Summary: What is expected of God's Messengers? Faithfulness in life and doctrine.
live the life
But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house
Our fate will be the same as those who are rebellious in the world if we ourselves are rebellious. There is not a place in the church for hypocrites. I heard someone say a while back a statement that I believe is true: “There are not any hypocrites in the church.” The truth is, you cannot be a Christian and a hypocrite at the same time.
We can not proclaim a message about the Holy God if we ourselves aren’t living lives focused on holiness. People will not listen to a message when we are being a hypocrite! Our actions can hinder the message from being followed by others. Our hypocrisy can also lead others astray.
“Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy” (Galatians 2:11-13).
We need to remember that there are other people watching us. We are in huge danger if we cause a disciple of the Lord to stumble. Remember that the Lord says it would be better us “if a millstone were hung around [our] neck[s], and [we] were thrown into the sea” if we cause someone to stumble because of our hypocrisy.
The warning that God gave to Ezekiel also shows us how important it is to love God’s word AND obey it. If we are not obeying what we read, we will be told by the Lord to depart from Him. He is the author of eternal salvation only to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).
SPEAK GOD'S WORD NOT OURS
Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them.
And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God…’
What message was Ezekiel commissioned to share? There was only one message that was given to him: what GOD gave him. This is what he was commanded to speak to the people. To speak anything else or do anything else other than what the Lord commands would put Ezekiel into the same condition of rebellion as the people.
What is it that we are sharing with the lost? What are we saying to bring them to Christ. You hopefully are saying to yourself, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” If that is your answer, GREAT! But it is sad that there are so many that don’t share the gospel first as Jesus Himself commanded (Matthew 28:18-20).
There are some who claim to be Christians that are trying to attract people to their churches instead of Christ because of the great children’s ministry, the great worship band, the big festivals and social meals, etc. There is so much focus on feeding the carnal side of man instead of the gospel and attracting them to Jesus in these ways that just are NOT biblical. These things are not the gospel.
There are others that share a more appealing message instead of the gospel; a message that does not talk about sin, hell, or repentance. They like to share a gospel that focuses mainly on the love of God and never looks at the justice of God. Whenever they do this they teach a different gospel and a DIFFERENT GOD! These men along with others who are teaching false things are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are not bringing people to Jesus Christ, but to a Jesus of their own making.
Ezekiel dealt with men who were doing this also. There were false prophets giving the Israelites a false sense of security, making them think that they were ok in their rebellion. In chapter 13:8, the Lord said to these men who were giving a false sense of security to His people, “I am indeed against you.”
Only God’s word can satisfy man’s greatest need; fellowship with the God of Heaven. Only the gospel that our God has given can save. People must hear about their sin and their need for repentance if they are going to be truly converted to Christ! In Galatians chapter one, Paul wrote of those who were bringing a different gospel than what was first preached. He said that he marveled that the Galatians were so quickly turning to another gospel, which was not really a gospel at all. There is only one gospel that the Lord has given; one “good news” on how we can be set free from sin. Anything else is not good news, because it cannot save.