When Paul met with the elders of the Ephesian church for a final time, he told them, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26). What did Paul mean by this? We find the answer in the Old Testament, where God told the prophet Ezekiel:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 3:17–18)
A watchman has a vantage point from his location high upon the city wall. His job was to be alert, to look out for an approaching enemy. He was to watch over the citizens within the city walls. And he was to give warning if he saw that an enemy was approaching.
As followers of Christ, we are watchmen on the wall as well. We need to warn people. And I think it is very important, as we proclaim the gospel, that we don’t shy away from telling the whole truth.
The word “gospel” means good news—good news that we can be forgiven. But there is also bad news if we don’t believe. And the bad news is that if we reject Jesus Christ, then we face an eternity separated from Him in hell.
Over the years, the church has been criticized for its hellfire-and-brimstone preachers. But my question today is, “Really? Where are they?” We must give the whole gospel.