Summary: PENTECOST 16 (A) - Believers are God's watchmen. They will warn the wicked. Those who repent will turn and return to God.
BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S WATCHMEN (Outline)
September 12, 2010 -
Pentecost 16 -
INTRO: Responsibility is an underused word in our society today. Very few want to claim responsibil-ity for much of anything. The Lord God Almighty has called each of us out of darkness into light. God’s grace gives us the blessed privilege of being responsible Christians. Our gracious God wants not only us as his saved believers. God has great plans for all mankind. “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 TIMOTHY 2:3,4). We desire to be responsible believers who are excited to carry the gospel of God to the ends of the earth.
BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S WATCHMEN.
I. Watchmen warn the wicked. II. Repentant return to God.
I. WATCHMEN WARN THE WICKED
A. In chapters 25-32 God sent the prophet Ezekiel to warn the nations who were the enemies of Israel.
1. Verse 7a. God recalls Ezekiel. Now Ezekiel would warn the nation of Israel, God’s people.
2. Verse 7b. Ezekiel would be prepared by hearing God’s word. God’s word would warn.
B. Verse 8a. Warn the wicked that their sins lead to death. The soul that sins is the one that will die.
1. Dieing in unrepentant sin leads to eternal death and punishment in hell. Warn the wicked.
2. Verse 8b. Ezekiel’s responsibility was to preach and warn the wicked. He could not be quiet.
C. Verse 9. Sadly, not all repent. Having heard God’s warning the responsibility moves to the wicked.
D. In our society today we have to address the problem of identifying what is wicked, evil, and sinful. These are words you will not hear or read very often in today’s media. Good has become evil and evil good in this world. Sin is still alive and well and all around us. Evil thoughts, wicked words, and despicable deeds are all sins against God. Whenever we think, say, or do anything that does not bring glory to God we sin. Sin is lawlessness. Sin is also not doing what we ought. "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins" (JAMES 4:17). All of us sin daily. All of us sin much. This is the truth of God’s living, active word. The world denies it. Believers are responsible watchmen.
E. This is not a pleasant responsibility that the Lord lays at our feet. We are not so anxious to point out to someone how he or she has fallen short of the glory of God. Believers are called as watchmen to warn the wicked. If believers do not warn the wicked who will? Though this task may not seem pleasant or easy there can be very blessed results. Jesus’ clear direction is that each believer would talk to the sinner. "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over" (MATTHEW 18:15). How much this attitude is lacking in our society today!?! All too many would rather talk about someone than to them. Trashing another’s reputation solves nothing. Nothing is gained by adding to false rumors that so quickly spread. But how easy it is to talk about someone. Please, please watchmen go and talk to those you need to talk to. The best is that God will change their hearts. They repent. God forgives. The gates of heaven are open to them.
F. How are we, also numbered among sinners, supposed to go out and warn the wicked? First, we do not depend on our own strength or courage. It is God who gives us his word. It is God who gives us faith to know and to believe that all things are possible with Christ. Like Ezekiel we need to hear God’s word. As we hear God’s word we grow in faith. By growing in faith we will want to read, study, and learn the very living word of God’s truth. Then we will be equipped to warn the wicked. "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 TIMOTHY 2:15). Warn the wicked by holding out God’s word of truth.
BELIEVERS ARE GOD’S WATCHMEN. Knowing our own sinfulness we humbly warn the wicked.
II. THE REPENTANT RETURN TO GOD.
A. Verse 10a. The Lord reminds Ezekiel that his mission was now to the house of Israel.
1. The Lord addresses Ezekiel as “son of man” 93 times in these chapters.
2. Jesus later lives in this world as Son of God and Son of man. An interesting title.