When we were children and there was a disagreement, we eventually arrived at a point where one of us would caution the other with the intimidating statement, "I'm warning you!" Most of the time we never did figure out what the consequences would be if one or the other did not cave in with absolute terror at this statement because, normally, the warning was forgotten about in a minute or two, and we went about doing the things that children do.
As we open the Bible, we are almost immediately brought face to face with the first recorded warning in the book of Genesis, chapter two, verse seventeen: "But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Just before the Bible is closed, a last warning is issued: "And if any man shall take from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:19). Between these passages are a multitude of warnings, each designed for man's benefit.
A favorite pastime of full-blooded American boys growing up in Alabama was raiding old farmer so and so's watermelon patch. Posted on the fence at every border of the patch was a large sign with glaring red letters: "Warning DO NOT GO BEYOND THIS POINT!" Now, guess what we did! Then, one day, as we were exiting the field under the fence - rolling two watermelons each - I looked up to notice two pairs of boots; one pair carried my dad, while the other pair belonged to the owner of the watermelon patch. That hot August day, long ago, I was given the aching, all-inclusive definition of the word WARNING and what happens when one disregards it!
God has given us ample warning and has given instruction that this warning be continually issued through preaching His Word. "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:2). Notice the example of Paul. After warning of apostasy, he said, "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears" (Acts 20:31). God is saying with an all-consuming love, "I'M WARNING YOU." If we fail to take heed, we will experience, first hand, the result of disregarding the warning of hell. P.O. Box 985, Moundsville, WV 26041.
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