America’s Watchmen on the Wall
Ezekiel was 30 years old and living among the Israelites in Tel Aviv during the Babylonian captivity. God called him to preach, be a prophet and share a message. “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them (Ezekiel 3:4). God was telling Ezekiel, “This isn’t going to be easy, the house of Israel will not listen to you because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted” (Ezekiel 3:7). Ezekiel was so overwhelmed at the calling of God he went to Tel Aviv and sat among his people for seven days trying to comprehend what had just happened to him.
During those seven days, Ezekiel was bitter and in much turmoil. He was being asked to share an unpopular message with an unreceptive people. He was feeling trepidation, but God’s callings are without repentance. (Romans 11:29) So, he set out to obey God. “At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 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. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.” (Ezekiel 3:16-19)
What did it mean to be a “watchman”? A watchman was a sentry, someone who would stand on the wall of the city, looking for any danger or threat. If the watchman saw an invading army on the horizon or if he observed a riot or a fire within the city, his job was to sound the alarm, to warn the people.
We Have an Awesome Responsibility to be Watchmen for America
We have an unpopular message that God wants us to deliver to an unreceptive people. For those who deny the existence of God, we declare the reality of a living God. To those who would deny that Christ is the Son of God, we declare him to be not just the Son of God, he is the great ‘I am’, he is one with God Almighty. For those who want to live in their sin and reject the salvation of God, we declare to them that he sacrificed his very son that we might be saved to the uttermost.
As servants of the living God, as watchmen on the wall, what message does God want us to share with America today? We as watchmen on the wall need to fight for the soul of America.
America auctioned its soul in back in the 1960′s.
Napoleon said, “In order to establish the revolution you have to destroy the past.”
Bob Dylan wrote a song that captured the sense of revolution: The Times They Are A Changin’
“Come Senators, Congressman,
Please head the call.
Don’t block the doorway,
Don’t block up the hall.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
Don’t criticize what you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one,
If you can’t lend a hand
For your times, they are a changin’.”
The cultural or sexual revolution of the ’60′s changed our lives forever.
Those still traveling the old road are despised and rejected. The rebels have built a new road thereby attempting to change America’s destiny:
• It is no longer about us, it is now about ‘me’.
• We are no longer citizens of America, we are citizens of the world
• Sex is no longer pro-creational, it is now simply recreational.
• Marriage has been replaced by cohabitation
• Faithfulness in marriage is scorned and divorce is expected
• We hand our children condoms rather than teach them abstinence.
• Woman as bread-winners are admired while women as mothers are scorned.
• Gay marriage is morally accepted while sodomy is no longer a moral outrage.
• The people no longer determine their own government, the courts now decide how we are governed.
• Free speech is now replaced by politically correct speech and self-appointed speech police enforce their unwritten laws.
• The irrational has replaced common sense.
• Animals are given more rights than humans, especially the unborn.
• Eastern religion is replacing western spirituality
• The true and only God is replaced by the Force.
• “I am the way” has been replaced by “There are many ways to heaven”
• Easter has been replaced by Earth Day
• Merry Christmas has been replaced by Happy Holidays
• Christian America has now become a society of religious mongrels.
It took 2,000 years to mold the building blocks that would be used to establish a great country like America. It only took one generation for those blocks to crumble to dust. As watchmen on a crumbling wall we must rise up like our forefathers and with similar courage and boldness. We must declare that God is still sovereign, he still hears the voices of millions of Christians living in a pagan culture. His power has not been diminished one iota! We are blessed if he chooses to smile on us and we are cursed if he chooses to frown on our rebellion.
We as Watchmen on the Wall are Commanded to Separate Ourselves
“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17 Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4).
Let me share with you three lies Christians often believe:
- We believe that prosperity is a fruit of the Spirit. If you have really given your heart to Jesus he will make you wealthy. We are told that somewhere in the Bible Jesus said: “If you believe in me:
You will be prosperous
You will be healthy
You will get a better job
You will find a spouse
You will be spared physical illness or pain.
This is a lie!
God never promised us a rose garden. This health and wealth gospel is cotton candy theology that has replaced the real meat and potato gospel of Christ. Ministers are more concerned about making people feel good so they will come back. A real watchman on the wall will declare that Christ is the Messiah, he died on a cross, he rose from the dead and “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17) He came as a lamb to the slaughter so we might be saved and have a relationship with him. A real watchman must say that when he comes a second time he will not come as a lamb, he will come on white steed with sword in his hand and he will administer a fiery judgment on all of the injustice that has been done in this world.
- Christians often believe that a simple prayer said at age eight or nine is all Christ requires to get to heaven. Are you a Christian? “Yes, I walked the aisle when I was seven years old.” “Yes, I said the Sinner’s Prayer at age ten”. Jesus never taught such easy believism. There was nothing easy about Christ’s purchase of our salvation: “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Jesus was a watchman and his message was: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus shared an unpopular message with an unreceptive people: “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3) Jesus said this, even though he knew it would hasten his own death, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except though Me” (John 14:6).
The message of salvation is that the cleansing blood of Christ is transformative. “…do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) Becoming a Christian is not just saying a simple prayer and continuing in your old ways, becoming a Christian is a radical transformation described by the watchman Paul who said, “…sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
- Christians often believe that a nation can be spiritually transformed through politics. Christians often confuse the power and authority of American government with the power and authority of Christ. We must not confuse the two kingdoms. One is earthy and it will surely pass away. The other is far more important because he who rules in the eternal kingdom is Christ himself! He is pure and incorruptible. The government of that kingdom is “upon his shoulders and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus was not opposed to Christians influencing earthy governments. He said we were to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s” (Luke 20:25). Don’t confuse the two kingdoms. Because the world is corrupted by sin God will continue to work through those who “bear the sword” (Romans 13:4).
This truth is captured in the old Negro spiritual, Wayfaring Stranger;
I am a poor wayfaring stranger,
While traveling through this world of woe.
Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright world to which I go.
I’m going there to see my Father;
I’m going there no more to roam.
Let us not confuse the temporary purpose of the American government with the eternal purpose of the kingdom of God.
We as Watchmen on the Wall Must Awaken a Sleeping Church
John warned the church of Laodicea, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17) As watchmen we must awaken those who are spiritually dead. Is wretched such a strong word? We are wretched because we have murdered 50 million babies in the last four decades. We are wretched because we have made acceptable what God has declared an abomination. We are wretched because we have made idols for ourselves and we lift our fist in the face of God and worship our idols and ignore the Creator of the universe and the Savior of man.
We are enthralled by our pleasure, we are obsessed by our prosperity, we selfish in our desire for popularity. God is saying to us, “For I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). But we have no interest in his plan. With arrogance we submit our own plan. We have become a foolish and senseless people “who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear.” (Jeremiah 5:21) “Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger” (Isaiah 51:17).
“The earth staggers like a drunk…” (Isaiah 24:20) We are so drunk in our sin we can’t see how pornography is destroying our families. Families are being destroyed because fathers completely disappear after conception. We have been drugged by an enemy who will steal away our souls if we fail to awaken!
There is nothing new under the sun. Jesus lived in a corrupt culture just like we do. Roman society was corrupt and pagan. It was ruled by tyrants and dictators who were driven to insanity in their lust for power. But Jesus never lost his perspective. He understood his priority was to build the Kingdom of Heaven while living in an earthly kingdom. As Christians we should put forth every effort to encourage our culture to embrace Christian values. But we are not called to be political activists, we are called to call out those who would build the Kingdom of God. We are a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” and we are to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
In Jesus’ day, high taxes were a problem. Jews were legally oppressed by the Romans. There was racial strife. Financially burdened families were struggling with poverty. Certain groups were denied civil rights. Women were mistreated. Slavery was common. Jesus could have come to lead a social revolution. He could have become a great social reformer. Jesus didn’t try to abolish slavery. He taught fanatical nationalists, zealots, to reign in their earthly passions. Jesus didn’t lead any civil rights marches. He never campaigned for political office promising to conquer the culture. Jesus wasn’t a democrat nor was he a republican. He had no social agenda. He came to awaken the sleeping hearts and souls of men and women.
Jesus didn’t come to take away the consequences of man’s sinfulness. He never accommodates for our sinfulness. He will destroy this present kingdom and make us citizens of a New Kingdom. He told us his kingdom is not of this world. We must not lose ourselves in the task of trying to reform a sinful earthly kingdom and in doing so fail to point others to Christ’s eternal kingdom.
Our calling as watchmen on the wall is to bring sinful people to salvation through Jesus Christ. We are to reach out to the lost. Our first priority is to “open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me (Christ)” (Acts 26:18).
As Christians we should confront our culture. Not with our own wisdom but with the power of God’s word. Secular change is meaningless and shallow. Deep, genuine, effectual change must be rooted in the spiritual. Reforming society is a good and noble cause but it has no eternal value. Sharing a truth that will turn people away from sin and hell and eternal death toward a Savior that promises eternal life fulfills the true calling of a watchman on a wall.