This verse in Ezekiel has consequences for the believer and the unbeliever. Sometimes believers do not fully understand the commandment to carry the Gospel message. When we have an opportunity to tell someone of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, it is more than an obligation it is a command. It is a command that has consequences.
In a politically correct world it may be uncomfortable, but Jesus said to count the cost and follow Him. The love of our fellow man should be enough to make us want to share this message; especially when as believers we know the fate that faces each lost soul. Read these verses in Ezekiel and see this warning.
Ezekiel33.8 If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
Now read two biblical scholars comments on these two verses and compare them to my comments.
“Warning others of the consequences of judgment inherent in sin is never a popular assignment. Believers have a duty to be “watchmen” who warn those who are in the world and are without God of the destructive nature of sin and its final irrevocable result—death and hell (33:1–33). Our responsibility is to warn and proclaim as persuasively as possible, but how the message is received is beyond our control”.
Derek Thomas has spelled out the seriousness of this matter in these words:
“We are held accountable for the witness we bear to the lost. Failure to warn a sinner of the consequence of sin renders us ‘accountable for his blood’ (Ezek. 33:8). Christians can expect to be judged for their failures in evangelism when an opportunity for witness has been given them.”
Published on Sunday, October 23, 2011 @ 6:53 PM CDT