V. 1, he had to receive the word of God in his heart
V. 4, our command is to speak the word of God to our fellow man.
V. 5, no one in here, as far as I know, has been sent to a foreign country. So inability to understand the language of those we are to speak to is not an excuse for not speaking up.
We should note that all across the world, English is becoming a second language, if it is not already. The Internet will make English even more so. We thus have the opportunity to present the gospel world wide through the Internet. The pagan crowd believes that information leads to reformation for the better, so they are working at making the Internet available to everyone all over the world. We know better --- information does not make man better. However, it presents a wonderful opportunity to present the word of God world wide, and never leave this immediate area. CAN YOU HELP? For about 40 per month, the message from here WILL go world wide.
V. 6, the Lord told Ezekiel that if he had been sent to strange people, they would have listened to him. We know for a fact, that folks around here do not, basically, want to hear the truth.
V. 7, our responsibility is for home town people; people we come into contact with every day, or people who are easily contacted.
Vv. 8, 9, the Lord has warned that they will be hard, but his grace equips us for that hardness. He does not ask us to do anything that he has not equipped us to do.
Note that Ezekiel did not know he was equipped until he went and spoke God's warning.
V. 10, we must do more than just hear God's words, we must take them to heart and act upon them.
V. 11, captivity to sin. Our command is to offer God's warning to them. Our command is not to make them hear nor to make them respond.
V. 14, Ezekiel was unwilling; he did not want to go. In fact, he went in the heat of his spirit. He was angry about going.
The weakness of the flesh must always be overcome if we will do God's will.
We must do those things pleasing to the Lord whether we feel like it or not. Having a warm, good, loving motive is good, and I wish I had such a thing every time I set about doing God's good pleasure.
But we will not be held accountable for how we feel about a matter, but as to whether or not we did it.
But the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. He had no choice
I guarantee that if you determine to please God, the flesh and devil will do all they can to hinder or prevent action.
V. 15, Ezekiel identified with the people before he was even give the message for the people.
V. 17, I realize this is speaking primarily to pastors or overseers. However, it applies generally.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
God does not send angles; he sends men. (2 Cor. 11:14.)
God uses the fallen children of Adam, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. One of the most difficult things a new Christian must learn is that pastors are sinners also.
Ja 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 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.
Acts 20:25, And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. 26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
1 Tim. 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Vv. 16ff. I am responsible to warn of the results of sin. As we saw from Gal. 6:1, every Christian is also responsible to warn others
Our responsibility is to warn. Our responsibility is not to turn the people, but to give the Spirit of God a chance through his word to work in turning the people.
Look up Rom. 10:12-17
I do not know how the Lord will do it, but God has told us that we who have the truth of the Gospel Message will be held accountable as to how faithfully we share the message with others.