Watchmen (Part 3)
We need great watchmen today in the church because the devil continues seeking to devour and because false teachers continue to abound. We also need to understand and appreciate the work of watchmen. Finally, watchmen today need the wisdom to identify present dangers and the courage to warn people appropriately.

The New Testament describes many dangers to avoid. Here are some examples, though this list is far from exhaustive:

These dangers (and many others) are present today. Watchmen need to be able to identify present dangers and issue effective warnings. In the denominational world, the doctrines of men are taught, the names of men are worn religiously, and claims are made that a church organized by men is as good as the one that Christ purchased with His blood. Watchmen need to be able to see these errors and warn against them. Some today become entangled in man-made traditions while they claim to be following Christ. Good watchmen will see this danger and warn against it. Some today are lukewarm and indifferent spiritually, as shown by their attitude, behavior, and speech. God's watchmen will observe this problem and warn against it. Some want to be pleased rather than please God. Spiritual watchmen will discern this error and warn against it.

Some pulpits today are full of indistinct preaching. Such preaching is imbalanced and focuses only on elementary, feel-good Biblical themes every week. The problem with a steady diet of indistinct preaching is that it leaves the church weak since appropriate warnings are not being issued. Indistinct preaching is not preaching the whole counsel of God. Good watchmen will identify this problem and take action to correct it.

Leroy Brownlow believed that we should: "Preach what we practice." Yes, I know that sounds backwards, but it is not. We need to explain why we do the things we do in our preaching and teaching. If we fail to preach what we practice, there will be a softness and reluctance to embrace the distinctiveness of the New Testament church. For instance, we need to teach distinctively on baptism, the fact that there is only one true church, the sin of presumptuous worship when it comes to instrumental music, etc.

I suspect that a fundamental reason why a number of congregations of the Lord's church today are falling prey to various errors of these sorts is not so much because false teaching has been proclaimed freely and tolerated openly as it is that warnings have not been issued by the watchmen and congregations end up embracing sinful practices because they simply haven't been taught any better! May it not be so with us, friends!

May watchmen today have the wisdom and courage to be faithful in their spiritual duties. May children of God appreciate leaders and teachers who watch for their souls and who will one day give an account. Let all submit to God's will in humility, both loving and heeding God's watchmen.