Paul says in 1 Cor 14:8, For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? His context is another topic altogether, but he makes the point for me. God expected his people to sound a trumpet when an enemy approached, Num 10:9. When you go into battle…against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before the Lord your God and you shall be saved from your enemy.” Notice! He said sound a blast, not a wimpy little “blurp.” He has always expected his watchmen to sound the alarm so that his people could be protected.
In our politically correct world, I worry that we have fallen into the habit of giving “an uncertain sound.” We no longer speak in plain English. We are too worried about what others might think, so worried in fact, that many people never know they have been rebuked, and fewer hear any sort of warning at all. Even in the original context of I Corinthians 14, speaking in tongues, Paul worried about people understanding what they were being told. So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. The same is true when we pussyfoot around with our preaching. If people don’t get the point, what good did we do? And no, I am not going to take the time to qualify this with warnings about having the right attitude when we correct others. For a disciple of Christ that should go without saying. Attitude is not my point today, and these days, not the one we most need to hear.
If we fail to adequately warn those who are sinning, if we fail to warn our brethren against false teaching and its consequences, where will we stand before our God? We might as well be yapping like a dustmop dog, irritating the neighbors and raising up a fuss for nothing.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, and the sword come, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. So you, son of man, I have set you a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, you shall 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 will I require at your hand. Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he turns not from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul. Ezek 33:6-9.