Preach On!

Read: Ezekiel 2:3-7; 3:4-11
Text: Ezek 2:7 (KJV) And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
Theme: Our task is to share our faith, regardless of the perceived results.


Introduction:
Have you ever participated in a church service where people were urging the preacher on? "Amen!" "Preach it, brother!" "Come on!" "Preach on!"
Our scripture for today is, in a sense, God saying to His servant Ezekiel, "Amen! Preach on, brother." He was urging Ezekiel to continue sharing His message, regardless of the perceived results.
Jesus told a parable in Matthew 13, which illustrates this same truth. The central truth of this parable of the Sower and the Seed is that the results are not dependent on the sower. The results depend upon God.
So it is with our lesson today. Ezekiel is told by God, here, that his task is to preach the Word, regardless of the perceived results.


I. God's instructions to Ezekiel

QUESTION - What specific instructions did God give Ezekiel here?
(i.e. what commands or imperative statements can we see here that applied to Ezekiel?)
NOTE - List these on the whiteboard.
A. I send thee
QUESTION - How do you think this made Ezekiel feel?
We, too, have been sent:
John 20:21 (KJV) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
QUESTION - How does this make you feel?
QUESTION - Who was Ezekiel sent to?
QUESTION - Who (specifically) are we sent to?
B. Be not afraid
QUESTION - Why would Ezekiel be afraid?
QUESTION - Are we afraid? Why?
QUESTION - What can we do to deal with this fear?
C. Speak my words
QUESTION - What was Ezekiel's message?
QUESTION - What is ours? Has it changed? Is there any reason to present it any differently today than when it was first proclaimed?

II. Ezekiel's formula for success.

QUESTION - How would Ezekiel know if he was pleasing God in this area?
(compare to sower and seed - how did sower know if he was successful?)
QUESTION - How do we apply this to our efforts at sharing our faith today?
ANSWER - Share your faith in any way you can, and leave the results to God.

III. What Ezekiel saw.

NOTE - for each of the following points, ask these questions:
QUESTION - What does this mean?
QUESTION - What example(s) of this attitude do we see in people today?
QUESTION - How do we deal with people who exhibit this attitude today? (ANSWER - Make sure that the theme of the lesson is stressed in the answers - keep sharing, regardless of the perceived results!)
A. Rebellious people.
Webster's definition - "Engaged in, or characterized by, rebellion; mutinous; resisting control."
B. Impudent people.
Webster's definition - "Offensively forward in behavior; intentionallytreating othres without due respect; impertinent; bold; disrespectful; flippant."
C. Stiffhearted / hardhearted people.
Webster's definition (of hardhearted) - "Pitiless; unfeeling."

Conclusion:
The lesson that God had for Ezekiel here is the same lesson that Jesus gave His disciples in the parable of the sower and the seed.
Our task as believers is to share our faith. Some people will be rebellious. Some will be impudent and stiffhearted. Some will listen. Some will not. Sometimes there will be few or no perceived results.
Still, our task is to share our faith, regardless of the perceived results.
"And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear..." Ezek 2:7 (KJV)
"Preach on!"


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.