Listen:  123.4

Let’s read these words from the Lord to the Prophet Ezekiel.  Ezekiel 33:7-9 says, “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

We know this is the word of the Lord to Ezekiel by reading Ezekiel 33:1, “Again the word of the LORD came unto me…”  The Lord explains the duties of the watchman in this chapter.  This was the man who had the responsibility to guard the physical well-being of the Lord’s people.  His job was to sit upon the wall of the city to warn if any enemies were to approach the city.  If he faithfully warns the people but they refuse to hear him, then they are accountable for their own destruction.  If the watchman is negligent in his duty and does not warn the people of imminent danger, then the Lord will hold him accountable for the destruction of the people.

The Lord compares Ezekiel to the watchman in this chapter.  The Lord had given him the responsibility to protect the spiritual well-being of the house of Israel, the Lord’s people.  His word to Ezekiel in verse 7 was, “thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”  What a solemn charge the Lord gave to this prophet.  The prophet is a watchman to the house of Israel. His duty was to warn the wicked to turn from their evil way so that they may preserve their own lives. If he neglected his duty, and souls perish, then the fault would be his.  If he faithfully warned the people, but they would not listen, his accountability is clear.  He had done what he could.

The parallel lesson for us is quite obvious, isn’t it?  All believers share in the responsibility and privilege of sharing the Gospel with the lost; to warn sinners of the judgment that is to come upon them if they do not put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul’s word to Timothy, and to us concerning this, is found in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”  The work of the evangelist is to tell lost sinners of the offer of salvation through the mercy and grace of God.  While we are not all evangelists, we can all do the work of an evangelist.  Romans 10:13-15 tells us, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”  How will people know of their need of salvation if we don’t tell them?  How will they know they can be saved if we don’t tell them?

My fellow believers, we are the watchmen on the wall.  The Lord has blessed us by allowing us to warn dear precious souls of impending eternal death.  We have the words of salvation.  We have the indwelling Spirit of God to lead and empower us to witness for Christ.  May we never be negligent of our duties.  Let us all take seriously the words of our Lord in Mark 16:15, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  If we don’t go, how will they know?  (123.4)