July 14

Ezekiel 31-33, Psalm 41

The purpose of a watchman on the wall in those days was to sound the warning of impending danger. The question we must all ask ourselves is: Are we currently answering the call as a watchman? This is not a designated gift but the responsibility of every person who calls themselves a Christian. Truthfully, though a Christian for 30 years, for over 20 years I refused to accept this role. I had the same excuses that everyone else uses: I don't have enough knowledge, I might be asked a question that I can't answer, it might be awkward, I might lose some friends in the process, etc. Not until evangelist Mark Cahill essentially put his finger in my chest and everyone else in the audience to choose one person that week to sound the alarm to. I accepted the challenge and my life forever changed. The woman who prayed over me when I found my mother dead in the hospital room was a watchman.

Chapter 33 is a transitional chapter in the book of Ezekiel. The first 32 chapters speak of judgment against Judah and Israel, then the surrounding nations. After this the remainder of the book focuses on restoration. What should open our eyes and make these judgments more real for us is in the final judgment against the Pharaoh of Egypt in Ezekiel 31-32, how often God warns him not just of earthly consequences and punishment but his future in hell. We read in Ezekiel 31:16, "I made the nations shake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to hell together with those who descend into the Pit;...". The role of the watchman is clearly presented in Ezekiel 33:3-6, "when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. ...But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand."

Unfortunately, if I were honest, there is much blood on my hands for my failure of those first 20 years. But we must realize that each and every one of us, who calls ourselves Christian, who accepted Christ's offer of salvation, in so doing has also accepted the role as watchman. This is true for both new and mature believers. Every believer should be armed with their testimony and be able to explain to others how God has changed their lives. If asked questions that we can't answer, we can either research it and get back to them ( good source is Got Questions. org), send them to a more mature Christian or get them into a Bible believing church and enable them to seek there. Notice the comment in Ezekiel 33:11, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?" We can do nothing about those who have already perished but hope that someone else sounded the alarm to them since we were negligent to do so. The watchman also often doesn't know who heeded the warning. Our role is to warn not force or coerce. The woman who warned me will probably never know the effect she had on me until we meet one day in heaven. As watchman we are not to pick winners and losers beforehand. We are to warn friends and enemies, those close and those who are acquaintances, those raised in a Christian denomination as well as those who are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. So the more important question is not whether we are actually a watchman, but whether or not those who have not yet accepted this responsibility will now do so before it is too late for some. I would like to offer that same challenge that Mark Cahill did, this week set your thoughts on one person and warn them and offer them the only message of hope available, Jesus Christ.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster