Be it on the walls of a maximum- security facility or along the walls enclosing a city of the ancient world, towers provide the ideal position for observation and from which one can sound an alarm.
Ezekiel 33 speaks of the responsibility of the watchman in the tower to sound an alarm.
In context, the Lord was speaking to Ezekiel in his capacity as a prophet (spokesman). If he (Ezekiel) were to fail to sound an alarm, he would be held accountable for those he left in harm's way.
Here in the Church Age, unbelievers are in harm's way until they have their names written in the (Rev.20:15) book of life.
"…if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15 NASB)."
Backsliding born again believers can also find themselves in harm's way, but in a different way.
The salvation of a born again believer is never in jeopardy (Romans 8: 1), but believers are subject to divine discipline (Heb.12: 6).
To their own hurt, such believers are playing into the hands of the devil who desires to devour (1Pet. 5: 8) destroy the quality of their post salvation spiritual lives.
Advancing disciples are well aware of what it takes for unbelievers (John 3: 18) and backsliding believers (1John 1: 9/John 8: 11) to get out and stay out of harm's way. Having been given (Luke 12:48) this knowledge is what places the advancing disciples in the tower.
Being in a position to sound an alarm, the advancing disciple has an obligation to do so.
Note that the watchman is not accountable for how the people he warns choose to respond (Ezek.33: 9). What the recipients choose to do (or not do) with the warning they have receives it is between them and God.
Never-the-less, it is often the messenger that may take the heat (Matt.7: 6/Gal. 4: 16).
Not one of us would hesitate to warn someone who was about to sit down on a defective chair. Yet when it comes to the spiritual well-being of others, many who claim to be Christians choose to remain silent when they see others around them in harm's way.
Advancing disciples will have more of a concern for the eternal that what he/she has for the temporary body (Matt. 10:28.
In the interests of maintaining interpersonal peace and harmony, especially among family and friends, many of us disqualify ourselves as one of His disciple (Luke 14: 26) by turning a blind eye and/or by choosing not to sound the alarm that would warn those around us who are in harm's way.
Some justify their inaction by citing such things as unconditional love.
But when one truly loves someone else, he/she will want what is best for the one loved, even when it means having a willingness to face rejection for having told them what they need to hear.
Advancing disciples would rather be hated now (Matt. 10: 22), than have it later said that he/she knew where others were headed, but did nothing to try to stop them.
Being a watchman and sounding an alarm is not going to make one the life of the party. There will be times when we may not even get invitations to future parties (Luke 6: 22). Like Paul (Gal. 4: 16), we may find ourselves being considered the enemy by telling others the truth.
Note that the watchman in the tower is not there to “judge” anyone (Romans 14: 5). The watchman is to job inform, not to reform.
Advancing disciples place themselves in the tower by learning what the Word of God has to say (2Pet. 3: 18). Once learned, the advancing disciple has the obligation to share it with others (1Cor. 12:7), in and out of season (2Tim. 4:2.
I have learned that watchman in the towers must develop the ability not to take it personally when others choose to reject the warnings he sounds. It is one of the many hurdles that an advancing disciple will have to overcome if he/she is going to effectively serve as Christ ambassador (2Cor. 5: 20).
When the time comes for each one of us to give our account (Romans 14:12) to God, we are going to want to know that we were faithful (Matt 25: 21) by having ascended the tower and having sounded the alarms when He gave us the opportunity to do so.
This article was originally published as a "Writing Challenge" article on my profile at faithwriters.com.