- Ezekiel 33:9 (NKJV): “Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.”
- Acts 1:8 (ESV): “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
We Are Ambassadors for Christ
THE MOST LOVING ACT we can do for another human being — be they man, woman, or child — is to tell them about God, both that He is a God of love and mercy and also that He is a God of wrath and justice.
The world teaches that we should affirm everyone’s life choices, that we should not breath a word about God (especially about Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit), and that we should leave the word “sin” out of our conversation entirely.
God told the prophet Ezekiel that he was a “watchman” and that his job was to tell the Jews the truth of what God was saying to them, that they had forgotten His deeds on their behalf and forsaken His commandments, especially the First One — “I am the LORD your God, … You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3 NIV).
God’s message to his prophet was simply this: “You tell the people what I tell you to tell them. If they listen, both you and they will be saved; but if they don’t listen, you will be saved because you obeyed, but they will die in their sins.”
The third option was the least pleasant for everyone: “If you don’t tell them what I tell you, and they die in their sins, so will you for your disobedience.”
WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE
SINCE WE’RE ON this side of the Cross, we come under the Law of Grace, not the Law, but we are still called to be God’s watchmen to the people in our lives, and we are still accountable for our obedience … as well as our disobedience.
OUR BIG OPPORTUNITY
IMAGINE THIS SCENE: It is Christmas dinner, and you are surrounded at the big table — with the leaves installed, the candles lit, and the good silverware arranged around the dinner plates — with your loved ones.
You can enjoy seeing your children all grown up with husbands and wives of their own and the smiling cherubic faces of excited little children, looking so much like their mothers and fathers, that your heart swells with the joy of the moment.
Yet, beneath the laughter and the friendly banter, lies a dark film and behind that film lurks the evil of unrepentant hearts.
Your family — your most precious loved ones — are grabbing the festive secularism of Christmas while leaving the spiritual essence of the holiday far behind.
While you enjoy their bubbly presence at this long-for feast, your heart burns in anguish for their souls.
FAST TRACK TO HELL
HOW DO YOU TURN the conversation into one that turns their hearts toward the Lord’s outstretched hand, beseeching them to turn to Him in humility, seeking His grace and forgiveness, receiving Him into their lives as Lord and Savior.
How do you maintain your joyous countenance when you fear — no, you know! — that if they were to perish this very day on the drive home, they would spend an eternity without God, and their suffering would haunt you.
How can you change that?
We know we can’t change anything, only God can, so, first, we are called to pray … and pray … and pray.
Then, we, as God’s watchmen, can obediently speak a word or two for the Lord, striving to plant seeds (and possibly water seeds) while not tarnishing the moment.
William Fay’s “Share Jesus Without Fear” program offers some suggestions. Let’s look at them.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
NO SET OF QUESTIONS will change a conversation pattern if your audience is not interested in following, but most people have a desire to share their thoughts and opinions, so asking questions is a good starting place.
Here are Fay’s suggested questions:
- Do you have any kind of spiritual belief? (Or, more simply, what is your spiritual belief?)
- To you, who is Jesus? (Or, Who would you say Jesus is?)
- Do you believe there are a Heaven and a Hell (Or, do you believe both Heaven and Hell exist?)
- If you died right now, where would you go … and why?
- If what you said were not true, would you want to know it?
The first four questions in that list should elicit an animated conversation, but don’t stope there! They are merely set-ups for the fifth question. Let’s look at it again and focus on it:
>If what you said were not true, would you want to know it?
Just lay the question out there. Be patient. Be silent. Wait. Let the words sink in. Even if someone pridefully dismisses the question, even the most jaded is likely to be curious enough to ask, “Okay, so what are the right answers?”
BE READY TO POUNCE
THIS IS YOUR Big Moment.
The Bible tells us (1 Peter 3:15) to “be ready” to share your faith.
Examine your arsenal: a brief personal testimony, the four-part Plan of Salvation, a few general Bible truths (God died for sinners, Jesus is Truth, God loves you), and the reality that only those who believe in Jesus will spend eternity with Him. The rest will not.
Be ready to pray with them, whoever is willing to call on the Lord. The others can listen to the prayer and jeer, if they want, but probably they will realize the seriousness of the moment and not act out.
As born-again Christians, we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) and His watchmen (Ezek. 33:7). He has turned the job of witnessing for Him over to us (Matt. 28:19-20), and He expects us to deliver.
This is an awesome opportunity to thank our Lord for His saving grace by sharing the Good News with our families, friends, and neighbors, but also an opportunity to show our obedience to the Almighty.
You are to be My Witnesses.
I call you to be My Ambassadors.
I have appointed you as Watchmen.
“O, LORD, WE COME TO YOU …”
Dear Father God, please save our families. Please turn the hearts of our loved ones to You. Humble them to seek You out and confess their need for You, that only Your Son can deliver them to healing, to peace in their souls, to forgiveness … and to life. Then, Lord, help us carry out our role as facilitators, as ambassadors, as witnesses, as watchmen … as You have appointed us. Come now, Jesus. You are both our Sacrificial Lamb and the Lion of Judah. It’s in Your name and through You that we lift this prayer. AMEN