Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me. (Ezek 3:17)
In the book of Ezekiel, God appointed Ezekiel to be a watchman twice. His mission was to warn the Israelites of coming judgments. However, his mission was also to preach a message of hope. The message of hope was given only to the righteous “remnant”.
Jesus told His disciples, “…be witnesses to Me…” (Act 1:8) before He ascended to heaven. He also told His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Mt 28:19,20)
Jesus bids His believers to be His witnesses and watchmen like Ezekiel. What are our messages? Today we have the good news of forgiveness, the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18,19), and the good news that believers can receive the in-dwelling Holy Spirit in the true church.
We are ambassadors, and we have the mission to bring the message of reconciliation to people around us. We also have the mission to spread the good news that the latter rain – the Holy Spirit has come down. We can receive the Holy Spirit, speak in tongue, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and be transformed by the Holy Spirit to live a Christ-centered new life.
The word “gospel” means “good news”. What bad news is part of the good news? People also need to hear the bad news as Ezekiel was commissioned by God to give warnings. The bad news is that whoever does not believe will be condemned, and that each individual is accountable for his/her own actions (2 Cor 5:10). There is a final judgment for everybody. The importance of each person’s accountability before God was also a central part of Ezekiel’s message.
Ezekiel was to give God’s message to the people “whether they listen or not”. We too, also need to tell the good news “whether it is in season or out of season” (2 Tit 4:2). The measure of Ezekiel’s success was not how well the people responded to his message, but how well he obeyed God. God will not judge us for how well others respond to our faith, but for how faithful we have been. As Ezekiel was commissioned as a watchman for Israel, so are we commissioned as Jesus Christ’s witnesses.