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In the dark? Look for The Son

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          The Title, Son of Man brings thoughts of Christ to most Christian people. Did you know that the title Son of Man was used over ninety times in reference to a prophet of old? The meaning of the title itself when used toward Jesus I believe is indicative of the character of Christ, i.e. Jesus Christ is fully God and was fully man born of a virgin. Now when the title is used toward Ezekiel, a prophet, it simply means and references Ezekiel’s character of being human. Many times throughout history the people looked to prophets and placed them on godly pedestals. What does this have to do with us today? When many younger adults and kids today hear Ezekiel they either mock the Amish and or think the name is a reference to something Sam Jackson spoke of in an older movie. Today, let us look at The Old Testament, Ezekiel chapter 2 verses 3-8.

 3Then He said to me, "Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel, to a rebellious people who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day.

 4"I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.'

 5"As for them, whether they listen or not--for they are a rebellious house--they will know that a prophet has been among them.

 6"And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.

 7"But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.

 8"Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you."

         

           Verse three one may complain and say, “Well, he was talking to Israel. That’s not us today!” True, you may not be of Israeli descent; however, God’s truth is for all people for all time. I will stand by the knowledge that God’s holy Word holds the answers to all our problems in this life. Here is the gist of The Old Testament after the exodus. We love you, oh we rebel, you punish us, we atone, rebel, punish…You get the idea. That is what is referenced when God mentions the people and fathers that have transgressed against him. Newsflash, folks, we, even, as his children saved by Grace, can and probably will today and tomorrow transgress against God. But praise be to God that he loved us so, that Christ paid our debt on the cross. So again in verse three, the people who have transgressed/gone against God, were his people. The prophet Ezekiel had a job to do. He had to proclaim the word to the people that God declared. We as children of God saved by Grace, the blood of Christ, have a job to do as well. We like Ezekiel must proclaim the Word. The Word we must proclaim is Christ, His love, His mercy, The Gospel.   

            Many people, Christians, at that, do not read or study the Old Testament. The reasons I have heard personally, is that, “Oh we live under the covenant of Christ, not The Old Testament.”  That by the way is a ridiculous statement based on the knowledge that the entire Bible is God’s message to his people. Christ said in reference to the old laws (contained in the OT, by the way), "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Since the OT is relevant, we can see that the people then and the people today are the same. Verse four alludes to this.  

4"I am sending you to them who are stubborn and obstinate children, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.'

            People today look at Christ as either a dead carpenter, a good man, a decent teacher, a community organizer, or one way to Heaven in a world full of different routes. I’ve spoken to many young people about the deity of Christ, and it is heartbreaking to see them so emphatic in holding to their disbelief. Some of these young people either want to know answers to everything as in, what did Jesus do here, here, and here, and say He, Christ did not do it, because blah blah blah. Their reasoning makes no sense. The same obstinate kids refuse to accept the simplicity that lies in the heart of the Gospel: Jesus saves.          

            Many people question whether or not the villager in Tikiville will spend eternity in Hell if they die without ever hearing about Christ, the Savior. Tough question. I won’t shy away. I am not going to answer it. I’ll field that one to God and His Word.

Nature God has revealed certain truths about Himself through nature or the created order. Psalm 19:1-6 states, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Nature tells everyone about God’s glory and that everything is made by Him. Romans 1:18-21 declares, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” According to this text, nature reveals that God exists and that He is powerful. This testimony is so powerful that no person can claim that he or she knows nothing about God.  Verse five follows this train of thought: "As for them, whether they listen or not--for they are a rebellious house--they will know that a prophet has been among them.

            Now here comes the big part: "And you, son of man, neither fear them nor fear their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions; neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their presence, for they are a rebellious house.”

 7"But you shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.  

            The Bible, not physically, but spiritually is our weapon against Satan and sin. Who should be fear with God on our side? The skeptic jumps up at that statement and screams, “Whoa now! If God loves his children so much then why are missionaries killed, and other Christians murdered?” My answer as failed man is “I don’t know,” but as one that leans not toward my own ignorance, let us look to the infallible word of God.  The apostle Peter under God’s inspiration wrote:

 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

            So there we have it. Regardless of the circumstance we each face in life, if we are true to Christ, and boldly proclaim His deity and Gospel to a lost and dying world we will as Peter wrote will suffer and be proud of it. Jesus before instructed His disciples to fear not if the world hated them because as He explained, the world first hated him.

            Verse seven uses the verb shall. Some will argue that The Bible and all its interpretations are just man made. While their point concerning some translations may hold water so to say, the bottom line is The Bible is God’s message period. Anyway verse seven says “You shall speak My words to them whether they listen or not, for they are rebellious.” God created and designed our souls to be on fire for him. The Bible teaches that were not meant to be timid. II Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. I show these verses to enforce the fact that we do not brothers and sisters have a valid excuse as to why we talk and hang out with lost people-those of all “faiths” that do not call Christ Savior without ever mentioning our relationship and what Christ has done to us and for us since accepting His gift of salvation. Are we, am I, are you, too afraid that you might be labeled a Jesus freak? Are you too ashamed of the nail scarred hands that not only dripped, but poured blood out for you?  State laws prevent teachers from abusing their authority in the secular realm by mentioning God, Christianity, and certainly the name of Christ. Christian students are the ones with the power to verbally witness to their lost peers while the Christian teacher models. There are two kinds of people today; those sealed by the blood of Christ and are secure in salvation, and others who are hell-bound. If one looks at people like that, what excuse can be used as to why the lost do not need to know Christ intimately. Right. There is not an excuse. Be bold! Statistics say that a person must be exposed x amount of times to the Gospel before ever converting to Christianity. If that is true, why are we, as Christ’s ambassadors, not spreading the Word as we should?

            Finally, verse eight is the final instructional piece.  8"Now you, son of man, listen to what I am speaking to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house. Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you." God is simply telling Ezekiel and us, by the way to straighten up. After we become Christians, we are new creations if you will in Christ. The old has passed away. Yes, I’m aware that none of us are perfect. Even as sinners turned saints by God’s gift of salvation, we will still mess up in life. With that stated, answer this for me: What are we when we return to sinful ways and desires after being made a new creation by Grace? Now before you answer, “A human that tries to uphold the Gospel to the best of his ability,” let us again look to God for the answer. Proverbs 26:11 answers, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. God tells us to open our mouths and eat. What he speaks is not of an earthly, physical need. The Apostle Paul referred to new Christians as babies craving spiritual milk. In order to grow in faith, one has to continue and go deeper on the walk with Christ. Here’s what our Lord and Savior says as recording in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

            If you TRULY KNOW YOU NEED AND WANT Christ as your savior, pray this prayer in your heart. Father God, I know that I’m a sinner. Lord, I believe Jesus died on the cross for me. I know Lord you raised Him from the dead on the third day. Father, I turn away from the sins of my life and this world and ask Jesus to come into my heart. It is in Christ’s holy name, I pray, amen.