Summary: Everyone who has decided to know and serve Christ has been selected and called to be a watchman to this world.
Introduction: Ancient cities were different from our cities in this day and age. Most cities were small in comparison and did not have all the protection that we have today. To protect those living in the city, walls were built around the city to fortify it. Watchmen or sentries were then posted along the walls of the city to warn the city dwellers of any approaching enemy. As long as they were not taken by surprise the gates in the walls of the city could be closed and the city could be defended. The watchmen were responsible so that a city would not be taken by surprise. Their job was to stand on the walls or towers of the city constantly watching their surroundings and scanning the horizon. They had an entire city that counted upon them to warn them of imminent danger. They were required to maintain a constant vigil, always looking for any possible threat to the city’s safety. It did not matter what the weather was good or bad, sunny or rainy, lightening or thunder, the watchmen could never desert their post. They had to be alert at all times. If watchmen spotted or observed signs of trouble, it was their duty to blow a trumpet alerting the people, have the doors closed, and give the soldiers time to man the walls to defend the city. He was held accountable for giving the necessary warning of all impending danger. The very lives of the people in the city were in their hands. It is with this in mind that God declares that Ezekiel was a watchman to Israel and was therefore accountable to God for sounding the warning of God’s displeasure and judgment of sin. With the issuing of the great commission and the endowment of the Holy Spirit, you and I have been assigned the task and responsibility of being watchmen for our generation. Everyone who has decided to know and serve Christ has been selected and called to be a watchman to this world. We cannot simply sit back, resting upon the knowledge of our established relationship with God guaranteeing our home in heaven, and be totally oblivious to and unconcerned about those who are without Christ or who have cooled off in their companionship with Christ. A man once prayed like this: "Lord, bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more." A childless couple prayed: "Lord, bless us two, and that will do." An old bachelor prayed: "Lord, bless only me, that’s as far as I can see." You and I cannot take such a care-less attitude. As a caring church, we must share Christ with a lost world. As watchmen, we are called upon to see the need and to sound the warning.
I. We are responsible and obligated to faithfully sound the alarm.
A. The necessity for sounding the alarm is established clearly in the pages of Holy Scripture.
B. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
C. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
D. Romans 5:12 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
E. Do you realize that there are between 95 and 100 million totally unchurched people in America? An estimated 180 to 190 million Americans are not born again. If this group were a nation to itself, it would be third largest people group behind China and India.
F. Without Christ, they will all die and will go into a Christless eternity filled with pain, suffering, and torment.
G. Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul that sins, it shall die."
II. Regardless of how we are received, our responsibility is to sound the alarm.
A. Ezekiel 33:4 "Then whosoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head."
B. In Billy Graham’s book, Approaching Hoofbeats, he tells the story of Harry Truman. Mt. Saint Helens belched gray steam plumes hundreds of feet into the blue region sky. Geologists watched their seismographs in growing wonder as the earth danced beneath their feet. Rangers and state police, sirens blaring, herded tourists and residents from an ever-widening zone of danger. Every piece of scientific evidence being collected in the laboratories and on the field predicted the volcano would soon explode with a fury that would leave the forests flattened. "Warning!" blared the loudspeakers on the patrol cars and helicopters hovering overhead. "Warning!" blinked battery-powered signs at every major crossroad. "Warning!" pleaded radio and television announcers, short wave and citizen-band operators. "Warning!" echoed up and down the mountain, and lakeside villages, tourist camps and hiking trails emptied as people heard the warnings and fled for their lives. But Harry Truman refused to budge. Harry was the caretaker of a recreation lodge on Spirit Lake, five miles north of Mt. Saint Helens’ smoke-enshrouded peak. The rangers warned Harry of the coming blast. Even Harry’s sister called to talk sense into the old man’s head. But Harry ignored the warnings. From the picture-postcard beauty of his lakeside home reflecting the snow-capped peak overhead, Harry grinned on national television and said, "Nobody knows more about this mountain than Harry and it don’t dare blow up on him... On 18 May 1980, as the boiling gases beneath the mountain’s surface bulged and buckled the landscape to its final limits. Harry Truman cooked his eggs and bacon, fed his sixteen cats the scraps, and began to plant petunias around the border of his freshly mowed lawn. At 8:31 a.m. the mountain exploded. Did Harry regret his decision in that millisecond he had before the concussive waves, traveling faster than the speed of sound, flattened him and everything else for 150 square miles? Did he have time to mourn his stubbornness as millions of tons of rock disintegrated and disappeared into a cloud reaching ten miles into the sky? Did he struggle against the wall of mud and ash fifty feet high that buried his cabin, his cats and his freshly mowed lawn? Or had he been vaporized (like 100,000 people at Hiroshima) when the mountain erupted with a force 500 times greater than the nuclear bomb which leveled that Japanese city? (Billy Graham, Approaching Hoofbeats, pp. 13-14.)