Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
Are We All Watchmen?
by Jenny on September 3rd, 2020

“Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for Me." Ezekiel 33:7

If you happen to be reading the NIV Chronological Bible (my home church is following this reading plan), you recently read a story about God appointing a man named Ezekiel as a "watchman" over the people of Israel. During this time in history (approximately 585BC), God's people, also known as the nation of Israel, have been led into Babylonian captivity on account of their unfaithfulness to God. Out of His great love for His people, God sent many prophets, such as Ezekiel, to warn His people about impending judgment for their sin if they failed to repent. God didn't hold His prophets accountable for the peoples' response to His Word (thank goodness). God held His prophets accountable for delivering His Word to His people.

When I read the passage in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 33, I wonder if all of us, as followers of Christ, aren't called as Watchmen. God says to Ezekiel, "If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself." (Ezekiel 33:8-9)

Scripture is clear that each person is judged for their own sin (see Deuteronomy 24:16, Jeremiah 31:30, and Ezekiel 18:20). We cannot earn salvation for another person (NOR for ourselves, for that matter, as salvation is a gift from God that we must humbly receive), nor will someone else fail to come to salvation simply because one person failed to tell them. I have full confidence in the words of Christ recorded in John 6:39, "I should not lose even one of all those He has given Me." God will call to salvation each of His children somehow, someway, even if you and I fail to personally warn the one(s) He intends for us to warn. God in His grace will use someone else to proclaim His Good News if we fail to perform the job. But I do think, as followers of Christ, we have the responsibility, not to judge others according to God's Word, but to warn and remind His people of His Word.

I haven't seen the list of names written in the book of life, but Scripture tells us that such a list exists (see Psalm 69:28, Hebrews 12:23, Revelation 13:8, 20:15). In the book of Acts, chapter 18, verse 10, God tells Paul to preach with boldness because there are many in that city (Corinth) who are His. Paul stayed a year and a half in that city preaching the Good News. Paul did not necessarily know which souls belonged to God, so he preached faithfully to everyone.

Prior to Israel's exile, the prophet Isaiah recorded these words, "The LORD looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed." (Isaiah 59:15-16) I wonder if God looks down from Heaven now and is amazed by the silence of His people.

On our refrigerator hangs a sign that reads, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." This famous quote isn't exactly biblical because of two things: in the end, evil will not triumph (Revelation 20:14), and there are no "good" men (or women, Romans 3:10); the only "good" found in man is Christ in us. But I wonder if evil would have even less of a victory now if those who have the goodness of Christ in them would stand in the gap for others and proclaim Christ's goodness to a world in need.

Jesus' parting words in Matthew 28:19-20 were to, "go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you."  Hebrews 12:15 reads, "Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God."

God placed Ezekiel over the nation of Israel--God's people--as a watchman. Ezekiel's job was to warn and remind God's people of the consequence of failing to repent of their evil ways. God takes no delight in the death of the wicked but wants everyone to repent (Ezekiel 33:11). Many people will not listen. But I am convinced you and I have been appointed as Watchmen.

Jesus said once the Good News is preached in all the world, the end--or should we say the beginning--will come (Matthew 24:14). I do not pretend that the human race is powerful enough to alter God's plans. But I wonder, if we would each fulfill our duty to tell others about the Kingdom of God, would it quicken the day of Jesus' return?

Sometimes it's good to be slow to speak (James 1:19). But when the world proclaims a message contrary to what God has said in His Word, what are we waiting for? Be a watchman! Sound the alarm! Speak up, not in judgment or condemnation of others, but so that others can find LIFE through God's Word, both now and for all eternity.

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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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