Monday, January 30 2023

Bible Reading for: August 30

Ezekiel 3-6

God mad Ezekiel a watchman holding him responsible for shouting a warning of impending doom. What about you? Are you a watchman?

Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps I am the only one among us, reading through the Bible together, who is hearing God’s call to love the Lost, to take His message to His people. The issue of election comes to mind. Election is a concept scattered throughout Scripture that states that God has “chosen” those that will be saved. I’ve put that as coarsely as I could for a reason.

We have a hard time accepting a God who doesn’t intend to save everyone. For some reason, we think that is unfair. Look at what Paul has to say about this issue:

Romans 9:14-24 ESV
“What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”

Brother, since the fall of Adam and Eve, the true desire of every human heart has been to be god. This means that every one of us deserves destruction. There is no one who deserves salvation; BUT God, in His mercy, has saved some of the undeserving for Himself. He made each of us, and He knew before He created us which of us would respond to the light; which of us would be obedient; which of us would be His children. Jesus is the light of the world, and He came to call the children of light home. The children of darkness will flee before His piercing light; the children of God will be drawn to the light.

Christ has ascended into heaven, but having placed His light within the hearts of His followers, He has sent them to pass that light to the rest of the Elect. You see, you can be a member of the Elect and not know it. You can be a member of the Elect and be angry and hateful toward Christians. I remind you of Paul himself who was personally responsible for the death of many saints. You and I cannot know who is a member of the Elect and who is not. We have not been given the luxury of being told beforehand to whom we should take the Gospel, just that we must take it to a lost and dying world. Whether those that hear the proclamation of the Gospel respond or not is God’s business; ours is to reflect the light. Listen to this from our reading today:

Ezekiel 3:10-11 ESV
“Moreover, he said to me, “Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.”

Brother, have you received the Word of God in your heart? Will you not go to your people, the “Elect”, to speak to them and say, “Thus says the Lord God”? Will you not go whether they hear or refuse to hear? No? It would be a mistake to refuse God.

Ezekiel 3:17-21 ESV
“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. But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

Here God is telling Ezekiel to be a watchman, to warn the Lost and the back-slider. He holds the sinner responsible for the sin but Ezekiel for the warning. Now you may well say to me that God was speaking to a specific person, Ezekiel, about a specific people, Jews, in a specific time and place, about 537 B.C. in Babylon. All of that is true, of course, but can you really sit there and tell me that this does not apply to you and me today? If God felt that way about warning the Lost and back-slider then, why would He feel differently today? If you are His child, He sent you to be a watchman as well.

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

He is speaking to you. Will you go? Will you warn the Lost? You do not have to go far. You are surrounded by the Lost. Will you be a watchman? All you must do is reflect the light of Jesus Christ. Speak the truth of the Gospel and the Elect will be drawn to it; the others will be repelled. So be it. He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and compassion on whom He will have compassion.

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,
Bill

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Reading Plans
Chronological Order: Ezekiel 9-12
Old Testament Only: Psalms 85–88
New Testament Only: 1 Corinthians 1:18–2:5

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