“Why Does a Preacher Preach”
Ezekiel 33:1- 7
- I will try to be as brief as possible in expounding on the word of the LORD given to Ezekiel and to pastors and preachers all over the world.
- God led me to these verses that I found very interesting while studying for our Thanksgiving message.
- This passage of scripture is about God’s judgments on Jerusalem and the nations that will bring Israel restoration in the future to her land.
- This chapter will provide God’s instructions for the nation of Israel to repent that leads to comfort and salvation.
- Ezekiel 33:1…Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2) Son of man, speak to the children of thy people,
- STOP right here for a second. The God of the O.T. is the same God of the N.T. and God comes to His priests, God comes to His called, His chosen, His anointed. Ezekiel writes that “…the LORD came unto me…” This is not a physical visitation but rather a spiritual visit of God to Ezekiel, just like God’s pastors, priests and so on today will receive the word of God that He wishes His children to hear.
- 2b…and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3) If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4) Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5) He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
- These verses simply tell us that the destruction of Jerusalem came as a just act of God who had warned them to repent and they did not.
- Ezekiel was forbidden to speak to his people from chapter 24:26, 27 until Jerusalem was captured.
- Jeremiah and Ezekiel were “watchmen” commissioned of God to warn the people of a sword that will be brought on his people so that they had opportunity to prepare and be safe.
- These verses are a true fact of the practice of the Jews to set guards upon the walls of Jerusalem to be watchful of enemies approaching and they would blow a trumpet to warn the people to prepare for whatever may befall the city and its inhabitants.
- In verses 2-5 we see where God tells Ezekiel of how He will judge the watchmen and His people. (Remember Ezekiel is a “watchman” and today pastors and priests are watchmen)
- The first 10 verses here in Ezekiel 33 are the same as verses 17-22 of chapter 3 in Ezekiel.
- In Ezekiel 3, God appoints the watchman, and here in Ezekiel 33, the people chose the watchman.
- God always appoints or anoints the man of God, but the people must follow the Spirit’s leading to chose the man of God to lead them.
I. I (God) Have Set Thee a Watchman
A) To preach unto the house of Israel
- Note verses 1-6, and for a brief summary of what God is telling Ezekiel let us know that God is telling the prophet Ezekiel His rule to live by.
- What is the rule?
- God will appoint a man to protect and lead His people.
- God will always bring a sword upon a land of sinners, a judgment upon His children for their actions. ALWAYS.
- People are to choose a watchman to oversee the land and its people.
- When sin and corruption are evidenced and a judgment of God is coming, the watchman is to warn the people.
- If the watchman warns of judgment to come and the people ignore the warning, their blood is on their own hands.
- If the watchman does not warn the people of their sin and the judgment to come, then the blood of the people will be on the watchman’s hands.
- Like I said before…God does not change (Mal. 3:6). When God gives your pastor the word he wants them to hear, they need to pay attention and repent if they are guilty.
- Yes, this passage of scripture is telling us of God’s word to Israel but it also speaks to us today and reminds us of how God thinks, how God judges, how God responds to the non-repentant heart.
- WHY DOES A PREACHER PREACH? Because God put him there to preach. God anointed him to preach.
- God has set pastors and evangelists in the midst of the nations to declare His Word and protect the people from God’s judgment for their sins.
B) Warning to the watchman
- Look at Ezekiel 33:6…But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. 7) So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
- God has appointed the watchman to warn the people of judgment to come. “IF” the watchman fails to warn the people (fails to preach what God has given him to preach) then, the blood of those people are on the watchman’s hands.
- Note verse 7 reminds us of this… God set (appointed) the watchman to God’s people, the watchman is to hear the word from the mouth of God (understand the Bible and be led by the Spirit of God), and the watchman is to warn the people of what God has revealed to him (the watchman).
- The watchman is under the strict rule of God to deliver the message of God to His people to see that they repent of their sins and live a holy life that is acceptable unto God.
- Some people get a wrong perspective on things and say that the pastor is just picking on people and trying to find fault with others and act more holy than the members of the church.
- In reality, at least for me, I study the word of God intensely and in depth. I do not sit down with my Bible in hand to write out all the issues of every church member and force them to repent by speaking loudly from the pulpit.
- It is not my duty to scare people into repenting. Or scare them into accepting Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
- It is my duty as pastor of the Silent Bible Baptist Church to “feed the flock (preach the word of God).”
- If people hear the word preached and repent, I will leap for joy as the angels do for every soul that comes to repent.
- If the people do not respond to the message from God given to me and they do not repent, their blood is off my hands and placed in their own hands.
II. To Cause the Wicked to Repent
A) Failing to preach repentance
- Look at verse 8…When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
- God always gives sinners an opportunity to repent. ALWAYS.
- Looking at this verse 8, we must understand that God will not literally come up to you and say “You are going to die, so repent now!”
- Every person on the face of this earth is born with a conscience. God puts it in us at birth. Even a baby knows when it does something wrong. The baby loves to test the parents or guardians to the limit at times.
- We adults are babies too. We test God by our actions, our sins, our ignorance, failure to follow His Commandments, and most of all our repeated sins.
- God knows when and if a person will repent. He also knows when a person will not repent. He still gives them ample time to repent.
- The word or form of the word “repent” is in the KJV 110 times. This does not include the terms mentioned in the bible that mean the same as repent such as “turn from” or “turn away from.”
- Sins are to be brought to the attention of the sinner by the man of God who is placed in the honorable position to lead God’s sheep.
- It is an honor to be called pastor, priest, preacher, or missionary and etc. It is not a so called “right” to be a man of God, it is an honor.
- Failure to preach about the sins of the people will bring the judgment of Jesus Christ upon the man of God responsible for the sheep He is given by God to watch over.
- In a sermon already prepared for the near future we will come to know that another name for a pastor, priest, or man of God is a “watchman.” He watches for their souls and watches in protection of any possible threats (Physical or spiritual) to their welfare.
- The last part of verse 8 says “…but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Anytime a pastor fails to preach or bring to the attention of someone their sin and give them an opportunity to repent…the blood of the sinner is on their hand.
B) Preaching repentance
- Now look at verse 9) Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
- This verse is as clear as the rocky mountain spring water from Colorado. If I may paraphrase the meaning I would say “If you warn wicked people of their sins and to turn from them or God will bring judgment to them, and they do not listen or pay attention to the warning or preaching and keep on sinning anyway, then they will die with that sin on their account to stand before Christ at the Judgment Seat (Bema seat) of Christ and answer to Jesus Christ for their sin. But you as a preacher have been cleared of their blood on you and have delivered your soul from judgment.
- In our study of Acts 20 on Wednesday nights we saw Paul say in verse 26 “ Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.” Paul could make this claim because he went around from city to city preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ without apology and made many mad, upset, offended, feelings hurt, and etc. Paul preached it hard pounding the gospel into their heads. He did not want their blood on his hands.
- Please do not misunderstand the scriptures as to mean that real blood will be spilled or physically on their hands.
- Realize this that sins are judged differently and some carry swift judgment and others long term judgment. Some sins require the judgment of immediate death or eventual death.
Example: Smokers damage their body (which is to be a “temple of the Lord”) and considered to be a sin. Smoke a lot, die sooner.
Example: Homosexuality carries the judgment of aids along with other venereal diseases. Some die soon and others later.
Example: Driving over the speed limit is a matter of breaking the law and carries with it a “fine.” God commands us to obey the laws of the land. Death can occur as a judgment if you keep driving 90mph in rain sleet and snow tempting God.
- I could give you millions of examples of sins that people do not realize that it is sin.
- A preacher’s duty is to bring His sheep to repentance by showing them their sin and then it is up to the sheep to respond and repent of their sin or reject the preaching of the word of God.
III. To See Us Live
A) God wants His children to live
- Again, Ezekiel is being commanded by God to preach in Ezekiel 33:10… Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying,
- Now note what God commands Ezekiel to preach on…
- “…If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11) Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Make them realize first of all that they are burdened down with the weight of their sin which ultimately causes them to give up thinking that they can never be forgiven and are doomed for death and destruction. Remind them that God wants to see them turn from their wicked ways and live. It is not that the preachers want to pick on sinners and point out their faults. God wants the preacher to preach with conviction and show them their wickedness and cause them to repent so that they can live.
- Verse 12) Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: Just because you are doing more right than wrong does not give you a free pass on the judgment of God and His punishment for sin.
- “…as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. Speaking to the wicked (Those who continually sin in a lost condition) when they truly repent God will overlook their sin to a point where their punishment for sin will not bring death or destruction. But the righteous may enter death upon the day of his sin if he fails to repent of it.
- Verse 13) When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Remind the people that just because they were more righteous than others does not mean that God will not bring death upon them for their sin.
- Verse 14) Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 15) If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. Verse 16) None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
God wants Ezekiel to tell the wicked that if they turn from their sin and start doing what is right according to the laws of man and God, and pay back or give back what was stolen and live righteously for the rest of his life, then God will allow him to live a longer and more prosperous life.
- People of Ezekiel’s time are no different than those of today. Notice this last verse this morning as we see their response to the preaching of Ezekiel in verse 17) Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. 18) When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. 19) But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
- Did you notice the words that are like ours today in that they said “…The way of the Lord is not equal:” In translating into today’s quotes it would be the same as “God is not being fair with us.”
- How many times do you hear people say “That’s not fair!”
- Everybody thinks they are deserving of the same treatment as everybody else. This is a problem in the world today and causes more heartache than they realize by trying to treat everyone fair or equal.
- With God there is a certain amount of equality but for the most part there is not equal treatment as we see it. God looks on the heart not the works or action. His judgment is right and just.
B) A final reminder
- Now look at verse 20) Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
- God reminds them that He judges them according to their ways which comes from the heart and soul of a man/woman.
- God is a just judge and requires holiness from His children and to keep holy they must repent of their ways and do that which is right in God’s eyes, and not their own.
- If you are like Israel and think that God is not fair, then you better think again and repent (Turn from your wicked thoughts and doings) and live.