Several years ago, our water heater went out. Has that ever happened to you? It is an absolute mess. The first thing we noticed was that there was no hot water to wash our dishes, hands, or laundry with, and our showers were ice cold. The second thing was that our garage was flooded with water. I quickly ordered and installed another one, and in the process, I noticed something surprising. At the top of the water heater was this graphic image of a guy being literally burned alive in flames. It was a graphic warning against storing gas or other flammables next to the tank. I couldn’t help but think that was a bit excessive, over-the-top, or even a little comical.
However, upon further reflection, I now see the importance of this warning. It is there because people have done this before and paid the consequences. Thousands of Americans die every year from fires caused by appliances, costing thousands of others their houses and doing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Who knows, maybe seeing this label, in all its graphic glory, could have saved my life as I didn’t store anything flammable anywhere near the new water heater.
It can take discernment to know which warnings are for us, and which ones aren’t. For instance, I can generally avoid any warnings given for pregnant women. There are some warnings that are simply insanely silly, such as the warning not to eat tide pods or quirt them into your eyes. A sign of the times that we live in to need such warnings, I guess.
If there were important warnings for your life right now, would you want to hear them? There are warnings that are for all of us, that we cannot afford to miss. Warnings are often difficult- they can be scary as they highlight the potential outcomes of our actions and they may require us to make drastic lifestyle changes. Yet by their very nature, warnings are meant to be life-saving or at least save us a lot of pain and trouble.
There are warnings in scripture, and in Revelation 8 in particular, that we need to pay close attention to today. Remember the words of Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” We need to listen to and take to heart, that is act upon, certain warnings right now. I invite you to join with us this weekend as we heed these warnings together from the Book of Revelation. Our Saturday afternoon service is at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online or in person. We also have Sunday School classes at 9 for all ages.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!
-Pastor Nathan Rice