“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me”
A watchman bore the responsibility of keeping an eye on the horizon, in order to warn the inhabitants of the city of any possible threats to their safety. He would be strategically placed on the highest point of the city wall, where he would have the best vantage point to observe the surroundings. A watchman, who failed to do his job, might be responsible for countless lost lives. Ezekiel uses the role of the watchman to teach us something about evangelism. There are three things we need to keep in mind.
First, it is necessary for us to remember that each person is responsible to make his own decision for Christ. Each individual must choose for himself to surrender to Christ. I cannot choose for another, nor can he choose for me.
Second, while we cannot make a decision for others, we can have an impact upon the decision they make. A watchman could not make the people bar the gates or draw their weapons, but he could clearly warn them of the dangers that were ahead. In the same way, while each person must decide for Christ, we can help them make that decision by sharing the gospel, praying for them, inviting them to church, and seeking in every way possible to let our light shine before men.
Third, it is important that we see our witness as bigger than a tool to win the lost. Ezekiel was exhorted to warn the righteous and the unrighteousness alike. Christians are constantly under pressure to compromise, backslide, give up or give in. As a result, we are in constant need of encouragement. We are exhorted to bear one another’s burdens, to strengthen the hands that hang down, and to pray for one another. We need to look at one another in the body of Christ as those who are in need of help and encouragement to continue.
Christianity is a race, but it is not a game. If we are going to be successful, we need to take our role seriously and realize God has strategically placed us so we might have an effect on others for eternity.