[warn people]

[warn people]

A few Sundays ago, Sam and I were in Lviv (a city in Western Ukraine) at his old Church he attended before moving to Kyiv.

To be completely honest, I don’t remember what the sermon was about. It was based on Ezekiel 33, the beginning of the chapter. However, I decided to read further, and the passage I have read got stuck in my mind.

“You, son of man, are the watchman. I’ve made you a watchman for Israel. The minute you hear a message from me, warn them.

If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked man, wicked woman, you’re on the fast track to death!’ and you don’t speak up and warn the wicked to change their ways, the wicked will die unwarned in their sins, and I’ll hold you responsible for their bloodshed.

But if you warn the wicked to change their ways and they don’t do it, they’ll die in their sins well-warned and at least you will have saved your own life.”

Ezekiel 33:7-9 MSG

Often I get weary of sharing the Story with others because it seems that I keep telling them, and nothing happens. I told them a million times and no result. It is especially hard when you hear from others about their successes in evangelism sphere. “Am I a loser? What’s the point? Perhaps I just should leave it to others. They are better at it than I am.”

That, I believe, is one of the most effective lies the devil utilizes to stop us from becoming God’s messengers.

But here, in this passage, God basically says, “If they perish because you kept your mouth shut… it is your fault they died.”

It’s a thought that wakes one up.

  • As you know, I am going to have to spend some time with this passage. I never knew it was there. 🙂 But it is convicting. And I also have had those same thoughts you have expressed.

    • I never knew it was there – me neither. In 21 years in the Church, I have never heard anyone preach on that passage even though I consider it extremely important.

  • Betty Draper

    Zee, this verse brings back some memories to me since our pastor used it a lot to motivate us to witness. It is convicting and should not be used as a hammer to slam us (this is for Bill) but a good tool to make us aware of the Hope that lives in our hearts and the need to use the tool.
    One more thing that came to me as I read the scriptures you posted, our own life is not saved because we warn others. Not really sure why it is stated that way. It is the Spirit of God living in us that prompts us to tell others. For sure our lives get caught up in other things, good things, like raising a family, working, etc. to the point we do not hear Him. What I thought when I read your post was how tender you heart must be to the Word for conviction to even occur. It will be interesting what Bill has to say on it. Blessing my courageous wise hearted blog friend.

    • Betty – I can see how this passage can be used a threat (i.e. share the Gospel or you’re doomed yourself), but I think the way it was written (and the way it should be read, from my point of view) is that we should make sure that everyone at least gets a chance to make that choice between life and death. And I don’t think God would kill us for not sharing the News, but it would be the feeling of remorse that would nag us.

      You raise an important point re: our lives are not saved because we share. We are saved because of His grace and love and mercy, yet when you have something incredibly good, I think it’s only natural to want to share it (especially when you have more than enough of it).

      Thanks for your encouragement and sharing your thoughts, Betty!

      • Betty Draper

        I think you are right on Zee on those verses. I remember hearing some of those old testament verse taught, like that one and being a young Christian it shook me. the thought their blood would drip from my hands was soul shaking. There is those in Malachi about robbing God and a curse on us if we don’t tithe. A preacher came to the church I got saved in and used that. Yet I had just learned the New Testament that I was not under condemnation anymore. Took me a little while but I got to the meat of those verse I knew I was not cursed even if I failed at giving at times. Now like you I think it is the same way about giving out the gospel. The more I understand God’s love for me the more I want to tell others and give and do and go. And you are so right we have more then enough mercy to pass around, every day we get new too. Any post that provokes discussion is a good post Zee. Keep them coming.

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