WHAT ARE THE PARAMETERS OF OUR COMMANDMENT TO GIVE A WARNING?


Ezekiel 3:16-21 – “At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 “Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. 20 “Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 “However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.”  NASB

Ezekiel 33:7-20 – “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. 8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will 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 from your hand. 9 “But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life. 10 “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?”‘ 11 “Say to them, ‘ As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ 12 “And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, ‘The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’ 13 “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. 14 “But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, 15 if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 16 ” None of his sins that he has committed will be remembered against him. He has practiced justice and righteousness; he shall surely live. 17 “Yet your fellow citizens say, ‘The way of the Lord is not right,’ when it is their own way that is not right. 18 “When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, then he shall die in it. 19 “But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and practices justice and righteousness, he will live by them. 20 “Yet you say, ‘ The way of the Lord is not right.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”  NASB

I fully realize that I have used a very long passage as my text today but did so purposefully.  I realize that this was spoken to the prophet in Ancient Israel but believe that the heart of the message is applicable for today on every level of life.  I believe that this applies to individuals, churches, governmental entities, schools, and other organizations that have the opportunity to be privy to information as well as having the opportunity to sound this needed alarm.

It applies to what we would classically call “sin”, but does it not equally apply to every facet of life?  If we see something that is morally, ethically, socially, politically, spiritually, relationally, domestically, economically, or historically wrong are we not obligated by our Christian values to sound the alarm?  But what if the Government warns us to be silent?  Would that not place us in the same predicament as the disciples of our Lord when they were warned to speak no more in the name of Jesus?  Peter’s response should be our response, “Whom shall we obey, God or man?”

Therefore, it is my conviction that if I, as a Christian see people heading down a path to moral destruction it is my Christian obligation to warn them.  If I, as a Christian, entity, church, organization, or political party see a path being taken that is destroying people’s freedom to worship freely and live rightly dare I remain silent? 

If I see the murder of innocent unborn babies and remain silent what does God think of my silence? Read the above passages and I believe you will get the idea of how He feels.  If I see the inalienable rights of individuals trampled upon, political manipulation that separates and divides peoples and nations dare I sit back and say, “Separation of Church and State as my excuse for silence?”  Does the threat of the I.R.S. pulling my 501-C-3 status justify my silence or do I have a larger mandate regarding right?

If I saw someone about to, unknowingly, ingest poison would I be morally and spiritually okay to be silent?  If I saw a crime being committed and had the ability to call the police or give warning and ailed to do so, would my silence be justified, or would I be guilty of the innocent blood being shed through my silence when speaking out would have prevented it or minimized it?

We must proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to whomever, whenever, and wherever.  We must also warn of impending perils as we see them coming upon individuals, nations, and peoples no matter the cost to us personally.  To do less is an affront to the Grace of God.  So, I call upon individual believers, pastors, churches, politicians, and other leaders to Become Watchmen on the Walls in these perilous times.  Christianity is more than just passively living in our little circles disturbing no one and flying under the radar.  It may mean putting your head on the line for right and that may be costly.

My question is, “How much is your faith worth to you?”  “How much does God expect of us as we become aware of wickedness or wicked actions or policies?”  Today, it is time that the Body of Christ rise up and stand as the prophets of old and get in the faces of kings when necessary and declare, “You are the one from whence the trouble is originating.”  God will protect us or take us home but either way we will have stood for right!

May God bless you as you go through this day in Him!

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