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November 16, 2019


Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

(Ezekiel 3:17-18)


There is a bell at the famous Lloyd’s of London insurance house that was recovered from the frigate HMS Lutine which sunk in 1799 while trying to deliver gold and silver to Hamburg Germany to help stave off a crash of the German stock market.  The wreck killed 239 of the ship’s 240 crew members.


In 1858, divers found a portion of the wreckage which included the bell that had hung on the front of the ship.  The bell was sent to Lloyd’s of London since the company was the underwriter that had insured the Lutine’s original trip.  In light of the origination of the bell, it became a symbol of bad news, and thus was rung when a ship was late to its port of call.  If the ship eventually arrived safely, it was rung twice.  


Today, Instead of a bell that is rung when good news is on the horizon, this bell is rung to commemorate sad and solemn occasions, such as 9/11.  Though some would protest the ringing of the bell at the heels of bad news, whether the bell is rung or not would not change the occasion.


Many a person has tried to change the message of the church.  I recently had a person who was considering Corridor Baptist Church tell me that all messages preached should only be positive and uplifting and should not try to make us feel guilty about sin or scare us about Hell.


In our text, Ezekiel is told that if he refused to preach on the plight of the wicked, the results would be: 1. Certain doom for the wicked; 2. Guilt on Ezekiel’s part for not being willing to preach on an unpopular subject.


No matter the cries from the people, the church must still ring the bad news bell while compelling the world to turn to Jesus, for He is the only one who can change the plight of every one of us.  


Parting Thought:


Though condemnation does not need to be the only focus of a church, it ought never leave the church’s sights. 


Nothing can touch the Word of God. Not all the powers of earth and hell, men and devils combined, can ever move the Word of God. There it stands, in its own moral glory, in spite of all the assaults of the enemy, from age to age. 'For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven.'“ ~C.H. Mackintosh