Monday Sermon – Starting Right But Ending Wrong
Submitted by Grenville Phillips II
This week, let me let God speak for Himself. His message is clear enough.
“Now, mortal man, I am making you a lookout for the nation of Israel. You must pass on to them the warnings I give you.
“If I announce that an evil person is going to die but you do not warn him to change his ways so that he can save his life, then he will die, still a sinner, and I will hold you responsible for his death. If you do warn an evil person and he doesn’t stop sinning, he will die, still a sinner, but your life will be spared.”
“The Lord spoke to me [Ezekiel]. “Mortal man,” he said, “repeat to the Israelites what they are saying: ‘We are burdened with our sins and the wrongs we have done. We are wasting away. How can we live?’
“Tell them that as surely as I, the Sovereign Lord, am the living God, I do not enjoy seeing sinners die. I would rather see them stop sinning and live. Israel, stop the evil you are doing. Why do you want to die?
“Now, mortal man, tell the Israelites that when someone good sins, the good he has done will not save him. If an evil person stops doing evil, he won’t be punished, and if a good man starts sinning, his life will not be spared.
“I may promise life to someone good, but if he starts thinking that his past goodness is enough and begins to sin, I will not remember any of the good he did. He will die because of his sins.
“I may warn someone evil that he is going to die, but if he stops sinning and does what is right and good — for example, if he returns the security he took for a loan or gives back what he stole—if he stops sinning and follows the laws that give life, he will not die, but live. I will forgive the sins he has committed, and he will live because he has done what is right and good.
“And your people say that what I do isn’t right! No, it’s their way that isn’t right. When someone righteous stops doing good and starts doing evil, he will die for it. When someone evil quits sinning and does what is right and good, he has saved his life. But Israel, you say that what I do isn’t right. I am going to judge you by what you do.” (Ezekiel 33:7-20)
Some seem to think that measurement scales will be used to judge the weight of their righteousness and wickedness, and the net amount will determine their fate. While that may be desired for those who want to justify doing wrong later in their lives, they will only deceive themselves.
It seems that those who choose to turn from their former righteous ways, to pursue wickedness, will be judged by their last choices, not their first.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com