The Tolling Bell

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity … 26 God gave them over to degrading passions … 28 God gave them over to a depraved mind … (Romans 1).

There is no mistaking the toll of a tower bell, for once you’ve heard one you always recognize its sound.  There is also no escape from it as it draws the hearer into its message.  The experience is twofold: first you hear the ring, and then you anticipate the next one, which always sounds no different than the previous.  The pause in-between the rings gives one pause to think, and to ask yourself, “What is going on?” or “Who has died?”

Like a bell tolling in the town square, sounding a sobering announcement for all to hear, so rings the voice of the Spirit, as in this Scripture He slowly and rhythmically repeats the identical phrase: “God gave them over” … “God gave them over” … “God gave them over”.  To any who will hear, it is a profound warning of the sobering judgment of God.  The toll of His righteous bell is a form of wrath being poured out upon those who refuse to acknowledge His eternal power and divine nature.  As I read this repeated phrase, I cannot help but ask myself, “Who around me is dying in sin, and is there anything I can do so that the ringing will stop?”

Lord, our prayer This Day is threefold: thank You that the tolling of Your righteous bell is not upon us, open our ears today to hear the tolling of this righteous bell upon others, and then empower us to clearly ring out the grace-filled gospel sound to them.  Amen.