Summary: The Church, God’s people, is entrusted with a message to deliver and will be held accountable for faithfulness.
"I have made you a watchman" Eze. 33:7
INTRO.: I once knew a preacher who had retired from the navy. He was a radar technician.. His task was to track the presence of Russian submarines off the Atlantic coast of the United States. He said at times there were several of them and his job was to know exactly where they were and what they were doing, if he could find out. He was a watchman.
One of the most important military strategies in any battle is to surprise your enemy. If you can attack at a time or in a way when it is unexpected and he is unprepared, you gain a great advantage. That’s why we spend so much time and money gathering information on potential enemies and their activities. We need to be ready so as not to give the enemy the advantage of a surprise attack. When intelligence breaks down, we have events like Sept. 11th and Pearl Harbor.
What we do today with powerful technology was done in Biblical times by placing a watchman in a strategic location so he could sound a warning when an enemy approached. I’m sure there are still times and places where such watchmen are used even today.
God compared Ezekiel’s job as a prophet to that of a watchman. 33:7-9. He was to be given a warning from God and was expected to pass it on to everyone else. The task of the Church and the Christian today is very similar. It is to confront men with the message of God.
I. Consider the watchman’s task:
A. He had great responsibility.
1. He sat in a high place, possibly a tower on the city wall, especially at night when extra vigilance was needed. The rest of the city slept. Other defenders would sleep.
2. It was presumed they were safe from surprise attack because of the watchman. He would sound a warning if an enemy approached.
3. If you were sleeping in the city, what kind of man would you want on the tower? Alert, dependable, focused.
B. What if he does not do his job?
1. What if he was embarrassed to wake people, afraid of hurting their feelings, or just afraid? People would die.
2. What would we think of a person with such responsibility who failed to do his job?
3. What would we think of someone who allowed thousands of people to die without a warning?
C. The Bible fixes responsibility where it belongs. 33:2-6
1. If he sounds the warning and is not heeded, then he is not responsible for defeat.
2. But, failure to sound warning makes the watchman accountable for defeat or death
3. All this seems quite fair and reasonable. It is just.
II. God has made us watchmen in our world today: I Pet. 2:9
A. We live in a world and even in a nation where most people do not know the True God:
1. It has been estimated that the Church reaches about 25% of the population. I think the figure is smaller.
2. People look for life’s meaning in occult religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoga, witchcraft, Satan worship.
3. America is rapidly approaching the state of affairs in which Israel was addressed in Judges 2:10. An entire generation of people who know nothing of God.
B. We have a message fr. God the world needs to hear:
1. If the Church does not proclaim it, no one else will. It is not the job of schools, government, "the media." Don’t depend on them to do the job God gave us.
2. Make no mistake, one church is not as good as another. There are those who are not preaching the full Gospel message. They are not leading men and women to know Jesus.
3. A survey was made and 90% of those surveyed said the purpose of the Church is to meet their spiritual needs. Only 10% said it is to win the lost to Christ.
4. The purpose of the Church’s existence is to meet the spiritual needs of all mankind and they are only met through Jesus Christ. John 14:6
C. What of our friends and relatives?
1. These are people we love, for the most part. We want the best for them.
2. We associate love with ideas like security, friendship, peace, happiness, passion, pleasure, etc.
3. But, love also involves responsibility. Cain asked God, "Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The answer is "Yes." We must take God’s Truth to those we love.
III. The watchman’s message:
A. There is such a thing as sin. It will condemn you to hell.
1. Judgement is coming. We don’t know when the Lord will return, but, He will.
2. Most people don’t think sin is an important issue. Claim they have the right to live "any way they want." Everything is just a matter of opinion. Not so.