A Warning Given
January 30, 2022

A Warning Given
Ezekiel 33:3-5

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-egtJBTubwE

When it comes to warnings, here in America we have a whole bunch of systems designed to warn of impending danger. We have what is known as the public alert and warning systems. There is our Defcon Level Warning System that warns us of the potential of nuclear attacks. There is also the North Warning System, which is an early-warning radar system for the air defense of North America.

In fact, today, we’re hearing warnings for just about every sector of our society.

• We have health warnings, like those surrounding the current pandemic that has swept across the globe, and of other potential outbreaks around the world.
• We also have a variety of weather and natural disaster warnings like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, flash floods, tsunamis, excessive heat, and excessive cold.
• There are also various warnings around the world alerting people of potential wars, terrorist attacks, along with potential nuclear and biowarfare warnings.
• And there are economic warnings as well, things like inflation rates, a bull or bear market, international geopolitical relationships, trade or supply deficits or surpluses.

And while all these helps protect us from physical and economic harm, what about our spiritual lives, what sort of warning system is there that helps protect us from the ravages of sin and Satan?

Now, just so you don’t get discourage, God has set up a warning system, and He has set up His prophets to get the word out, which comes directly out of His word, the Bible. These are warnings so that we can get our lives right with God, but also, we have in God’s word what we might call “end-of-the-world” warnings as well.

Now, if I could give a summary statement about what we’ll be talking about, it would be, “A Warning Given,” “A Warning Taken,” and “A Deliverance Achieved.”

The Bible records many warnings throughout its pages. Those who heeded these warnings were spared the predicted consequences and achieved the deliverance they promise.

Consider Noah. God warned Noah and his family of the coming flood and directed them how to prepare the Ark to survive it.

The warning God gave to Noah was to make for Himself an ark for the saving of His family and all living creatures saying, “Behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.” (Genesis 6:17 NKJV)

And just so everyone may know, so they don’t just chalk this up to some fairy tale, today there is geological proof that such a flood happened, and is found around the globe.

Noah listened to God, took the warning to heart and “did according to all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22 NKJV)

And because Noah listened to the warning and obeyed the command of God, He and his household, along with a remnant of every living creature on the earth, survived the flood waters that covered the earth. It says, “Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark.” (Genesis 8:1)

Look how the writer of Hebrews describes this event.

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” (Hebrews 11:7 NKJV)

But even further, this story of Noah reveals God’s warning for the End Days as well. It was this very warning that Jesus gave for those in the last days and the consequences to those who ignore the warning until it is too late.

“For as in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day Noah entered the Ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away.” (Matthew 24:38-39 NKJV)

And so, throughout God’s word we see time and again where God warns people of the coming judgment, and basically it is up to every person as to whether or not they will hear it, prepare for it, and then look forward to either God’s deliverance in and through it, or far worse experience the consequences that are associated with disobedience.

However, the area of Scripture that got me thinking about this was God’s call for His people to be watchman, and when they see trouble coming, when they see the enemy advancing, that they were to blow the trumpet to warn the people, and it then was up to the people to either believe or not.

What got my attention was what the Lord said to the prophet Ezekiel, chapter 33.

“When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die … If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.” (Ezekiel 33:3-5 NKJV)

Hence my summary, “A Warning Given – A Warning Taken – A Deliverance Achieved.”

So, let’s first look at

A Warning Given

When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people.” (Ezekiel 33:3 NKJV)

It was the sound of the trumpet, or shofar, that the watchman was to sound to warn the people. In fact, the sound of the trumpet was instrumental in the life of Israel and her people.

“When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” (Numbers 10:9 NKJV)

But the sound of the trumpet was also used for religious life of the people as well, as it goes on to say in verse 10. “Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the Lord your God.” (Numbers 10:10 NKJV)

It is also the sound of the trumpet that God will usher in the last days and gather His people to Himself.

Jesus said, “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31 NKJV)

And concerning the rapture, Paul said, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (2 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV) {This can also be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18}

Now, how has this warning been given for us today.

First, Through God’s Word

Jesus said, “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.” (John 12:48)

And the warning Jesus gives is that of sin and eternal death outside of a relationship with Himself.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God … and the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23; 6:23)

Jesus gives us this very warning, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (and) “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 3:3; 14:6 NKJV)

And so, the warning is simple, outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ there is no eternal life in the presence of God in heaven.

But the Bible also gives us warnings concerning the End of Days and our need to prepare.

Jesus said, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36 NKJV)

And again, Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:42-44 NKJV)

Now, there are many signs and prophecies that have been given concerning Jesus’s return. Some of these are what are known as the signs of the times, like what Jesus talks about in Matthew 24 like false messiahs and prophets, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes. And Jesus likens these to when a woman goes through labor pains, and that is, these signs will come closer together and become more intense.

Now, besides the word of God, there are two additional methods that God uses to make sure we get the warning.

Through Preachers & Teachers

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14 NKJV)

God has called for preachers and teachers of His word to be faithful in bringing the whole of God’s Word to the forefront, and not just those parts they like, or those areas the people flock to hear. There is a whole lot that is not all that pleasant to hear.

The Apostle Paul of his mission says, “Him (Jesus) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Colossians 1:28 NKJV), and “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11 NKJV)

And so, it is through faithful preachers and teachers of God’s word that these warnings are sounded, like Paul, who told the Roman Governor, Festus, and King Agrippa, of the gospel message and their need to repent, to which Festus called him mad, but Agrippa said that Paul almost persuaded him to become a Christian (Acts 26:24, 28).

Through the Holy Spirit

Finally, it is through the promptings of the Holy Spirit that a person becomes convicted and thus warned of their plight.

Remember, what the Apostle Peter said concerning those whom God’s word was written.

“For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21 NKJV)

But it was Jesus who made plain the purpose of the Holy Spirit in all of this saying, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:8 NKJV)

And so, the gauntlet has been thrown down, the warning has been given, the question then becomes will it be taken.

A Warning Taken

To this, I’d like to give a warning from God’s word, and then see how God’s church has so far responded.

Paul in his letter to the Roman church lists out a whole slew of sins, starting with the sin of homosexuality and then said that they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, and so God gave them over to a debased mind to do those things that were not right.

But to those who may not practice these sins, and don’t speak against them, they are then giving approval to them. Paul said, “Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32 NKJV)

Now, with this understanding, how and where do we stand, and will we make a stand. Today, there are some denominations that have approved of homosexuality and allow there to be homosexual marriages within their denominations and have even ordained homosexual pastor and leaders. And there are more that will be voting either this year or next to allow this practice within their denominations.

This is something those in Canada now have before them. Just recently a bill passed unanimously in both the Senate and House of Commons that condemns trying to convert someone back from a lifestyle of homosexuality and transgenderism. It’s known as bill C-4, and it is so broad in its scope of practice that it can include the teaching of these as sin and a person’s need to repent, that is, to turn away from them. The punishment if found guilty can be up to 5 years in prison.

Jesus said that either we are for Him or against Him, there is no middle ground. Therefore, if we fail to speak God’s warning, then we are just as guilty as those who practice these sins.

Now look at what the Lord says of these watchmen in Ezekiel 33:6.

“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6 NKJV)

Now, let’s take a broader look at this area of a warning that has been given and whether or not it has been taken.

“If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.” (Ezekiel 33:5)

But at the same time, let’s not forget what happens if they refuse to listen, and not take the warning.

“If those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die.” (Ezekiel 33:4 NKJV)

To take a warning, or to listen to the warning implies serious attention must be paid because it then becomes a matter of life and death. For you see, God set before the people a choice of blessings or curses given their keeping or not keeping His word (Deuteronomy 30).

Jeremiah was a faithful prophet, even knowing the outcome when He spoke God’s word or warning. And He spoke up saying, “Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.” (Jeremiah 10:1 NKJV)

Jesus in His parable of the seed and the soils lists out four types of soils, and each represented a person’s heart upon hearing God’s word. The first three were hearts that were either hardened, fearful, or filled with the cares of the world, and it says that God’s word never made an impact, but the fourth was a heart open and receptive and it produced a great harvest.

So, God gives His warning, and how we respond tells God is the genuineness of our faith. Jesus asked this question, “When I come back to this earth, will I find faith?” (Luke 18:8)

And so, the choice is ours. Will we believe God at His word, or will we choose not to believe? Will we heed God’s word or ignore it? Please know that our eternal destinies depend upon how we choose, on how we decide.

I’d like to use as my example, the parable of the 10 virgins. The fact that they were virgins means that they represented believers, or I could say, the church, as we wait for our bridegroom, Jesus.

And here’s the tale of the tape, out of the ten, only five were ready, while the other five let their lamps burn out and didn’t prepare for His coming. What this speaks to my heart is that half of those who call themselves Christians are prepared, and will leave with Jesus when He returns, while the other half will be left outside hearing, “Depart from Me, I never knew You.” (Matthew 25:12)

And so, the warning has been given, but has the warning been taken?

This leads me to the last area.

A Deliverance Achieved

I love the deliverance they would achieve if they took God’s warning in Ezekiel 33:5.

“If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives.” (Ezekiel 33:5 NKJV)

Listen to some of God’s promises of our salvation when we take God’s warning.

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25 NKJV)

“Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” (Romans 3:24-25 NKJV)

And Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47 NKJV)

And so, when we take heed to the warnings given by God in His word through faithful preachers through the leading of the Holy Spirit, then as we looked at last week, we are no longer slaves, prisoner, and captives to sin, instead we are free, children of light, and prisoners of hope.

For when we make the choice to take heed to God’s warnings we have then received the forgiveness of sin so that when we pass from our existence on this earth into eternity we’ll hear the Lord say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23)

And in the end we’ll participate in the promise of the rapture as Paul states that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we will be with Him always (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

And so, as Jesus said, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Mathew 24:13 NKJV)

Conclusion

And so, the warning has been given that outside of a relationship with Jesus Christ, sin and death await.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God … and the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23; 6:23)

And the warning being taken can be seen in what Jesus said.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

And the deliverance that is achieved through the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b).

And so, how are we to prepare ourselves.

Pray: Spend time daily in prayer seeking God.

Study the Bible: Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The Lord will reveal many things that we need to know about His direction for our lives.

Assemble with Believers: Hebrews 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.”

Readjust Our Priorities: In other word, seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

Share the Gospel. And if you’ve been joining in over these past several weeks what has been made clear is that before the good news of Jesus Christ can fully be heard and followed, humanity must first be warned of the eternal danger they are in.









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