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Summary: The message exhorts Christians to step up to the plate in their responsibility to evangelize a lost and dying world.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY

EZEKIEL 33:1-9 READ AFTER OPENING REMARKS

JUST WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS CHRISTIANS? ARE WE NOT GOD’S AMBASSADORS? PAUL TELLS US IN 2 CORINTHIANS 5:20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,” WHAT IS AN AMBASSADOR?

WEBSTER DEFINES AMBASSADOR AS “AN OFFICIAL OF THE HIGHEST RANK SENT TO REPRESENT HIS GOVERNMENT IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.”

AN OFFICIAL OF THE HIGHEST RANK. DID YOU KNOW THAT WE AS CHRISTIANS ARE OFFICIALS OF THE HIGHEST RANK? OTHER THAN THE HOLY TRINITY, WHAT IS HIGHER THAN ROYALTY? AREN’T THE KINGS OF THE PAST AND KINGS OF TODAY OF THE HIGHEST RANK?

1 PETER 2:9 TELLS US THAT WE ARE A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD. WE CHRISTIANS ARE ROYALTY THROUGH CHRIST JESUS. IN THE CHURCH AGE, ALL CHRISTIANS ARE UNCONDITIONALLY CONSTITUTED A KINGDOM AND PRIESTS. THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE CHRISTIAN IS THEREFORE A BIRTHRIGHT. JUST AS EVERY DESCENDANT OF AARON WAS BORN TO THE PRIESTHOOD.

AS JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST, AND AS PART OF A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, WE ARE THEREFORE OFFICIALS OF THE HIGHEST RANK, REPRESENTING THE GOVERNMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN A WORLD WHERE WE ARE FOREIGNERS.

WE ARE SET APART, WE ARE A PECULIAR PEOPLE. WE ARE FOREIGN TO THE WORLD SYSTEM BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN REDEEMED.

AS AMBASSADORS WE ARE TO REPRESENT JESUS IN THIS PRESENT WORLD. WE ARE TO GO AND SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS. THIS IS THE MESSAGE THAT GOD HAS ENTRUSTED US WITH. WE HAVE EXPRESS AND FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT THE WORLD IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF.

WE HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO SPREAD THIS MESSAGE TO EVERY FOREIGNER (OR SINNER) THAT WE COME IN CONTACT WITH. ARE WE FAILING AS AMBASSADORS TO CHRIST? ARE WE DOING THE JOB THAT WE HAVE BEEN APPOINTED BY GOD ALMIGHTY TO DO? THERE ARE DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR POOR PERFORMANCE.

HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EVER UNDERGONE A PERFORMANCE REVIEW? YOU NORMALLY GET THOSE ABOUT ONCE A YEAR. WELL, OUR PERFORMANCE REVIEWS AS AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST WILL COME ONLY ONE TIME. AND SINCE IT IS ONLY GOING TO COME ONE TIME THEN WE WILL NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS.

WE ARE ALSO NOT GOING TO GET CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE ON HOW TO IMPROVE OUR PERFORMANCE LIKE WE DO DOWN HERE ON EARTH. NO SECOND CHANCE. SO WE HAD BETTER DO A SELF EVALUATION TO SEE IF WE ARE PERFORMING UP TO STANDARD.

THIS PERFORMANCE REVIEW WILL CONSIDER ALL THE TIME THAT WE SPENT HERE ON THIS EARTH AS A CHRISTIAN. IF THAT BE 60 YEARS OR 6O MINUTES, WE WILL BE REVIEWED FOR THAT LENGTH OF TIME.

NOW IF YOU HAVE BEEN A CHRISTIAN FOR 30 YEARS, AND ONLY DECIDED AFTER 29 ½ YEARS THAT THE GREAT COMMISSION WAS REALLY FOR YOU, I WOULD SAY THAT YOU WILL HAVE A PRETTY POOR EVALUATION ON YOUR PERFORMANCE REVIEW.

LETS READ WHAT THE SCRIPTURE TELLS US ABOUT THIS PERFORMANCE REVIEW. TURN WITH ME TO EZEKIEL 33:1-9.

OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO BE WATCHMEN TO THE WORLD. THIS IS THE OLD TESTAMENT WORD FOR AMBASSADOR. GOD IS TELLING US THROUGH EZEKIEL THAT WE ARE TO WARN THE WICKED (THE LOST) OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN, AND THAT CONSEQUENCE IS WHAT? VERSE 8 SAYS O WICKED MAN, THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.

THE CONSEQUENCE IS DEATH. AND WE AS CHRISTIANS KNOW THAT THIS DEATH IS NOT JUST THE CESSATION OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, BUT IT IS THE BEGINNING OF ALL ETERNITY. AND IF THIS WICKED ONE DIES WITHOUT CHRIST, THEN HIS ETERNITY WILL BE SPENT IN A BURNING HELL FOREVER AND EVER, WITH NO POSSIBILITY FOR PAROLE.

AND IF WE HAD BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE CHRIST WITH THEM, TO SHARE THIS ULTIMATE JUDGEMENT AND DID NOT DO SO, NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON, THEN ACCORDING TO VERSE 8, THEIR BLOOD WILL BE REQUIRED AT THINE HAND.

THEIR BLOOD WILL BE ON OUR HANDS WHEN WE FACE THE FINAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF OUR LIVES. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US IS A REDUCTION IN THE REWARD FOR FAITHFUL SERVICE. YOU SEE THERE WILL BE DEGREES OF REWARD IN HEAVEN. IT IS ALL BASED UPON OUR WORKS AS A CHRISTIAN.

SALVATION IS NEVER BASED ON WORKS. WE CAN NEVER WORK OUR WAY TO HEAVEN. BUT OUR HEAVENLY REWARD IS BASED UPON WORKS. WHAT WE DO AS A CHRISTIAN DOES HAVE AN AFFECT ON US NOW AND IN ETERNITY.

A PERFORMANCE REVIEW NOT ONLY LOOKS AT THE WORK WE DO, BUT HOW WE DO IT. THERE IS INSTRUCTION IN THE SCRIPTURE OF HOW WE ARE TO DELIVER THE MESSAGE OF SALVATION.

JEREMIAH 26:2 “Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:”

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