Israel came to the place in their thinking that they could get by with certain sins because they were God’s elected people. God warned them through His prophet Ezekiel that He would hold them accountable if they sinned. Some of them began to feel that they could pass their sins on to their children and be free themselves. God warned them of their impending doom if they did not turn from their sins and repent. He said in Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”
God pled with them through the prophet in verses 31 and 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.”
What God said to Israel applies to all people throughout all times. For God never changes. He is still pleading for the world to turn from wickedness and turn unto life and live. As it was with Israel then, it is still the same today. God has no pleasure in seeing anyone die that has not turned from their sins and found acceptance with Him. He is still sending out the solemn warning to mankind today, “Why will ye die?”
In His mercy God repeated this warning again in Chapter 33 and verse 11. “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
It is sad indeed when one goes into eternity unprepared to meet God. The Christian’s heart is made to bleed at such sobering news. God is still warning the sinner through His ministry today. Those who reject the warning will die in their sins. The faithful righteous person will not be held accountable for the lost sinner if he warns him to repent and he fails to do so.
God mercy is tempered with judgment however. He also warned the sinners of their impending judgment who repeatedly heard the message and yet failed to repent. In Proverbs 29:1 God warned; “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
In the final showdown when all stand at the judgment seat of Christ they will be judged by their reaction to God’s Word. None will be excused or exonerated. It will be too late for many for God has warned them. Paul in his epistle to the Romans warns: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:” (Rom.2:5, 6).
When our time comes to pass from this life to the next and we stand before Christ, may we be worthy to stand there with a clean slate having nothing that has not been put under the blood of Christ against us there to condemn us.