Reminders helped early Christians to remain firm in the faith. Imagine the encouragement that Timothy must have received when the apostle Paul, who was then a prisoner in Rome, told him: “Keep holding the pattern of healthful words that you heard from me.” After encouraging fellow Christians to cultivate such qualities as endurance, brotherly affection, and self-control, the apostle Peter said: “I shall be disposed always to remind you of these things, although you know them and are firmly set in the truth.” Yes, the letters that Paul and Peter wrote conveyed “sayings previously spoken by the holy prophets.” Did our first-century brothers resent receiving such direction? No, for it was an expression of God’s love, which helped them to “go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Sometimes Jehovah provides reminders in unlikely ways. Consider the man, Balaam. God originally commanded him not to go to the king of Moab in order to curse the Hebrews. But Balaam persisted. God gave him a “reminder” by means of a dumb donkey. Ultimately, Balaam’s headlong rush for riches and glory ended in disaster.
Balaam stands as a warning example for prominent Christian teachers. Both Peter and Jude reminded Christians to avoid the erroneous course of Balaam. So did Jesus in the book of Revelation, saying: “Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, that you have there those adhering to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality.”
This may well remind us of the fact that certain men within have lured Jehovah’s Witnesses into making the organization into an idol, and they have become unwitting partners in protecting pedophiles and persecuting their many victims.
Though perhaps considered an unlikely source by some, I frequently remind the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses of the judgment they are facing in the near future.