Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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You are Called to be a Watchman
Ezek 33:1:9

1 And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2 "Son of man, speak to the sons of your people, and say to them, 'If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman; 3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land, and he blows on the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his {own} head. 5 'He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. 6 'But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand.' 7 "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 shall 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. (NAS)

Introduction Thursday I walked into Richards Brother's store and stopped at the door to look for Ron Hall. A line had formed in front of Ron's desk and a young man standing at the end of the line ask me "are you the man". I told him "I'm the man". He then proceeded to give me a job application.

I finally got to tell him I am not employed here I am looking for the owner myself. But today I want to tell every Christian "you are Called (hired) as a watchman.

As we look further at the text I want us to see the job description of a watchman.

1. The . .Work of a Watchman

2. The . .Witness of a Watchman

3. The . .Wages of a Watchman
 

1. The . .Work of a Watchman. Exek. 33:1-6


A. The Work of Watching. v 1-3
And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2 "Son of man, speak to the sons of your people, and say to them, 'If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman; 3 and he sees the sword coming upon the land, and he blows on the trumpet and warns the people,

B. The Work of Warning. v 4-6 4 then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his {own} head. 5 'He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. 6 'But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand.'

Illustration Topic: Warnings Index: 1794-1799 Date: 10/1987.27

When the unsinkable Titanic sank, warning after warning had been sent to tell them they were speeding into an ice-field. But the messages were ignored. In fact, when a nearby ship sent an urgent warning, the Titanic was talking to Cape Race about the time chauffeurs were to meet arriving passengers at the dock, and what menus were to be ready.

Preoccupied with trivia, the Titanic responded to the warning: "Shut up. I am talking to Cape Race. You are jamming my signals."

Illustration

As a boy I lived very close to two railroad crossings; both of them had watchman who would lower the gate when a train came. Once a man was killed because the gate was not lowered. They found the watchman asleep on the job.

Application

Let me inject some modern day warnings that people do not heed.

The warnings about Tobacco. The warnings are increasing; as we get an age limit about purchasing and limits on displaying tobacco products.

One of our men told me about a cure a doctor told him to take to end his use of tobacco. The cure is this you fill your coffee pot with water and then insert 4 cigars; boil this like regular coffee and drink the liquid. It will make you so sick you'll never want to smoke or chew again.

The warnings about Alcohol. The warnings come as we see and hear the problems cause by alcohol and its' abuse on the body. Recently I heard about a case were a person had surgery and could not take any of the medicines they were prescribing. Alcohol had so abuse the body they had a reaction to the medicines. They finally did an MRI and discovered brain damage from chronic alcoholism.

Friends I believe the power of the gospel can aid a person in heeding these warnings. The work of the watchman is to Watch and Warn..

The warnings about a society that neglects the Bible.

Do you see the article in T V Guide last week? It had several articles related to God and Television. They did their own poll and found out 56% of people polled said more attention should be given to religion.

When you look at the history of our nation you find the Ten Commandments were taught in the textbooks and moral standards started in the home.

2. The . .Witness of a Watchman. v 7-9


This passage is to the Prophet Ezekiel. It should be taken seriously by every minister. It should also be seen as a call to every Christian because we are told all Christians are witnesses. Look at Acts 8:1-4.

A. The Witness is to . . Watch. v 7

7 "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.

B. The Witness is to . . Warn. v 8-9

1. A Warning not . . Heard. v 8

8 "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall 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.

2. A Warning not . . Heeded. v 9

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. (NAS)

Illustration

Years ago a Pharmacist received a message on his phone that a man was going to be shot. He sent his son to warn the man to get out of town or to the police station. It was an urgent message and he told his son not to delay in getting the message to the man.

The boy had his sling shot with him and he decided to shot a rock at a bird on the telegraph wire. He wounded the bird and stopped to pick it up and try to repair the injury. He then ran on to deliver the message. When he got to the home no one answered.

He went back to his father's store and his dad came to him with a very saddened face and said "son did you go straight to the house as I ask you to do." The boy said "yes but no one was home." He handed his dad the note and the father saw blood on the note and ask "where did this blood come from." The boy then told his dad about the bird. He then said "son this is not the blood of a bird. It's the blood of a man for as you tarried with a bird a man died."

ApplicationDo we stop to play when we should be warning?

3. The . . Wages of a Watchman. v 8-9

A. Wages for . . Failure. v 8

8 "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall 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.

B. Wages for . . Faithfulness. v 9

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. (NAS)

1. We can be faithful by . . Cultivating Converts.

2. We can be faithful by . . Consistent Concern.

Illustration

When we moved back to St. Louis from California we bought a lot in a brand new sub-division. We wanted a lot on a circle drive but all those lots were taken. The builder had only six models to choose from and the model we chose would only fit on certain lots. The lot we took as a second choice was on the Northwest corner of the subdivision entrance.

One day the salesman called and told us another lot had become available on a circle drive and it would accommodate the home we wanted. We took that lot but kept noticing the corner lot to see what home would be built on it.

Bob and Glenna Taylor bought the corner lot and seemed to always be working in their yard or on the house. Their lawn was almost manicured. I felt like the Lord wanted me to stop and witness to these folks but I just kept putting it off.

One day I was out in my front yard and the Taylors came walking by. I tried to speak to them but Bob was anything but friendly. I still felt I should stop by and invite them to church. I didn't; but guess who show up in church one Sunday Morning. Yes Bob and Glenna, and I got to lead them both to the Lord.

3. We can be faithful by . . Constant Commitment.

a. All of us have ups and downs.

!) We get slack at times.

2) We need to work at consistency

Illustration A Man Who Keeps the Fire Burning

The other day a friend of mine related to me the inspiring story of an older man who would not move when the Tennessee Valley Authority was creating the large body of water by the Chickamauga Dam near Chattanooga. Time and time again the authorities tried to persuade the old man to leave his house, but to no avail. One authority after another came to visit him even explaining to him that everyone else had sold their property to the government, and he must move before that area was flooded. He still resolutely refused to leave the old home place that was scheduled to soon be under several hundred feet of water.

Finally, one man who seemed to have a great deal of wisdom and grace was chosen to visit the stubborn old man. He sat down with the old man and asked him why he would not move. He asked him if the price was too small. He asked him if he has a dislike for any of the officials that had come to visit him. He simply said, "No, my only problem is that when my grand dad built this home, he put a fire in the fireplace and he said, 'Son, I've never let the fire go out in that fireplace and don't you ever let it go out.' My dad told him he never would. When my dad was near death he repeated the words of his father to me. He said 'Son, I've never let the fire go out in that fireplace and don't you ever let it go out. Will you promise me?' I told him that I promised. So, you see sir, I cannot leave this place or the fire will go out." The man of wisdom who was negotiating for the TVA said, "Well, what if we build you a large beautiful home up on this mountain and I have my friends to come and they will remove that fire very carefully, put it into a wheelbarrow and take it, still burning and put it in your new fireplace and the fire will never go out?" The old man said with a smile on his face, "Why, if they had told me that in the first place I would have already moved. I'll be glad to do that as long as we can keep the fire burning."

So, today you can go up tot the mountain and see the old man's beautiful home and the smoke coming out of the chimney. There is always a fire burning there. Whether great or small it is always burning. When people drive by they ponder about the beautiful mansion. Could it be a doctor's home? Could it be the home of a famous attorney? Could it be an accomplished political figure? NO, that man is in a mansion on a mountain top because he kept the fire burning.

Application

We are all hired to be Watchman. We are not to let the fire go out. It is an assignment from our Lord.

We are hired as Watchman.

1. The . .Work of a Watchman

2. The . .Witness of a Watchman

3. The . .Wages of a Watchman