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Sermon #51 — Isaiah Series
Title: GodŐs Prophet
Text: Isaiah 13:1-24:23
Subject: The Burden of the Word of the Lord
Date: Sunday Evening — May 20, 2018
Readings: Bobbie Estes and Rex Bartley
The title of my message is GodŐs Prophet and His Message. My text will be Isaiah chapters 13-24. — GodŐs Prophet and His Message (Isaiah 13:1-24:23).
I am fully aware of the fact that there are no prophets or apostles in this age, as far as the prophetic and apostolic offices are concerned.
á No one has the miraculous gifts of those men.
á None today write or preach as the oracles of God. Those who pretend to have such gifts are false prophets.
á Their doctrine is always heretical.
á But all of GodŐs servants today preach the same message as those prophets and apostles of old.
Among the ascension gifts of our Lord Jesus Christ to his church, long with pastors and teachers and evangelists (missionaries), the Spirit of God names prophets. As I said before, there are no prophets in the strict sense of that word today. And we are nowhere told in the Word of God told what this gift of Christ to his church is. But the Lord Jesus gives his church pastors who fill their God-given office as teachers and evangelists.
á All true pastors are gifted of God as teachers and evangelists.
á And some of those pastors are specifically gifted of God as prophets of God in their generation.
God nowhere specifically defines what a prophet is; but the word translated ŇprophetÓ in the Old Testament comes from a word that means Ňto bubble forth like a fountain.Ó A prophet is a man who speaks forth GodŐs message, a man who has GodŐs message bubbling up in his soul until it bursts forth, a man with GodŐs message for his generation.
á Enoch (Genesis 5:24; Jude 14)
á Abraham (Genesis 20:6-7)
á Moses (Exodus 2:5-10; Acts 7:21-22)
á Elisha a Farmer (1 Kings 19:15-21)
á Daniel (Daniel 2:48)
á Amos a Herdsman (Amos 1:1)
á John the Baptist
á Agabus (Acts 11:28; 21:10)
There have never been many prophets. But God has always given such men to his church when and where they are needed.
á Men who Understand the Times
á Men who Understand GodŐs Word
á Men who Understand the Need of the Hour
á Men with GodŐs Message for the Hour
The prophet is a voice in the wilderness. It is his business to sound the trumpet, not work on details or set up a program. He does not devise ways and means. He does not work on boards and serve committees. He is a solitary soul and does his best work alone. He is not a parrot, a puppet, or a promoter. He is nothing but a prophet. If he tries to be anything else he is an embarrassment to himself and to everybody else.
The prophet is not popular. He is not intimidated. And he canŐt be bought. He fears none and serves none but his God. He is an unreconstructed rebel, an odd number in a day of regimentation. He has no more patience with mere religion than Isaiah had when he thundered or Amos when he called on Israel to come to Bethel. It is his business to say what others cannot, will not, or at least do not say.
á Like the politician has his eye on the next election instead of the nationŐs welfare, the preacher hireling has his mind on promotion, the next rung of the ladder, a high seat in the synagogue, and being called rabbi or doctor.
á False prophets seek followers and a name, recognition and approval.
á GodŐs prophet has only one axe to grind. — The Word of God! For him the grass is no greener in the next pasture. He seeks no manŐs approval, no manŐs office, and no manŐs property.
We are looking for scholars, specialists, socializers, showmen. We need prophets who, like Isaiah, have seen God in his holiness, themselves in their sinfulness, and the land in its uncleanness. The prophet does not pack the house, nor produce impressive statistics. He may get but poor response, but whether they hear or refuse to hear, his hearers will know that a prophet has been among them. People do not pack church buildings to hear prophets. An age of ear-itch hearers look upon GodŐs messengers as troublers of Israel.
The prophet is never popular with religious Pharisees. — ŇWhich of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?Ó — ŇYe are the children of them that killed the prophets.Ó So said the greatest of the prophets to the Pharisees of his day. From Abel to Zacharias, he said, prophets have been stoned while living and honored when dead. Do not be misled by monuments erected and biographies written by men in the memory of GodŐs servants in days gone-by. They are nothing but the acts of one generation to cover up the crimes of their fathers.
The prophet is never popular. His name is honored in heaven. And his name is feared in hell. But while he walks through this wilderness, GodŐs Elisha is always mocked by the children of Belial. There are few candidates for ElijahŐs mantle. His path is always lonely and hard. Misunderstood by friends and misrepresented by foes, he is not turned to the right hand or the left. He is undeterred and unbending.
Like John the Baptist the prophet is out to pull down the high places, build up low places and make a way for the Lord. His business is not interpretation but application. He does not lecture on mustard, he makes a mustard poultice and lays it next to the trouble. Others may comfort when afflicted, but he must afflict the comfortable. We are trying to accomplish now by pep, publicity, propaganda, and promotion what once was done by preaching. The woods are full of trained personnel, but none of these things can save us if the prophets disappear.
Any young Elisha in line for ElijahŐs mantle will need the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros. He may irk those who like to preserve the status quo, for he is a disturber of Israel, but no one else can take his place. There is not much prospect as to pay, promotion, or prestige. But there has always been Ňyet one manÓ who will scorn the hatred of Ahab and seek the honor of God. — The prophet is GodŐs messenger to men.
á What an honor!
á What a responsibility!
á What a burden!
The ProphetŐs Burden
GodŐs prophets of old referred to the message God gave them to deliver as ŇThe burden of the Lord,Ó or ŇThe burden of the Word of the LordÓ (Jeremiah 23:33; 34, 36, 38; Zechariah 9:1; 12:1). Those faithful men were not triflers.
As I read through the Gospel of Isaiah again this week, in the middle section of the book, I noticed a word that was reiterated again and again. Nine times in these chapters Isaiah referred to his message from God as Ňthe burdenÓ God had given him.
á 13:1 — ŇThe Burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.Ó
(Isaiah 13:19) And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and GomorrahÉ(22)ÉHer time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.
HereŐs the reason for BabylonŐs woes.
(Isaiah 14:1-4) For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. (2) And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. (3) And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve, (4) That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
(Isaiah 14:26-27) This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (27) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
á 15:1 — ŇThe Burden of Moab.Ó
á 17:1 — ŇThe Burden of Damascus.Ó
á 19:1 — ŇThe Burden of Egypt.Ó
á 21:1 — ŇThe Burden of the Desert of the Sea.Ó
á 21:11 — ŇThe Burden of Dumah.Ó
á 21:13 — ŇThe Burden of Arabia.Ó
á 22:1 — ŇThe Burden of the Valley of Vision.Ó
á 23:1 — ŇThe Burden of Tyre.Ó
Nine times the prophet of God introduced his message as Ňthe burden.Ó Isaiah carried with him the burden of the Word of the Lord, and he felt the weight of that burden. — Isaiah did not rejoice in the everlasting destruction of immortal souls. He was burdened with the message of judgment!
(Isaiah 24:22-23) And they (Babylon, Satan, GodŐs Enemies) shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. (23) Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.
In these chapters Isaiah is addressing the people and the nations of the world, collectively and individually, warning them of GodŐs wrath and impending judgment, while (at the same time) assuring GodŐs elect of their salvation.
á The Overthrow of Babylon!
á The Overthrow of Lucifer!
á The Salvation of GodŐs Israel!
These nations were but representative of all the nations of the earth. And GodŐs judgments which fell upon them stand as warnings to the whole world of that day when God will judge the earth in righteousness by Christ Jesus. The burden which Isaiah had to deliver reached its climax in chapter 24 — ŇBehold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereofÓ (24:1).
Proposition: The burden of the Word of the Lord must be delivered.
Divisions: As God the Holy Ghost will enable me, I want to show you three things in this message.
1. GodŐs prophets are men with a burden.
2. The prophetŐs burden is a twofold message.
3. The prophet of God will deliver the burden of the Word of the Lord.
Men with a Burden
1st — GodŐs prophets are men with a burden. — I repeat myself here deliberately. — The prophetŐs office and the gifts of prophecy have ceased in the church of God. Those special, supernatural gifts are no longer needed, because we have the complete revelation of God in Holy Scripture. But there is a sense in which God still supplies his church with prophets. A prophet is something more than a preacher, a teacher, and a theologian. He is a man with a burden upon his heart that must be delivered. He has a message from God that burns like fire in his soul, consuming every other concern. I do not know that I can describe a prophet, but if you ever hear one you will know it. He is a man who cannot be controlled by custom, influenced by favor, bribed with money, or pressured into compromise. He is a man who has seen God, heard from God, and speaks for God with the authority of God.
á Isaiah was such a man (Isaiah 6:1-11).
(Isaiah 6:1-13) In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. (2) Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. (3) And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. (4) And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. (5) Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (6) Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (9) And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. (11) Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, (12) And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. (13) But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.
á Jeremiah was such a man (Jeremiah 8:18-9:1; 20:8-11).
(Jeremiah 8:18-9:1) When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. (19) Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? Is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? (20) The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. (21) For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. (22) Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
(Jeremiah 9:1) Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
(Jeremiah 20:8-11) For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. (9) Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. (10) For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. (11) But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
á Ezekiel was such a man (Ezekiel 3:1-3, 10-11, 14).
(Ezekiel 3:1-3) Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. (2) So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. (3) And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
(Ezekiel 3:10-11) Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. (11) And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
(Ezekiel 3:14) So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
á The Apostle Paul was such a man (Romans 1:16-17).
(Romans 1:16-17) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Like Elijah before the prophets of Baal, the prophet of God, when he is in the Spirit of God, fears nothing and no one but God and is motivated by nothing but the glory of God (I Kings 18:21-40).
(1 Kings 18:36-37) And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, — (The Time of ChristŐs Sacrifice) that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. (37) Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
The Hebrew word for burden, in its verb form, means Ňto lift up a heavy load.Ó In its noun form it means Ňa load that is lifted up.Ó The man who speaks for God as his prophet is a man who carries in his heart and soul a heavy, heavy load — The burden of the Word of the Lord!
á GodŐs prophet is a man who speaks for God, as his ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in ChristŐs stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
á GodŐs prophet is a man who speaks with the burden of the Word of the Lord bursting from his heart!
When I hear a man preach, I want to hear a man preach from his heart. When I preach, I want to preach from my heart. Let no one mistake my meaning. I do not suggest or imply that doctrine is secondary. It is not. Gospel doctrine is vital. But the gospel must be preached from the heart, passionately.
Two hundred years ago John Rusk wrote, ŇI want an experimental preacher, one who, when he has had one meal, is tried how he shall get the next; one who is tormented with devils fit to tear him limb from limb; one who feels hell inside himself and every corruption in his nature stirred up to oppose GodŐs work; one who feels so weak that every day he gets over he views it as next to a miracleÓ.
Paul said, ŇI was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his powerÓ (Ephesians 3:7). God had called him to preach the gospel. He knew it. He was humbled by it. He rejoiced in it. And he trembled because of it. Only God himself can make a man a preacher. But that man who is called of God to preach the gospel has a direct commission and call from Christ, and it is unmistakably clear. He knows that he has been sent by God. Any man who is called of God to this great work takes the work seriously and earnestly, seeking a message from Christ as he stands to speak for Christ. Such men preach with urgency because they have experienced in their hearts the message they preach. They carry in their souls Ňthe burden of the Word of the Lord.Ó They preach with urgency because they know for whom they speak — and because they know the serious consequences of their message.
á GodŐs prophet speaks GodŐs Word to eternity bound men and women (2 Corinthians 6:1-2; 5:10-11).
(2 Corinthians 6:1-2) We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
(2 Corinthians 5:10-11) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (11) Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
GodŐs prophets and apostles of old came before the people to whom they preached as men sent from God with a message, a message that must be declared. Today the preacher comes to the pulpit to present a lecture on morality, or to give a sermon on religion, or to insist on the performance of some moral duty, or to instruct people in some point of orthodoxy. What a blessed day it was when ŇThere was a man sent from God, whose name was John!Ó —— Where is the man today who comes from the throne of God to deliver a message from God to my soul? I want to hear that man!
Illustration: Christmas Evans — ŇIŐve gone into the pulpit by myself for the last time.Ó
In fulfilling the work of the ministry, it is not enough to simply set before men the evidences of Christianity, or to insist upon the performance of duties. Those men God sends to his people as pastors, evangelists and prophets, according to his heart feed his people with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). If we are GodŐs men, if we are GodŐs preachers, we are messengers from God to men. — That makes me tremble! GodŐs servants must declare unto men the message which they have received from him, by prayer, study, and meditation. We dare not alter or conceal any part of that which we have been commanded to deliver. We must make known the whole counsel of God. And, having declared the message with all plainness and fidelity, we must urge eternity bound sinners to receive it with all the energy we possess.
á GodŐs prophet preaches as a man who knows that his message is a matter of eternal consequence to those who hear him (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).
(2 Corinthians 2:14-17) Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (15) For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (16) To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? (17) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
2nd — The prophetŐs burden is a twofold message. — You can mark this down. — Every man who speaks for God has the same message. All GodŐs prophets carry the same burden. They may deliver it in different forms, with different styles, and in different language. But all GodŐs prophets preach the same thing. Our message is twofold. It is a message of judgment and a message of grace.
GodŐs prophet is a messenger of judgment. — When Isaiah delivered the burden of the Word of God to men he faithfully warned them of GodŐs sure, impending, and righteous judgment. He described the whole world as ŇThe city of destructionÓ (19:18).
Will you hear me? This world and everything in it is marked for destruction. There is a day coming when God will destroy the earth, because it has been defiled by sin. And as this earth is under the sentence of condemnation, so are you. The wrath of God is upon you. — ŇThe soul that sinneth, it shall die!Ó
á GodŐs wrath is universal.
á GodŐs wrath is just.
á GodŐs wrath is sure.
á GodŐs wrath is eternal.
á GodŐs wrath is irresistible.
But blessed be God, our message does not end there! — GodŐs prophet is also a messenger of mercy, grace, and salvation — (Isaiah 19:19-20). — You do not have to die!
á ŇBehold your God!Ó — Sovereign, Holy, Just, and True!
(Isaiah 14:24-27) The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: (25) That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. (26) This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. (27) For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? And his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
á ŇAll flesh is grass!Ó — Worthless! — Withered! — Sure to Burn!
á God is gracious!
(Isaiah 19:18-20) In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. (19) In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. (20) And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.
á There is a Way to God — ŇAn Altar to the Lord!Ó — Christ our Altar!
á There is a Pillar of Hope — Christ our Savior! — The Gospel of Christ!
á There is a Throne of Grace! — ŇThey shall cry unto the Lord!Ó
á There is a Savior for Sinners!
á Christ is a great Savior!
á The Lord Jesus Christ will save all who come to God by him! — ŇHe delighteth in mercy!Ó
3rd — GodŐs prophet will deliver the burden of the Word of the Lord (Isaiah 20:2-4).
(Isaiah 20:2-4) At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. (3) And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; (4) So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
The only responsibility GodŐs prophet has is to faithfully deliver the Word of God as he has received it from the mouth of God (Jeremiah 1:8-10). — ŇHe that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully!Ó (Jeremiah 23:28; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
(Jeremiah 1:4-10) Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (5) Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (6) Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. (7) But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. (8) Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. (9) Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. (10) See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
(1 Corinthians 4:1-2) Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
I am responsible to deliver GodŐs message (Ezekiel 33; 1 Corinthians 9:16).
á Ruin by the Fall!
á Redemption by the Blood!
á Regeneration by the Holy Ghost!
(Ezekiel 33:1-33) Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: (3) If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; (4) Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. (5) He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. (6) But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchmanŐs hand. (7) So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (8) When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (9) Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (10) Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? (11) Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (12) Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. (13) When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. (14) Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; (15) If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. (16) None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live. (17) Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal. (18) When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. (19) But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. (20) Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you everyone after his ways. (21) And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten. (22) Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb. (23) Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (24) Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance. (25) Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? (26) Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile everyone his neighbourŐs wife: and shall ye possess the land? (27) Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. (28) For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. (29) Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed. (30) Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. (31) And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. (32) And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. (33) And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
(1 Corinthians 9:16) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
You are responsible to obey GodŐs message. — And in the day of judgment, you will be judged by the gospel I have preached to you (Romans 2:16).
The burden of the Word of the Lord calls for three things from you.
1. Repentance toward God.
2. Faith in Christ.
3. Commitment of Life.