Important Messages

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Watchmen

In Ezekiel 33:1-11 we read about the Word of the Lord coming to Ezekiel and calling him to be a watchman for the people of Israel. Can the Word of the Lord come to us today? Sure it can, read your Bible. So often, people are looking for special revelation from the Lord before understanding the revelation given to us in HisWord. There are many voices in the world competing for our attention, so it’s important to know God’s Word and use it as a filter to make sure that what we are listening to and following is in line with His Word.

Back in the day, there was no CNN or Satellite imagery to warn us of impending danger. Walls were built around cities and Watchmen were placed on the walls to warn people by sounding a trumpet. They would look for dust clouds in the distance, horses coming over the hills, etc. It wasn’t their job to put armor on the people or make their decision about the battle, but simply to warn them of the danger ahead.

Now, what character qualities would you want a watchman to have? Some that come to mind include: alert, paying attention, not lazy, energetic, courageous, humble, not worrying what others think about you, boldness, standing for what is right, focused, good eyesight, and honesty (not sounding false alarms). Today, if you are a Christian, this it is our job to be watchman for the people God has placed around us.

Being a watchman is a serious responsibility in God’s sight. God told them that if they fail to do their job warning people, the people’s blood will be on their head. This is a serious duty not to be avoided. Over the years, I have wrestled with my own dodging of this responsibility and not taking it half as seriously as Almighty God does.

If we see people walking through life and fail to warn them of their sin God says very specifically that he will require their blood on our head. If God takes it that seriously, we need to blow the trumpet, we need to sound the truth and give them the warning. It is their choice what to do with that truth, how to prepare for the battle ahead, but it is our job to be obedient to the Lord.

In Acts 20:30-31 we read about the Apostle Paul: Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. Paul warned with tears day and night for three years! Paul knew it was his job to be obedient and to let the chips fall where they fall.

Are you warning anybody? Are you sounding the trumpet? We all walk past people every day. I ask myself, when is it finally going to matter to me to the point that I don’t care what that man thinks about me, I care what God thinks about me and I care about that soul, and I’m going to walk into their life and speak truth to them. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that it is appointed once for man to die and then face the judgment. We know what’s waiting around the corner for someone who dies without the Lord Jesus Christ. We can see it in the distance. So what are we doing to warn them about it?

Friends, we need to blow the trumpet. We need to warn people. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11); none. We need to stand up and be bold. 100 years from now, we’re all dead anyways. Understand what matters. Souls matter to God. He proved it on the cross 2000 years ago. Remember, we warn people, it’s their choice what to do with the warning. But we should be dedicated to not letting a single person take their last breath without knowing and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reach Out This Summer

And [Jesus] said unto them,
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”
Mark 16:15

I’m learning that summer is a great time to do some witnessing. School is out for most students and many people go on vacation. Especially living by the beach, many of the places you go will be full of folks to talk with. Whether you go to the enjoy the parks, festivals, malls, or beaches — it is a great time to reach out.

This past weekend I went down to the Huntington Beach Pier with some friends to meet people and try to plant some seeds with them. Little did I know there was a major surf contest going on and it was packed. I have seen some pretty crowded beach scenes in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, but the crowds down in Huntington this past weekend made those places look like ghost towns in comparison.

The sun was out, the surf looked good, and there was music, volleyball and exhibitionists putting on shows. During the few hours we were there we talked to several people and shared the gospel with them (Click for Audio). For me, each time I go out witnessing, for the most part, I don't really know what "ultimate impact" I had on any of the individuals I met. Sometimes, it seems like people are tracking with what you're saying and other times it seems like everything you are saying is falling on deaf ears. Either way, only God knows how His Word will work on their soul after we leave. No doubt, the conversations will have some impact on them, but the extent of that impact is between God and the individuals. My goal is merely to be obedient to the Lord when talking with them.

We are commanded by God to live our faith. That means our faith will result in works. But God also commands us to talk our faith when He provides us an opportunity to speak to a prepared heart, a heart He has prepared to hear what He wants you to tell them. That command is throughout the New Testament, starting with Jesus’ command, quoted at the start of this post, to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” He then goes on to encourage Timothy “do the work of an evangelist.”

I encourage you to preach the word this summer. The lost must hear to be saved. The lie must be drowned out by the truth. The darkness must be drenched in the light. So go. Preach strong. Tell someone the truth. Speak it in love. And have a great summer reaching the lost wherever you go!

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