Stand In The Gap!

Today we live in a society where everyone does his own thing. "Live and let live" is our motto. Whatever anyone else does is their own business, not ours. That is the prevailing mindset of the world we live in.

But our ways are not Godís ways, and our thoughts are not Godís thoughts. (Isa. 55:9) We need to look to the truths of Godís Word to determine our actions, not the prevailing mindset of the world. And Godís Word is quite clear: we are to be watchmen over all the lost souls around us. We canít just let them "live and let live"; we are called to stand in the gap on their behalf.

A watchman is one person who stands guard, ready to protect and defend against all enemies. The watchman sounds the alarm when danger approaches, so that those he is guarding do not come to harm. God has called us to be watchmen, protecting and defending the truths of His holy Word against all enemies, and sounding the alarm to all those around us in danger of perishing. We know what Godís Word says; itís up to us to make sure that they know, too. We are derelict in our duty if we fail to warm them of their own impending doom, and God will not hold us blameless.

Son of man, I have made you a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me.

When I say to the wicked, ĎYou will surely dieí, and you do not give him My warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.

Yet if you do warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you hast delivered your own soul. (Eze.†3:17:21)

What God told Ezekiel to do in the Old Testament, Jesus tell us to do now. God told Ezekiel to speak to all the lost and perishing in the house of Israel, Jesus tells us to speak to all the lost and perishing aound us. In His final words before returning to heaven, Jesus gave us the great commission:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt.†28:19-20)

God has never changed. He will hold us responsible if we fail to fulfill our commission; if we fail to tell others the things He has said. He will hold us responsible if we do not warn those around us of the peril to their souls!

Many people do not want to share the gospel because of fear. They are afraid theyíll be laughed at, ridiculed, and rejected. Jesus got all of these responses, so we can surely expect to get some of them, as well. But that doesnít change the fact that we have to do it. God requires it of us.

Now, God makes it quite clear that if we do share the gospel with the lost, their response is their own responsibility, not ours. Should they choose to reject it, ignore it, or ridicule it, the consequences will be on them. Our responsibility is to warn them, to share the gospel with them. We will have fulfilled our duty, and God will not hold us responsible.

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. 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. (Eze.†33:4-5)

Godís Word calls us to stand in the gap, interceding for those around us, and forming a hedge of protection around them. We do this by always being prepared to speak Godís truth to them appropriately, and constantly offering intercessory prayer in their behalf. We are foolish and useless if we fail in this responsibility.

Thus says the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! You have not stood in the gaps, nor have you made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. (Eze.†13:3, 5)

God is patient with us, and is not willing that any should perish. He wants all men to come to repentance and be saved. (II Peter 3:9) He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but wants them to turn away from their wickedness, and live!

Say unto them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel? (Eze.†33:11)

God has not changed. He is the same today as He was in the days of Ezekiel. And His call to the wicked has never changed: turn from your wicked ways, and live. His call to us to stand in the gap has never changed. He is still setting us as watchmen, to stand in the gap, to sound the warning for the wicked who will not turn from their ways. His plans and His purposes never change, and His word still applies to us today.

What about you, oh sinner? Are you persisting in your wicked ways, refusing to heed the watchman's call of impending danger to your soul? Listen to the word of God, oh, sinner, and turn from your wickedness. Turn from your evil ways, and live.

And dear saint of God, what about you? Are you standing in the gap for your lost loved ones, for your friends and neighbors who do not know the Lord? Are you sounding the trumpet call, so that perhaps they may heed the warning and be saved? Are you speaking to them, telling them what the Word of God says? God will not hold us blameless if we fail to warn those around us of the peril to their souls. If we do warn them, and they ignore the warning, then God will not hold us responsible. But we have to sound the warning!

Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James†5:20)

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