I have recently been really pumped up about evangelism. I had the opportunity to give a two day presentation on the matter earlier this year and I was reminded once again of my own personal lack of desire to open my mouth on God’s behalf.
I think we as Christians fool ourselves when we throw around the idea of “lifestyle evangelism.” This is the idea that the best way to share the gospel is by living it out. Here is the problem with this thought: the Gospel is a noun, it is a thing, a thing that is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is a message, and a concept that we do not have to appease God, yet the penalty has already been paid by Christ.
So you cannot necessarily live out a message, as much as you cannot live a noun. One’s life is changed in light of the message but the message itself most be spoken. Romans 10:14 says it best, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”
Don’t get me wrong living out your faith is a necessary mandate because when your actions do not align with what you say, you’re not fooling anyone. Matthew 5:16 “ Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
But I wonder how complacent we have become concerning our boldness to speak the Gospel. Not only to speak the gospel but to be a voice for justice and to speak out against unrighteousness.
I’ve been afraid. Afraid to speak the Gospel and afraid to speak truth because I didn’t want to be marginalized. I didn’t want to be a Bible thumper. I didn’t want to face the hard questions concerning the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. (As in all roads do not lead to the same God) With all the seminary training in the world I was still not so confident to open my mouth and say the Word’s of the Gospel:
John 3:16 ““For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Romans 10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”
So how does my regret to open my mouth relate to Ezekiel today? Ezekiel was tasked as a Watchman. Ezekiel 3:17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the words I speak and give them warning from me.”
A Watchman’s job was to sit up on the tower all through the night and guard the gate. They had a keen eye to spy out encroaching danger. Their job was to warn the people when danger came. If they fell asleep at their job, or got distracted on face book then the blood of the people was on their hand because they failed at their job.
So it makes sense that God says to Ezekiel ” When I say to a wicked person, You will surely die, and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable fro their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.” Ezekiel 3:18-19
It’s one thing to love people, feed the hungry and take care of the sick, as Christians that should be who we are. But the question is, Have we been a good watchman? Have we rang the bell? Do we sound the alarm in the face of danger? Have we shouted out to dissuade a brother or sister who is walking into eternal damnation. Have we opened our mouth? Do we have blood on our hands?