Posted by: the watchmen | March 18, 2009

The Watchman____From sermon notes by Rev Ivor Cartwright.

“ Watchman: ”
Ballymagerney:
Read: Ezek 33v1-16: Hymns: 103; 262; 316; 497:
Ezekiel 33v7,11,15:
Ministering forth the Word of God, can be compared to the bugler sounding forth the bugle call. God says to his servants – ‘Give them warning from me.’ The trumpet sound must be crisp and clear that none could mis-interpret, nor fail to understand. It is not the Lord’s will that any should perish, but that all might come to a knowledge of the truth. Or God – has a general good will to all men. 1Tim. ‘Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’
But the God of heaven, the Creator of all things, knows what is in the mind and heart of man, and how rebellious man can be to the will of God.
I want tonight to preach a most solemn and sobering message. May the saint pray that the sinner will heed and hearken to the Word. While the sinner should pray that the Holy Spirit would speak to their soul, and give to you a saving interest in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1: The Watchman: v7
His credentials: He is but the son of man. There is nothing special about him / nothing extraordinary about his character / nothing outstanding about his person / nor anything outlandish – just remember that the servant of the Lord is bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh.
His calling: v2 – ‘….if the people…’ Here was a man who has been commissioned by men to fulfil a certain duty.
Now whether I speak now to an employee / employer – you all know that a person commissioned to do a job must be faithful to that duty. # You wouldn’t think much of a watchman who failed to warn a city of pending danger.
v7 – ‘I have set thee a watchman…..’ Place the emphasis where you will, you discover something different / important about this watchman: He is called from above. ~ How much more important now is that calling / duty.
His charge: The watchman has one of the most important tasks. It is his solemn duty and responsibility to warn the townsfolk, that an attack is imminent. The people have called him and given him this task – v2,7.
# The Watchman is the minister / the faithful evangelist, whose duty is to warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come.

2: The Warning: v11
Now it is fundamently clear that a watchman is posted to a specific station / post, to watch and to warn. V7 – He has a dual responsibility: 1st to the Lord – his ear is to be open to the voice of the Lord. 2nd to the people – then with his mouth he is to broadcast the message, he is to tell what the Lord says. ‘Give them warning from me.’ Many objections:-
I don’t like the manner in which he has warned my soul. Could not the watchman be a little nicer / a little less harsh / use a softer voice / reason with the souls of men. {there is a time and a place to employ such tactics}
Many will use the argument – I’m offended by his manner of speaking! …..too blunt! ..too straight talking! The message cuts right into my heart……..well thank God for that!
# What would you say of a person, who having fallen overboard; and when a would be rescuer/ a sailor, had thrown them a lifeline – they were offended by the rope / by the fellow at the other end – his looks / offended by the harshness of his voice / the roughness of his demeanour; and the person fails to grab hold of it, what would you think of such a person? Thou fool!
I don’t like the message he delivers. There are many who are offended by the doctrine of original sin. Just don’t mention sin! Well, I will mention it, because I wish to be a faithful servant – My Lord is coming again, and it is the duty of each and every watchman to warn souls to flee from out of the fire.
Like the sentinel sounding an alarm – he must be clear! And so must the gospel message. “If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who will prepare themselves?” If the soul fails to see that they are sinners……. Are you offended by the message? ….too harsh – were you in a burning house, you wouldn’t say, ‘I don’t like the way they sounded fire! …..too clear – you wouldn’t be offended by the clarity of the message, you’d be thanking the Lord. …too loud –

Remember: who it is that gives the warning. V7,11 The watchman is the sentinel that blows the trumpet of warning. Thank God for the trumpet: The world might criticise the preacher for not using a silver trumpet – that would be nicer; The important thing is that I’ve blown the trumpet, sounded the alarm. The sinner, who doesn’t heed the warning, can criticise this preacher all they like, You can criticise yourself into hell but you can’t criticise yourself out of hell.

3: The Way: v15
God sets before individuals the way of life and the way of death. You cannot abide in both.
V11 – the way of wickedness: God appeals to you – ‘turn ye, turn ye…’ emphasised: Note that the Holy Spirit says more about this way; v12 ‘The righteousness…..’ You cannot merit favour with God. {good living / works} v13
– there is the way of the Word: What is that way? Jesus is that way. V15 the pledge – that which you have uncharitably taken from the poor. Robbed – stolen from the rich. E.g. shipworkers – at Harland and Wolff.
Walk in – a change in the life, now you are walking according to the course of light and truth. God’s promise – v16:
# Sinner, you have heard the sound of the trumpet, have you taken warning? V5

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