Ezekiel 18:21-23 “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”
Today, we are reminded of the lovingkindness of our Lord! Here in Ezekiel, the Lord is speaking to the house of Israel, explaining to them how His Justice really is, and how if a wicked man turns to follow Him, he will indeed be accepted by the Lord, and not told to basically “Get Lost!” The house of Israel believed otherwise, that those who did wickedness, though they repented and turned to the Lord God, they still should not be given the chance. So the Lord our God was explaining to them, how He really is, in His Lovingkindness. The Last verse for today is what we will really focus on.
Our Lord asks us if He has any pleasure in the death of the wicked, instead of in the repentance of the wicked, so that the wicked should live. The Lord then answers for us, later in the chapter, in Verses 31-32, “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.”
There are a few accounts of how we hear in the news, some proclaiming the name of Christ, who will go out and actually kill those who live abominable lives. They say, “The Lord told us to do it, He hates them! All they are, are filthy, hell-bound pieces of trash!” Now, we who are in Christ clearly understand how wrong and ungodly those actions and statements are! As we understand from Luke 9:54-56, when a certain city would not receive Jesus, “And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
However, many still act in similar ways, by believing some people don’t deserve to be saved. I recently was contacted over the computer, by an Atheist. He started trying to trick me and prove me wrong, and say how God is not real, and then how God is not all powerful, and then how God had to be a human, and as each of his questions and beliefs were refuted and found wrong, he then resorted to a simple “Christianity is stupid” and “Islam is true” and his final words were in frustration, “I’m warning you!” before he left. Later that night I began thinking of how everywhere I go, I seem to have Pagans, Witches, or Atheists come to me and start arguing their case and trying to get me to renounce my faith, and just trying to prove me wrong! My area is nearly nothing but those beliefs, but I am speaking of when I go to another area, or when I am online . . . I asked myself, “Do I have a sign on my back that says, Come try to attack me and my faith, Try to prove me wrong, or get me to change!” I can understand how those in my area would do that to me, because I am right here for them to do that to me (though they no longer try that much, because they have realized it won’t work). Yet I was shocked to realize how people seem to come to me, from other places, even Online. These are new people too, even those online must be new people because they try to use the same arguments, and each try to “stump” me, when those who are in my area, and those who have come to me before already know I can easily handle those questions. It is odd, but makes me think that the Lord is leading these people to me, so that I can plant seeds in their lives.
All that though, was mentioned for this reason: I mentioned this to a brother of ours later that night, and I asked for prayer that I continue to be given wisdom in dealing with the people. His nearly immediate comment was, “Yeah, but isn’t that like casting your pearls before swine?” I was shocked a bit, because it reminded me, it’s true that so many will not reach out to certain people because they think of them as the “swine” or those who are “unworthy” to witness to . . . (We’ve covered in a past study, that verse of casting our pearls before swine, and giving that which is holy unto the dogs. So, if you want a reminder of it, just ask and I can get it again for you!)
Homosexuals may be one type of person many Christians tend to ignore and neglect. When we think of them, we may automatically think, “Ugh, get away from me!” Though homosexuality is truly a sin, we should in no way think hatefully of those souls. What if I were to tell you, I once was homosexual? Would, or should, that then change the way you think of me now? Would you say something like, “Well then you can’t possibly be forgiven or saved” because of the lie, “Once a homosexual, always a homosexual!” (Or would you then take any words I speak now, and think of them as “less true,” or “tainted with sin” and not helpful to anyone at all?)
We should remember, that our Lord is wanting each person to repent and follow Him! We may not be too eager to witness to someone who may have done us terrible wrong in our lives, but we have to remember that the person is a soul, for whom Jesus died! I myself have done so much wrong in my life, and worse, I had taught others to do wrong! I don’t deserve forgiveness. Yet my Salvation is what pleases God. God wants me to be with Him, clothed with Eternal Life; not in hell, being eternally tormented!
I am reminded of Jonah. Jonah was told to “witness” to the terribly wicked city of Nineveh. He didn’t want to though, because of how wicked they were! However, as we know the account of Jonah, he wound up going to Nineveh after he tried to go somewhere else and the Lord stopped him. Well, after he “witnessed” to the city, the city repented and turned to the Lord. Jonah, however, was displeased with that, and actually wanted Nineveh to be punished—not forgiven. The Lord then told Jonah, “And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11) We should not be as Jonah was when he honestly wanted Nineveh to perish!
It would be a thought, to refuse to witness to those in my area, the many, many who have done me wrong, even trying to kill me numerous times. Yes, that would be a thought . . . a terrible one! Yet here is another thought . . . why not inflict torture on my enemies? Yes, that is a good thought there! But before you wonder, remember who our enemies are! Our Enemies are the Devil and his demons! Instead of neglecting those souls he deceived and used, to try to do me harm, why don’t I try to take them away from the Devil! Why not take away those souls he worked extra hard to deceive, and worked extra hard to get to use as his tools to do what he wanted? Oh can you just imagine how furious it makes the devil, when we lead someone he worked so hard to deceive, to the Lord God, and out of his hands! I can just imagine him yelling out, jumping up and down, and then screaming, “I’m gonna KILL this one!” And then God pulls the chain back and says, “Oh no you won’t.”
We need to remember that the Lord wants everyone to come to Him, not that those in sin should perish in the Lake of Fire! Let us reach out to even those we may think shouldn’t get saved.
However, this is not a cry for tolerance, nor a cry for compromise. Sin is still sin, and those who sin, still need to come to Christ, and STOP SINNING! If they don’t stop, they will indeed go to Hell, and be thrown in the lake of fire! We should not go to them and say, “Oh, it’s alright, God loves you anyway, no matter what” and lead the person to believe that what they are doing is alright in the eyes of God! We still need to stand firm in the faith and in the Truth. We still need to rebuke sin, and show others that all must stop sinning! There is compromise and tolerance being cried out by all people all over the world, even some children of God. We have to stop tolerating sin or compromising by saying it is okay. Yes, we are to show the love of God and not yell at people in hatred. Yet we cannot either say that it is all okay.
It has to be admitted that witnessing to those mentioned today, might not be able to be done by everyone in the Body of Christ. Some will find it hard to handle, or will wind up letting emotions get control of them and will actually bring harm to the name of Christ Jesus. Yet those, should pray for the people, and should reach out and witness to other precious souls (None of us should ever neglect witnessing)!
Let us praise God for His Grace, that even though we were sinners worthy of death in Hell Fire, He still wanted us to receive Life in His Son Jesus, and so He still showed us a better way, a better life, free from sin, to serve and follow Him! Praise God!
I love you so much, and do continue daily to pray for you! I pray that our Lord continues to guide us in His Word as we study it each and every day. May God Bless you mightily, and you have a glorious day today in the Lord!
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 41:13 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.