Ezekiel 33:1-11; Jeremiah 3:15
It pays to heed the warning signs.
Signs . . . who needs them? I sure don’t! Who can pay attention to signs while driving a car? I’m pretty sure I’m headed in the right direction. I can find the way without the signs, or for that matter, without a maps app. I always lose my data connection once I get a few miles outside of the city anyways. Hey, this road is really getting mountainous! I don’t remember hearing there were mountains in this direction. Maybe I should turn on this road here . . . or perhaps that one . . . or there’s another one a little way ahead . . .
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Who would start off on a strange road and completely ignore the directions? The signs were placed at the instruction of the highway engineers, the men who laid out the road. Each sign was placed for a purpose—to point out the safest and quickest way to get to a destination.
On our spiritual road to Heaven, God has given us ministers to point us in the right direction. God chose our ministers and appointed them to the positions they fill. Just as the road signs point us in the right direction, it is the ministers’ responsibility to point us toward Heaven.
Wonder how many miles I’ve come? It can’t be too much farther. I’ve been traveling along here for quite a while. Here comes a mileage sign . . . but I never pay any attention to them anyway. I’ll just guess at how much farther I have to go.
Have you ever noticed that the closer you get to your destination, the more frequently you see signs along the highway giving the remaining distance? One of the vital responsibilities of the ministry is to warn us that we are very near to the return of Christ to this earth. It would be foolish to ignore these warnings and think we can guess when Christ will come back. What if our guess were wrong?
A speed sign—now there is one I really shouldn’t have looked at! It said I should slow down to 30 M.P.H. on this curve. Ridiculous! It’ll be a lot more exciting to take it at 50!
Speed signs along the highway are posted for our protection. It might be possible to negotiate the curves at a higher speed than the one posted, but it wouldn’t be as safe. Our ministers also give us advice as to the safest way to proceed. If we try to do things our own way we might end up “missing the curve.”
Wow—look at those skid marks! Someone must have missed the warning sign. There have been a lot of warning signs along this road: Soft Shoulder, Ice, Sharp Curve Ahead. One after another! But I’m a good driver. I don’t need to worry about them. They must think nobody knows how to drive a car. Actually, I don’t see anything so very dangerous about this road. A little expertise in handling a car is really all you need.
Sometimes people think the ministers warn us unnecessarily, telling us over and over that something might be spiritually harmful. Yet the Bible tells us that our ministers “watch for our souls.” Their warnings are for our good. They have a responsibility before God to give those warnings because God has appointed them to their position. Just as we may see the same warning signs on a highway more than once, our ministers may tell us some things more than once. We need to be reminded! Or perhaps someone has just come onto the “road” and needs to be made aware of the dangers.
Gas Ahead. Let’s see, what does the gauge show? Well, the needle is on empty, but I know this car. It can run a long time on empty. I’m sure there must be at least a quarter of a tank left. Plenty to get me there.
Our ministers are well aware that all of us need to take on spiritual “fuel” in order to make our heavenly goal. Just as a “Gas Ahead” sign reminds us to check our fuel indicator, we need to follow the encouragement of our ministers, and take on the spiritual fuel we need.
Another sign coming up. This one says STOP! Well, I’m already running late, so I’m going to have to ignore this sign. No time to slow down . . .
Do you think he made it?