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Watchfulness of leaders

Ezekiel 3  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Leaders must be alert to the needs of those they serve and also to the dangers that surround believers in the world. The OT teaching on watchmen provides an indication of the importance of watchfulness and the responsibility of those called to be watchful.

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Leaders are required to be watchful

Ezekiel 3:17 KJV 1900
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
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They are accountable to God

Ezekiel 3:18 KJV 1900
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
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They must warn against false teachers

Elders are called overseers in Acts 20:28; 1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:7; 1Pe 5:2.
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Examples of leaders’ warnings to churches

1 Corinthians 4:14 KJV 1900
14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.
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Leaders’ watchfulness in prayer

Isaiah 62:6–7 KJV 1900
6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, Which shall never hold their peace day nor night: Ye that make mention of the Lord, Keep not silence, 7 And give him no rest, Till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
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Leaders need to watch over their own lives

Acts 20:28 KJV 1900
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
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1 Timothy 3:2–7 KJV 1900
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Watchmen sometimes fail to be watchful

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Ezekiel 34:1–10 KJV 1900
1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; 8 As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; 10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
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