Summary: What a serious calling God gives to Ezekiel! He must warn the people or be accountable for their blood. Is this true today? Has God given us a responsibility like this? Let us look and see!
Read Ezekiel 33:1-11
First I want to thank Joel and Seth who filled in for me last week while I was sick. And by the way, what a week! I told Joel he had made history. Last week’s attendance is the highest regular attendance in the entire 53 year history of this congregation. Only on special, “Bring a friend days” have we had more. May God bless us with 30, 60 and 100 fold growth! We will not be finished growing until everyone within our reach is a Christian. We may need to plant new churches in the process. Whatever it takes to reach all who will hear and obey the gospel and follow the Lord Jesus Christ! And this brings up another matter we must address. We need more parking and seating space. When, Lord willing, we finish our addition, we will be losing the two back pews on one side of the annex where a door will be built to access the new fellowship area, bathrooms and classrooms.
Stop and look around you. Do you see any empty spaces for people to sit? May God fill each space with a soul bound for glory in Christ! May every man, woman and child here be a soul bound for eternal glory in Christ.
Pray with me, please: Almighty God and Father in heaven, holy and awesome is your name. Lord, please look upon us with your blessing and grace. You have called us to come to Jesus Christ, the way the truth and the life. You have spoken to us by your only begotten Son in the words of scripture and commissioned us to take the gospel message of grace to every creature. Father, we are your watchmen, warning this world of the sure judgment to come, crying from the walls that the enemy is coming. And we thank-you, O God, that as we proclaim the warning, we also proclaim a glorious hope, the way of salvation through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for our sins. Father, thank-you that you take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, that you are not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance. Your will, O God, is that all should turn to Jesus and live. We praise you, O God, and we lift up the Lord Jesus as the name above all names in whom is the hope of every man, woman and child.
O Lord, may we be faithful watchmen, who sound the warning and proclaim the way of salvation to those around us. Fill every empty space within these walls to overflowing, O Lord and show us what it means to be fruitful and multiply. Forgive our petty and sickly vision. Open our eyes to the harvest and help us to see with your eyes the possibilities. Not to us, be the glory, but to you the living God and Jesus Christ your Son. Teach us your ways, O Lord and may we walk in them. Show us where you would have us tear down, up root, overthrow and destroy, and teach us where and how to build and plant. Bless us, O Lord, that we may be good soil and receive your word humbly, obediently, and persist in it and share it to bear fruit of 30, 60, 100 fold for your kingdom. In Jesus name, Amen.
Ezekiel! What a prophet of God! His book is divided in two parts. Each part begins with God telling him, “Ezekiel, I have made you a watchman.” Chapter 3:17-20, and here in chapter 33:2-10. Your job, Ezekiel, is to warn them. If they listen they will be saved, if they don’t they will be punished. But, if you don’t warn them, I’ll hold you responsible!
Are you reading with us through the Bible this year? If you are, then you know that we are in the prophets and that there are some very unusual things in the prophets that stir us and warn us. Ezekiel did his job. Jeremiah and Daniel and all the other prophets, did their job. Do you know what Jesus says about this? In his final beatitude he says, “Blessed are you, when men persecute you and revile you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely because of me, rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for this is how they treated the prophets who were before you!”
Do you want the blessing of Jesus? Jesus wants us to join in line with the prophets! There are two reasons to tell others about Jesus. One is because it is your responsibility! Yes. You heard me right. Jesus has given you a job. Remember the great commission? Who is exempt from that? Shall we read it again? Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” Now, think about it with me. If Jesus commanded them to do this and we are to do all he commanded them, do we not have a responsibility to obey the commission too?