podcast

#1,135 – Urgency for the Gospel (Ezekiel 12:26-28)

Pray The Word
Ezekiel
12
26-28
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“And the word of the Lord came to me, son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say the vision that he sees is for many days from now and he prophesies of times far off. Therefore, say to them, thus says the Lord God, none of my words will be delayed any longer. But the word that I speak will be performed declares the Lord God.”
-Ezekiel 12:26-28

Basically let’s make sure we understand what is happening here in Ezekiel 12. Ezekiel is prophesying about the destruction that’s coming upon Jerusalem because of sin and idolatry. In fact, right before this in Ezekiel 12, God calls Ezekiel to symbolize, to picture the captivity that’s coming at the hands of the Babylonians. The end of this chapter though talks about how the people who Ezekiel is prophesying this too are saying, “Hey, the judgment of God is coming.”

Rather than believing that we have unlimited time, we should have an urgency for people to hear, respond, and believe in the gospel.

The people are saying, “Oh, that’s going to happen many years from now, far off from now.” And God says, “Tell them it’s not going to be delayed any longer. The word that I have spoken will be performed, declares the Lord God.” In other words, there’s an urgency and yet the people here in Ezekiel’s day and their sin and their hardness of heart, even when confronted with their sin and idolatry and immorality and the promise of judgment from God in the most severe terms, they’re saying, “Oh, that’ll happen later. We don’t need to worry about that right now.”

And as I read these verses, I just think about, just think with me about the urgency for the gospel right now in the world and the tendency among many people to think, oh, I’ll worry about that later. I’ll worry about my relationship with God when I’m older. I’ll worry about my relationship with God at another point in my life. I’m okay right now. It’s one of the most consistent lies that Satan, that the adversary, sells and deceives with people thinking there’s more time.

This is different when it comes to application of this text here in Ezekiel 12. I can’t help but to think about how, even in our evangelism or lack of evangelism, sometimes as followers of Jesus, it’s like we’re living like people have a lot of time to hear the gospel, respond to the gospel. When the reality is there is not one of us listening right now who is guaranteed to be alive tomorrow. Not one of us and not one of the coworkers around us or friends or family members around us. And so there’s an urgency. Here in Ezekiel 12 an urgency to hear and heed the word of the Lord.

Now, there’s an urgency for Ezekiel to proclaim the word of the Lord. Now, judgment’s coming. My words are not going to be delayed any longer, God says, Ezekiel speak this. God, we pray that you would help us to live with this kind of urgency regarding your word. Lord, I pray for anyone who’s listening to this right now, who does not have confidence by your grace before you, when they think about standing before you in judgment for sin.

God, I pray that anybody who’s listening right now, who doesn’t know that they have salvation in Jesus, that today would be the day, not tomorrow, today would be the day when they trust in you and they experience your forgiveness and they have confidence in a 1 John 5 kind of way, that they know they have eternal life with you. And then, God, for all of us who have this word, who have 1 John 5, who have John 3:16, who have the good news of your love and your grace and your mercy, God help us to proclaim it with urgency today, help us to proclaim it like this could be some people’s last day.

God, help us to see with this perspective to speak your word like the delay before judgment is not much longer. And God, we pray that you would give an urgency in those we share with. God, we think about people who have been sharing with for a long time, who are saying, “I’ll worry about that later”, who think I have time. God, we pray that you would open their eyes to see that today is the day of salvation. Please, God, we pray for all kinds of people.

I’m just thinking about individual names that I’ve lifted before you for years, God, would today be the day for others who have prayed and try to share the gospel with friends and family members over years. God, we pray that today would be the day that it would click, that they would see they don’t have time. That today is the day to trust in you and your love, your grace and your mercy. God, we pray that in every area of our lives, including evangelism, but everything else, God, that you would help us never to delay obedience, but to obey you today, to take you at your word today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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