HH Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
Well; God, in His love, has given this passage to us to help us correct our negligence. He wants us to be good, faithful watchmen. And so, let’s look at the remaining verses and see . . .
4. THE FAITHFUL WATCHMEN’S RESOLVES:
These closing verses suggest to us some fundamental commitments we should develop if we would be faithful watchmen in the place God has called us. And first, we see that we must resolve, as watchmen, to speak boldly what God has said.
We aren’t faithful watchmen if we don’t speak when God calls us to speak, but neither are we faithful unless we speak what God tells us to say. And so, we read in verse 7 that God tells Ezekiel, “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.”
There are a few things that we must be noteworthy of from this passage.
- You must be a faithful watchman
- You must speak when God asks you to speak
- You must hear the word of God
- You must speak the word as received from God.
As we mingle with and live among the people to whom God calls us to be the watchmen, let’s be sure that we speak God’s word to them. People don’t always appreciate it when we do so. They don’t always welcome God’s word into the discussion. In fact, they often tell us to keep the Bible out of the discussion. But as appointed watchmen, it’s our duty to bring God’s word to them anyway. There are lots of different voices and opinions in the world; but even if you would search out the very best of what the greatest human minds had to say, and collect the best of their wisdom together in one place, it would still be useless to save anyone from the wrath to come. Only what God has to say can have any authority. Only God’s word can make a man or woman “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
And so; as God’s watchmen to the people of this world, let’s be sure that what we speak is what God wants to be said to them. Let’s give them His word. Let’s be bold. Let’s faithfully bring God’s word of salvation to this lost and dying world.
Second, we see that we must resolve to announce God’s message as clearly as possible. In verse 8, God tells Ezekiel, “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”
We are not faithful watchmen if, when we speak, we speak a muddled and unclear message. When it’s time to blow the warning on the trumpet, it’s not time to mute the horn with our hat and play smooth country! And yet we do this all the time. When it comes time to call sin “sin”, we soften the ‘trumpet blast’ by calling it something else—saying it’s a “sickness” or a “mistake”. When it’s time to spell out clearly the wrath of God for sin and the judgment to come, we talk in vague terms of the life-hereafter; when we should speak in clear terms of the Great White Throne judgment and of the Lake of Fire. We talk about “God” to people; but not of Jesus Christ. No one is offended by talk about God, but the message of Christ is often a great offence to people. And out of our fear of man, we deliberately neglect to be as specific as God’s word is. We neglect to talk about Jesus Christ as God’s only begotten Son sent to us from the Father; the Son of God in human flesh; the crucified Saviour of mankind; the resurrected Judge of all the earth. We give people the impression that God is everyone’s ‘heavenly Father’; but fail to mention that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Obviously, people don’t like that kind of clarity. It will offend people. But we’re on a rescue mission to save souls, and I say this with all reverence: No one is saved by vague talk about God. They are saved by calling them to a clear, conscious, intentional faith in the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
So, let’s resolve to be as clear as we can be about the subjects that are necessary for people to know and believe in order to be saved. Otherwise, we’re not being faithful watchmen.
And finally, having spoken forth the warning as faithful watchmen, we must resolve to leave the results confidently in the hand of God.
Not all will accept the warning. Not all will heed the trumpet blast. And the fact that they won’t break our hearts—just as it breaks the heart of the One who sent us to them. But we must then leave the matter to Him; knowing that we’ve done what we were called to do. In verse 9, God tells Ezekiel, “Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”
Even if that man does not obey, you and I must.
Now; in closing, would you like to see a great “watchman” in action? Just look at the apostle Paul.
I believe that Paul was deeply committed to the watchman’s call. He completed his ministry to the people of Ephesus; and as he was about to leave them, he said something that I am convinced was inspired by the words we have read in Ezekiel 33, “Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27).
My brothers and sisters; may we so faithfully live and serve that Our Lord will not require us to give an account for the blood of someone else. By His grace–wherever He chooses to place us in His service–may we prove to be faithful watchmen.