Raised To New Life
I am so excited about our “New Life” class, happening on Sunday, April 7.
If you have turned your life over to Christ, and are wondering “now what?” THIS is the class for you.
Maybe you have become a Christian, but you haven’t taken that very important first step of obedience by being baptized. THIS is the class for you.
In this class, we will go over what salvation really is, how to have a life-changing relationship with Jesus, and we will even write out our own testimonies! All in less than two hours! It is a great start to a “new life!”
Just tap the icon here to sign up for the “NEW LIFE” class on Sunday, April 7.
Okay, seriously… Do you really need a verse to know that we should do everything we can at our church to protect everyone there? Especially our children? Do we really need a Bible study on this?
So, why do you think there are SO MANY pastors and churches out there that literally decline to implement safety plans for their congregations?
Believe it or not, I have heard of many pastors who just won’t take basic steps to deter becoming a headline. I think most are lulled into a false sense of security because it hasn’t happened to them. It is definitely the kind of thing that feels like it can only happen “somewhere else,” such as a giant, metropolitan, megachurch.
BUT, 2017’s mass shooting at Sutherland Springs, TX was at a small church in a rural area. Of Texas. It can literally happen anywhere. Shouldn’t all churches be ON THIS?
At one point in the Old Testament, God chose Ezekiel to be Israel’s “Watchman…” To be the guy who stood in the gap for his people:
Ezekiel 33:1–2 (NLT)
Once again a message came to me from the LORD: “Son of man, give your people this message: ‘When I bring an army against a country, the people of that land (the land being attacked) choose one of their own to be a watchman.”
Interesting. God is describing what happens to Israel when they are attacked by another nation. According to what God himself is saying here, who is the one who brings the attacking army?
What does this say about God and His plan?
I think that this is a great example of God’s sovereignty, and that ALL goes according to His plan. Even the attacks of the enemy. As long as He is in control, nothing is unplanned.
Hey.. I preached a message on that right after my parents’ awful car accident a few weeks ago. It has WAY more views than any other recent message. Maybe it will be helpful to you.
Okay.. Back to the story
God continues to instruct Ezekiel about his role as his nation’s watchman:
Ezekiel 33:3–5 (NLT)
“When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.”
According to this, who’s responsibility is it to sound the warning to the people? Who’s job is it to “take action?”
How serious is this responsibility? What is the result if they don’t take action, and who’s responsibility is that?
But there is another level of responsibility:
Ezekiel 33:6 (NLT)
“But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.”
So, clearly the watchman bears the ultimate responsibility for his nation taking their stand. Do you get the feeling that this is important to God? Why?
Does this/should this convey the seriousness with which we, the church leadership, should take our responsibility?
What does this imply about those pastors/church leaders who will not step up in this role?
It doesn’t stop there
This is not only about safety from a potential attacker. God clearly has a spiritual component that Ezekiel the Prophet is responsible for:
Ezekiel 33:7–9 (NLT)
“Now, son of man, I am making you a watchman for the people of Israel. Therefore, listen to what I say and warn them for me. If I announce that some wicked people are sure to die and you fail to tell them to change their ways, then they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn them to repent and they don’t repent, they will die in their sins, but you will have saved yourself.”
What does this say about our responsibility to be the watchman for people around us?
Who, specifically, am I the watchman for? How am I taking on that responsibility?
Your BEST opportunity to take on that responsibility this entire year is coming up just 21 days from this message. Do you have a plan to stand up for your neighbor, your co-worker, your friend?
As you close, pray by name for people you are the watchman for.
Use your paper invitation this week. You can also share this website with someone you know: