How To Be Redeemed      Ezekiel 33:7-11, 30-33 (HCSB)     July 10, 2005

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    Do you think the majority of the people in our world know how to be redeemed? In my opinion a vast majority do not understand how to be redeemed, and most of them think redemption requires some works on their part. In the text, God expected His prophet to declare the message of redemption, and I believe the same is true today. When in the Book of Acts the Lord says; "you will be My witnesses" (Acts 1:8; HCSB), I think He included all of His children in this ministry of sharing the message, because everyone needs to know How To Be Redeemed.

1.    How to be Redeemed . . Receive God's Warning. v 7-9

A.    The . . Assignment To Urge Others to Receive God's Warning.
    7 "As for you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. When you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me.

B.    The . . Accountability In Urging Others to Receive God's Warning.
    8 If I say to the wicked: Wicked one, you will surely die, but you do not speak out to warn him about his way, that wicked person will die for his iniquity, yet I will hold you responsible for his blood.

C.    The . . Accommodation In Urging Others to Receive God's Warning.
    9 But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn't turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.

    God's plan of redemption must be shared as well as received. It is His plan that His people share His message of redemption (not just His preachers). We have the assignment from God, and we must be faithful. God will hold us accountable for the sharing of His redemptive plan. The text makes this very clear. Suppose we share and the people mock or ridicule us? Our assignment demands obedience; not acceptance, from the people. The witness is successful as he/she faithfully shares. God will take care of the number who respond; we need to take care of our commitment.

2.    How to be Redeemed . . Repent at God's Warning. v 10-11

A.    Repentance and the . . Plan of God. Vv 10-11 a
    10 "Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel: You have said this: Our transgressions and our sins are [heavy] on us, and we are wasting away because of them!  How then can we survive? 11 Tell them: As I live"--the declaration of the Lord God--

B.    Repentance and the . . Pleasure of God. v 11 b
    "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, . . ."

C.    Repentance and the . . Preference of God. v 11 c
    ". . . but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live. Repent, repent of your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel?

    God's plan of redemption included the people's repentance of sin. The position of the so called "easy believism sects" plays down repentance but God does not. He not only has repentance in His plan; it is His pleasure to grant the blessings of redemption and forgiveness to any and all who will repent. To those who refuse the call to repentance God asks, "why will you die?" From that question can we say it is God's preference that people repent? Some want to say this makes God look like a failure, but I say He cannot fail by expressing His plans and desires. Does mankind have a choice; has God chosen to give us a choice? I say, Yes!

3.    How to be Redeemed . . Respond to God's Warning. v 30-33

A.    Respond to the . . Opportunity To Hear The Message. v 30-31
    30 "Now, son of man, your people are talking about you near the [city] walls and in the doorways of their houses. One person speaks to another, each saying to his brother: Come and hear what the message is that comes from the Lord! 31 So My people come to you in crowds, sit in front of you, and hear your words, but they don't obey them. Although they express love with their mouths, their hearts pursue unjust gain.

B. Respond with . . Obedience To The Message. v 32-23
    32 Yes, to them you are like a singer of love songs who has a beautiful voice and plays skilfully on an instrument. They hear your words, but they don't obey them. 33 Yet when it comes --and it will definitely come--then they will know that a prophet has been among them."

    If a person experiences redemption he/she will have to respond to the plan of God. It is not our plan, and none of the works we do will ever gain redemption. God wants us to share so people will have the opportunity to respond. Today we can attend a church service, turn a radio or television dial, watch a video, or read a well-prepared tract. Still there are multitudes who have not heard. The text brings out another problem as many hear but do not respond. It is like a fad with them to hear the message but refuse to repent. The success of being a faithful witness is not in the number responding (although all of us want to see many sincerely respond), but in the faithful declaration of the plan of redemption. All Christians should want everyone to understand How To Be Redeemed. Amen? Amen!.