By Joseph Gibson
17 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.
18 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.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
If there is one piece of furniture in the church that should be revered and respected more than any other, it is the pulpit. Now, we don’t idolize the piece of furniture itself, but we respect it for what it represents. It represents God’s method of speaking to us and dealing with us. Many times you may have heard preachers say, “I am honored for the opportunity to stand behind this sacred desk.” While there is nothing sacred about the wood that forms the shape of the pulpit, we count it sacred because of what
goes on there.
Working in the marine industry, I frequently come across various nautical terms, some of which are not
very common in our daily vernacular. Recently, I discovered that some boats have a pulpit. This is a small deck that extends out past the bow, where a person can stand, either as a lookout in shallow waters or to throw out the lifeline to men overboard.
Here are some definitions:
Pulpit: A lookout position featuring a secure railing extending over the bow.
Pulpit: A waist high extension of railing made of rigid tubing and is an important safety
feature. The lifelines attach to the pulpits therefore they should be solidly mounted.
Pulpit: A metal framework on deck at the bow or stern. It provides a safety railing and serves as an attachment for the lifelines.
Did you catch that? A lookout position, secure railing, an important safety feature, safety railing, a place where lifelines attach; they should be solidly mounted.
The man of God mounts the pulpit and looks out for dangers in the waters that we are trying to navigate
through. He can see what we can’t see while we are at the helm trying to navigate our way through this life. He can warn us of dangers ahead that are unseen to us from our perspective. Many have ignored the warnings and have become “shipwreck”. We pass them as we go along our way. They are haunting reminders of what happens when one doesn’t submit to the man of God.
The pulpit is our lifeline! When a man falls overboard, the captain will maneuver the boat around to
face the victim and someone will stand on the pulpit to throw out the lifeline to the man overboard. The
lifeline is solidly mounted to the railing, and the pulpit is used as a platform to pull the victim out of danger. Many times I have been adrift on the tide of carnality, apathy, and indifference, only to have a man of God get up and preach directly to me, throwing out the lifeline! I’m thankful that I had my lifeline tied securely to the pulpit! I am thankful for the safety/security railing that many times has kept me from falling overboard! Thank God the pulpit is solidly mounted! The preaching that we hear is sound doctrine! You can put your trust in it. It will hold steady when everything else is roiling around
I well remember the words of Elder J.T. Bass: “It’s called the Pulpit, because this is where we Pull people out of the Pit!” This is just a little home-spun definition, but how true it is. Don’t ever despise the pulpit! Don’t ever despise a man with a burden!
The carnal mind may ask, “Why do preachers carry such a burden? Why do they always seem to be pressing us to reach higher, to achieve more, to strive harder? Why don’t they ever seem satisfied? Why
can’t they just leave us be and let us drift?” Hebrews 13:17 tells us why:
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give ac- count, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for
Any ship containing cargo has a manifest, or a bill of lading. Every piece of cargo has to be accounted for when the ship reaches its destination. The captain is held accountable for any missing cargo. Imagine his dismay when he arrives at the destination port only to find that some of his cargo has fallen overboard!
The Pastor has been given the responsibility to safely deliver his cargo (the saints under his care) to the Home Port. He has to give account for everyone that is on the manifest. Don’t fall overboard between here and Home! Let the Pastor be able to stand with joy and say to the Great Judge, “Everyone you gave me charge over is present and accounted for!”
On behalf of apostolic saints across this land, I want to say thank you to every faithful man of God for solidly mounting the pulpit, watching out for our souls, giving us the warning, and making sure our lifelines are secure. Thank you every Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher for being faithful to your calling! Thank you for holding your position and not backing down! Thank you for staying on the wall and being a faithful watchman! Thank you for lifting up your voices; crying aloud, sparing not!
Thank you for pulling us out of the pit! Your labor is not in vain! Keep standing guard! Keep standing as a lookout for dangers unseen and unknown to us! Keep throwing out the lifeline! We don’t want to become a shipwreck! We want to make it safe and sound to our Home Port! We want you to be able to joyfully present each and every one of us to our Lord Jesus Christ!
One final thought: The closer you are to the man of God, the more likely you’ll begin to see things from his perspective!
Remember; they watch for your souls!
Joseph Gibson, Vidor, TX