Every Monday at noon the local sirens go off. They are tested so that they can be ready to give the citizens of our community fair warning of bad weather. Most of us have our cell phone listed with emergency services so that if bad weather is headed our way we get both a text and a call. We embrace the warning because if something is coming our way we want to be prepared. But how do we warn of what will arrive with the end of our lives? Don’t we need to be prepared to face God? Jesus says there may be some surprises.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ – Matthew 7:21-23
God was coming to His people in judgment in the days of the prophet Ezekiel. And Ezekiel was given a responsibility. Ezekiel called to be a watchman to Israel, their warning system. He had a two-fold responsibility: he was to hear the word from God and then give that word to the people. God’s method has always been to use those who are in touch with Him, in order to reach those out of touch with Him. Ezekiel was not called to convert them. His only responsibility was to warn them.
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. – Ezekiel 3:17-18
We often speak of evangelism, the task of winning souls. But in reality that is not our responsibility, that is the work of the Spirit. Our work is to warn. Our responsibility is sharing our concern, our testimony, and the word God has given us. Those who receive our warning and testimony are responsible before God, for what they do with what God has given us to share with them.
God has called all of us. God’s call on our lives is first to salvation – then to service. Jesus said, “Come unto Me.” As soon as one comes He says, “Take My yoke upon you.” God has given grace to us so that our lives might have reason. That grace-given purpose is to join Christ in service. God seeks to use those of us who are in touch with Him to reach the lives of those who are not in touch with Him. God holds us responsible to be watchmen for the lost.
God said to Ezekiel: if you do not warn them, their blood is on your hands. But if you warn them, you have delivered your own soul. If we observe someone that is out of touch with God, we should warn that person that God is not pleased, and if they do not change their relationship with God, their eternity will not be enjoyable. We are not to condemn them. We don’t have to preach to people. We don’t have to argue over other religions. We don’t have to defend God, the Bible, or our faith. If they sincerely ask honest questions, seek to answer them. If they seek to argue, just restate your concern and let it go at that. We must be diligent to trust God and fulfill our responsibility.