“I (Jesus) say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.  But I will warn you whom to fear:  fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell.  Yes, I tell you, fear Him!”  (Luke 12:4-5)

During the summer of 1972, a friend of mine was a cast member with the outdoor drama, “THE LOST COLONY.”   Because his performances were in the evening, his days were free to enjoy one of his favorite sports – surfing.  The area around Nags Head, North Carolina, was known for its good surfing and had become a popular spot.  The rest of this story is recorded in his own words:

“One day, while I was out in the surf with another cast member, something caught my attention just under the water’s surface.  Looking over my left shoulder, I noticed – not two feet from me – the dark form of a huge hammerhead shark.

I could clearly see the features of this grotesque shark … its hideous, protruding eyes staring right at me.  An indescribable feeling of panic and fear gripped me.  I realized that I was totally at the mercy of this aggressive type of shark and could be dead in seconds.

As my friend and I frantically paddled toward shore, I wondered with each stroke if the next one would be my last.  When I reached the beach, I was physically shaking all over.  I remember looking down and seeing my knee caps quivering.

After settling down a bit, I noticed two other surfers about a hundred yards down the beach, sitting with their boards by their sides.  Walking toward them, I wanted to warn them of what I had just seen.

‘Hey!  There’s a huge hammerhead shark out there!’

I was absolutely shocked at their response:

‘You mean he’s still out there?’

They knew the shark had been out there!  They had watched me paddle out into the surf; and yet, they had not bothered to warn me of the danger!

I could have been killed!”

Yet, they had not bothered to warn me of the danger!


Tell me.  What kind of person would do that … one who knows that you are in danger of losing your life but does not care enough to warn you?  What would you think of an individual who couldn’t care less if you live or die?

To remain silent when someone is in danger is the ultimate in hate language.  That fact carries over into our presentation of the Gospel.  We need to warn the lost that God is more than a God of grace.  He is also a God of justice.  When we address those whose eternal souls are in danger of eternal death, we need to tell them both sides of their situation, the good news of God’s pardon and the bad news of God’s condemnation:

  • “This is what you can expect to receive from God if you repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation (His pardon) …
  • … and this is what you can expect if you don’t (His execution of the death sentence you are under).”

“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me.

“When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.”

“But if you, on your part, warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.”

“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live!  Turn back, turn back from your evil ways!  Why then will you die, O house of Israel?”  (Ezekiel 33:7-9, 11)

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2 thoughts on “

  1. There is a screen full of wisdom and brilliant teaching on my computer, and ‘Steward of Truth” has become my “go-to” source of in-depth learning. There’s a wealth of Christian TV and daily video devotionals to tap into, but nothing
    speaks “TRUTH” like Martin Puryear’s teachings. I’m only leaving one comment,
    but it covers everything I’ve read here (about six feet of scrolling!). So much to
    absorb, so much to ponder.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Joan. They are appreciated. Much prayer goes into the writings of each course, leader’s guide and blog. And so, “to God be the glory.” Please pray with me as this ministry comes to mind: for accuracy and power and relevance. Martin

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