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"Who Do You Need To Take Out For Coffee?"

Ezekiel 33:1-11

By Drew Zuverink

"The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life; their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone's life, that person's life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.'

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, 'You wicked person, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

Son of man, say to the Israelites, 'This is what you are saying: 'Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?' Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their wicked ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?'"



Christian's know what comes after death.


The Bible teaches that anyone who does not repent, turn from their sins, and trust in the work of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins - they will spend eternity in hell. This is basic Christianity 101. We are all sinners deserving of eternal punishment, and we need a savior. My guess is that if you are reading this you believe all of that, so my question for you is:

Who do you need to talk to about this?


Ezekiel was God's prophet. He would receive messages directly from God and his job was to tell the rest of the people what those messages were. God told Ezekiel that if he ever failed to warn a wicked person of the judgement coming their way, God would hold him personally accountable. Why? Because God doesn't want anyone, no matter how wicked, to be destroyed. He says as much in verse 11. He wants to warn them so that, hopefully, they will repent and turn away from evil. Warnings were very important because they could keep people safe. So if Ezekiel failed to pass along God's warnings, and if people died because of it, God would be extremely hurt and upset with Ezekiel.


Is it possible that, in a similar way, God might hold us accountable if we fail to present the gospel of salvation to the people in our own lives? I think it is.


Now of course love is a more righteous motivation than fear or responsibility. We should all talk about God with people because we love them, but sometimes we need to be shaken awake and brought back to reality with a warning. Ezekiel should have warned his fellow Israelite's out of love as well, but just in case that wasn't enough God also gave him a warning. Sometimes we are too afraid to open our mouths and we need something worse to fear - like God holding us accountable. If love isn't causing us to create intentional conversations with our loved ones, perhaps a Godly warning will.


Fear personally kept me silent when my close high school friend was dying of cancer. I never did get around to having a gospel conversation with him and I'll never forget that for the rest of my life. If he's in hell right now it's because of his own sins, but perhaps a conversation with me could have changed that. I'll never fully recover from that, nor do I think that I should, because I am accountable for my sins of omission. But now my fear of another loved one dying without Christ far outweighs whatever fears would keep me from talking to them.


So I beg of you, let's all ask ourselves, "Who in my life do I really need to ask out for coffee so that I can talk to them about truly important things?" Or if you're a golfer treat them to a round of golf (my personal favorite means of evangelism.) I'm not even talking about strangers - I'm talking about our families, our friends, and the people who we have a loving relationship with. Who do you love that is living in sin and separated from the love of God? Who could you simply not bear the thought of them spending eternity anywhere other than with you and God in heaven? Whoever comes to mind, toss aside your excuses and your fears, and find a way to have intentional conversations with them. Tell yourself, "Today is the day." Text them right now! Set something up for this week. Don't put it off. Do it out of love. Do it because God loves them and would love nothing more than to not punish them.


And just briefly, if the fear of not knowing what to say or how to have these kinds of conversations is what's keeping you silent - study up! Buy a book, listen to a podcast, or find a YouTube channel, but don't just use your lack of knowledge as an excuse. It won't make you any less accountable for keeping silent, and you don't want to live with that regret. Because trust me, the painful thoughts of, "What if I would have just talked with him?" are much worse than whatever fears might be holding you back.

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