Tuesday, September 5, 2017
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He was in Singapore when he got word of a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean and the possibility of a killer tsunami that could be headed for land; land that included his own village in India. He knew what he had to do. Desperately, he tried to reach his family there by means of a cell phone, and they answered. He warned them about the approaching danger, and they in turn warned the entire village of some 150 people. Within minutes they all were headed for high ground. The tsunami did hit that village full force. The homes were destroyed, the boats were destroyed, but every single person from that village survived.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Warning is the Difference."
People that Indian man cared about, people who otherwise would have died, are alive today for a simple reason-because of one man who gave the warning.
For every person you care about, every person in your personal world, whether they live or die eternally depends on that same urgent act of love-someone giving the warning. Warning that God's judgment for our lifetime of sinning is coming our way for all of us. The Bible makes clear that "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27). We're all guilty of rebellion against God; making ourselves the center of our lives where our Creator is the only One who belongs there. But the warning of God's Word declares not only the bad news of the inevitable death penalty for our sin, but the wonderful Good News of where the high ground is. It's that hill where Jesus died to pay the death penalty that we all deserve. The lives of people around you can literally be saved forever if someone gives them the warning.
To be sure, God's the One who draws them to Jesus. He's the one who saves the lost. But we're His plan - you and I - for pointing them His direction. And our silence is a fatal silence. That's why God has made our responsibility vividly clear in a number of places in Scripture, including our word for today from the Word of God. In Ezekiel 3, beginning with verse 16, God's challenge to His prophet mirrors what He is expecting of us who know the way to eternal safety; some of the most sobering words in the Bible, "I have made you a watchman." You're the one on the wall who can see the danger coming and whom God holds responsible for warning the people around you.
Listen, He goes on to say, "When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood." Whether or not you think you're responsible to warn the people you know, God obviously thinks you are, and He's going to judge you accordingly. Like that man who called his village to warn the people he loved, God has given you life-saving information-information which they must have in order to have a chance at heaven. You know it. They don't. It's up to you in the power of God's Spirit. Whatever consequences you're afraid of if you tell them about Jesus, they can't even compare to the consequences if you don't tell them.
Just before God spoke this challenge, He led His messenger to just spend some time among the people the he was being sent to rescue. Ezekiel says, "I sat among them for seven days-overwhelmed." Would you just look at the spiritual needs around you. Let God give you His eyes to see what He sees when He looks at the people you know-the future inhabitants of hell-unless they find out how to get to heaven.
Let God overwhelm you, even break your heart for the precious people within your reach. Pray for God to open their heart, to open a door for you to speak to them, and to open your mouth when He does. Because the wave is coming, but they don't have to die. No, if you'll just give them the warning.