Brent was a Marine guard at Camp David, the retreat of the President of the United States. And he was working there on September 11, 2001 - at a time when it was believed that Camp David could be a target that would be hit by hijacked airliners, as the World Trade Center and Pentagon had been. Well, Brent said there were alarms going off all day as the security at Camp David was on high alert. Several low-flying aircraft had gone over before all the flights were grounded, and at one point, Brent was assigned to a rooftop where he was to watch for threatening aircraft. He was armed only with his M-16 rifle. I said, "Brent, what good would an M-16 do against a big airplane?" His answer really set me back - "Oh, it probably wouldn't do any good at all. But at that moment, I knew what my last mission would be - to give the warning."
I think the reason that Marine's answer hit me so hard is because his mission that day is my mission every day. And it's your mission, too, if you belong to Jesus Christ ... to give the warning.
God gives us a graphic picture of our assignment - and of the consequences of failing to carry it out - in our word for today from the Word of God. In Ezekiel 33:6-8, God uses the picture of a watchman on the wall of an ancient city and He says, "If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood."
Then God brings it down to us. "I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel (where it says "house of Israel," put in the place you work, the area you live in, the school you attend); so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die, and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.'"
You and I are the watchmen on the wall for the people around us who do not yet understand the eternal consequences of running their own lives - and that the Son of God Himself paid those consequences so they don't have to. The Bible leaves no doubt that the people we know who have never grabbed Jesus as their personal sin-Rescuer have no hope of heaven. They are, in God's words, "being led away to death," (Proverbs 24:11) "without hope and without God," (Ephesians 2:12) and will be "shut out from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:9) if they die without Christ.
And you have the information that can save their life forever. Have you told them? It's very sobering to put the name of a lost person you care about in that statement from Ezekiel - "When you do not speak out to dissuade ___________ (put their name in there) from his ways, then ____________ (there's that name again) will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood." You are the watchman that God is counting on.
There's a reason you are where you are. Jesus has assigned you where you are to be the one who will give the warning ... to deliver the news that can literally forever save the life of someone you know and someone you care about. So, your mission is nothing less than life-or-death.
To find out how you can begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please visit YOURS FOR LIFE: HOW TO HAVE LIFE'S MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP at: 1-888-NEED HIM.
"A Word With You" by Ron Hutchcraft is a daily radio challenge, with slice-of-life illustrations and insights - providing practical help on the issues that matter most. Six years of transcripts are available online:
THE WORLD'S THINNEST BOOKS ------------------------------------ 20-MY BEAUTY SECRETS by Janet Reno 19- HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN AIRPLANE by John Denver 18-MY SUPER BOWL HIGHLIGHTS by Dan Marino 17-THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL by Hillary Clinton 15- THINGS I CANNOT AFFORD by Bill Gates 14-THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY by Dennis Rodman 13-THE WILD YEARS by Al Gore 12-AMELIA EARHART'S GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC by Amelia Earhart 11-AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR LAWYERS 10-DETROIT a travel guide 9- A COLLECTION OF MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES by Dr. J. Kevorkian 8- EVERYTHING MEN KNOW ABOUT WOMEN 7- EVERYTHING WOMEN KNOW ABOUT MEN 6- ALL THE MEN I HAVE LOVED BEFORE by Ellen de Generes 5- MIKE TYSON'S GUIDE TO DATING ETIQUETTE 4- SPOTTED OWL RECIPES by the EPA 3- THE AMISH PHONE DIRECTORY 2- MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS by O.J. Simpson
And the World's Number One Thinnest Book ---------------------- 1. MY BOOK OF MORALS by Bill Clinton with introduction by the Rev-Father Jessie Jackson