Concerning EZEKIEL 3:17-21:
"Fourth, this text affirms above all else that with the privilege of wearing the prophet's mantle comes an awesome responsibility for the life and death of the people in one's charge. To be negligent in the fulfillment of one's prophetic duty is a capital crime. The prophet is to sound the horn not only WHEN God sends the signal but AS God dictates [emphasis his]. His message may not be of his own imagination OR ACCORDING TO HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE [emphasis mine]. It is ultimately God's evaluation of their situation that the doomed need to hear, not the myopic opinions and panaceas of fellow human travelers. The message of God is that sin and wickedness require a radical prescription: repentance and casting oneself totally on the mercy of God. That God speaks in this situation is in itself an act of Grace." Block, Daniel Vol 1 p 150
Seems that some preachers and elders need to apply this, especially the phrase I emphasized. Way too much thought is given to the needs of the people and not upsetting them and too little to sounding the alarm that a day is coming, "When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." (2Thess 1:7-8, ESV2011) Yes, the sweet and loving Jesus whose yoke is easy and burden is light and who loved so much he died.....
Too much unpleasant truth is soft-pedaled or not preached at all, or seldom preached, or apologized for when it is preached.
If I am too harsh in the way that I do it, then someone else step up and do it nicely, but we must do it.
By the bye--God's prophets and apostles never found that nice way.
That bears repeating: By the bye--God's prophets and apostles never found that nice way.
Many that might have repented at plain preaching will go to hell because they were lulled by the nice.
And, according to Ezekiel, they will meet all those nice preachers again:
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, `You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you will have saved your life. Again, if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you will have saved your life." Ezek 3:17-21