

A good pastor is one that is bold when it comes to warning his flock against the lion that goes around, looking whom he may devour. It is not a question of preaching doom and gloom, but rather of love burning in the heart of the shepherd. Sugar coated preaching may tickle your ears, but it is nothing but poison! Church members must willingly receive a word of caution from their pastor and receive it as an expression of his love for them; a warning should never be seen as criticism.

Our world is changing fast, and, unfortunately, not for the better. This not a time to be ignorant about changes that are taking place around us.

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)

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