“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
In my last blog post I discussed the critical divide with being liked and accepted by the world because of our convictions (or lack thereof) or identifying with Jesus and His Word/commands, whatever the cost. Toward the end I mentioned that we cannot stray from the commands of Christ to proclaim the gospel to the world and make disciples; the purpose of this blog posting.
Strong words were given to the prophet Ezekiel about his role. I believe that there is direct application as we consider the Great Commission given to us by Jesus Christ.
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ (Ezekiel 33:1-6)
Six hundred years before the Great Commission, Ezekiel was appointed the Lord’s watchman, warning Israel of their sins and need for repentance. Responsibility to sound the alarm is placed upon the watchman when attack is imminent. A watchman who does not sound the alarm is almost as useless as a three-legged guard dog. Sure, the dog may be visible, but really isn’t very useful when it comes time to stop an intruder. Likewise, a silent watchman really isn’t useful in their appointed duties.
Like the prophet Ezekiel, as Christ-followers, we have been given our “marching orders”. We are to proclaim Christ and make Him known to a lost and dying world. We are to “sound the alarm” as watchmen on the wall seeing the coming attack. Yet, despite the billions in the world and the hundreds of unsaved in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools on a current trajectory toward an eternal hell of conscious punishment as the wages of their sin, I fear that we are often the silent watchmen on the wall by remaining silent. This silence and inaction does not go unnoticed by our Lord and we will be accountable to Him, like Ezekiel’s watchman.
Our accountability before God as it relates to our lives lived is evident in several passages:
- …their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Corinthians 3:13-15)
- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
- Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
Personally, I am easily distracted and fearful to share Christ with those placed in my world. I pray for a renewed focus and boldness leading toward obedience to proclaim Christ to the lost around me in these dark days because time is short and I am responsible to Him to whom I will one day give an account of my life lived in Him. It is my prayer that the church, especially in Rockford and throughout America would gain the same perspective/passion. I challenge you to make this your prayer also.