The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Where Were the Lifeguards?

The Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio, reported in September, 1985 a shocking discovery at a New Orleans municipal pool. The party around the pool was held to celebrate the first summer in memory without a drowning at the New Orleans city pool.

In honor of the occasion, 200 people gathered, including 100 certified lifeguards. As the party was breaking up and the four lifeguards on duty began to clear the pool, they found a fully dressed body in the deep end. They tried to revive Jerome Moody, 31, but it was too late. He had drowned surrounded by lifeguards celebrating their successful season.

How many have drowned in their sin and gone into eternity without Christ though surrounded everywhere by "spiritual lifeguards" in the Body of Christ.

Ezekiel 33:1-6 says: The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

In verse 7 the Lord goes on to remind Ezekiel of his calling, commissioning as THE WATCHMAN (or lifeguard) of Israel. But that 6th verse is powerful. We are reminded that those of us who are watchmen (lifeguards) who fail to give the warning are guilty of the blood of those who never heard.

Jesus has called each of his followers to tell others how they can be saved from the punishment for their sins by embracing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, just as we have. We are not off the hook. It is wrong for me to say, “there are others out there who are better communicators that me. Let them give the warning.”

This Sunday, we will follow the great Resurrection (Easter) event with a message called Marching Orders based on Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus has commanded us to go and make disciples (learners, followers) of Christ and teach them what we know and to baptize them in his name. Our role as a Watchman (Lifeguard) is not optional. How tragic that someone could drown with 100 lifeguards standing by, doing nothing.

Watching with you,

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