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Summary: how God calls us to be involved in changin the future of sinners, and wants to change our future

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September 1, 2002 Ezekiel 33:7-11

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

10 “Son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’

A very popular movie series in the 1980’s was called “Back to the Future.” In it Marty McFly accidentally traveled back to his past. While he was there, he tried to make life a little better for his parents, so his life would be a little better. It made for an amusing and interesting story line - the idea that someone could go back in time and try to fix the past. That would be nice, wouldn’t it - to be able to go back and fix your past mistakes - so you could change your fate?

The fact is, however, that we can’t go back in time to change our fate. There’s nothing you can do about your past. Therefore, are we just doomed to a certain destiny because of mistakes from our past? Does that mean we should just throw our hands up and give up? Not at all. Today we’ll see how -

It’s Not Too Late For a Change of Fate

I. We have a commission from God that can effect the future

In our words for this morning we find a commission from God for Ezekiel in chapter 33. It reads:

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

In the olden days every city would have a wall around it for protection from invading armies and the like. Often times, however, many people would live outside of the village. So they would set a watchman up on the wall with a trumpet, to warn at the approach of an enemy. If he failed to do this, the whole city could be taken over. At the very least the people who lived and worked outside of the gate would be killed. His was a most important job - a life and death situation. If he failed to do his job, he would be put to death as a punishment. God uses this as an illustration for what Ezekiel was supposed to do as the spiritual watchman of the Israelites.


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