Summary: If the walls are fallen the watchman watches in vain. If you aren't watching, there will be pain.
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
6 But 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.
7 So 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.
Many Christians and churches are failing at their job as a watchman. They meet in their four walls, glad hand everyone and are proud of their building, but they are not winning souls or warning saints. The church was not meant to be where the select of the elect meet, eat and retreat. It was meant to power up to go out into the street and entreat sinners to receive the grace and mercy of the Lord before He comes with a sword.
Yes, not all of us are evangelists, but we are commanded to be witnesses and to be able to give a reason to whoever asks why we believe. Do you give opportunity for people to ask? Is your little light under a bushel? Is your life so different that people want to know why? You are a watchman. Have you been sounding the alarm to warn them of the lion seeking to devour them and the serpent who has already bitten them? Have you offered them safety and the antidote? When the pastor speaks of being a watchman are you listening with interest or looking at your watch, man? You are failing as a watchman.
Is your church all about the saints, their comfort and entertainment? Your only outreach consists of concerts and suppers that attract sheep from other folds more than lost sheep? Is it all about nostalgia? Are you basically holding memorial services each week for a church that no longer exists but was glorious in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80 or 90s? Then you aren’t watchmen because your walls and gates fell years ago. No one comes by to hear the warning and no one goes out. Your candlestick has been removed because your church failed in its job. Wake up! Accept the defeat. Repent and go join a church that is doing its job as a watchman and support them. Leave the past and ruins behind. If your relatives in the graveyard are holding you back then dig them up and take them with you, but do not stay among the ruins and graveyards. God has called you to life and a future, not a dead past.
Does your church vacillate when it comes to taking a stand on truth? Are all your messages mental massages that make people feel good, but does not address the root cause of their guilt or pain? Are they just motivational speeches that offend no one and are a form of spiritual Xanax coated in chocolate? They taste good, but are not good over the long haul?
I do not mean that you have to revert to the hard, loud, bombastic sermons that are often rude, crude and hurtful. No, there is a biblical balance between those and milquetoast sermons. It is called speaking the truth in love. You do not kowtow to the culture. You do not tiptoe through the tithers or shake in fear of the deacons or their wives. You get a message from God and you deliver it accurately and clearly because you know His love wants them to hear it.
Sometimes, it may sound rough to some folks. It depends on your congregation. If you are talking to a majority of Pharisees, Sadducees or tares, then anything that comes from God will anger and tear them up. Preacher, if you are doing it right and all you get is criticism and anger then it might be time to move on. Then again, God may have sent you there to convert them though it may take a long, rough time to get there. Remember, you are the watchman on the wall to them. If they hear, awesome. If not. and you are told to leave you can say as Paul did that your hands are clean of their blood.