Ezekiel 18:30-32, “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!"
This blog has been on my heart for some time now but I didn't know where to start. I wanted to challenge the idea in a lot of churches that 'God is just Love'. That is not the whole picture of God. I would argue that 'God is Love and Just!' John Piper's quote (left) nails this true theology on the head. God gives both love and wrath because He cannot ignore sin, but He gave us a way through love with His Son, Jesus, to avoid that wrath. Deuteronomy 32:4, "All His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He." God's love and justice intersect at the cross.
"It’s true that life is often unfair. Some seem to be blessed with far more opportunities than others, but let’s not blame God. These injustices are here because mankind’s sin has invaded God’s creation. The Lord allows them, but He has not caused them. He grieves over them more than we do, loves us equally, has made eternal salvation available to all, and will judge everyone by the principle: “To whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). At the end of time, the Lord will right all the wrongs of the ages, and even the people most deprived and mistreated in this life will be satisfied with God’s justice. Ultimately, no one will have reason to accuse Him of being unfair." odb.org
The verses above from Ezekiel are a call to each of us to repent and turn away from our own sins before our own destined judgement day, so that we may be pardoned and washed white as snow. Then receive a new heart and life for God and His will in our life.
4 Points to Consider from Ezekiel 18:30-32 [M. Henry]
- We must not only repent of our sins but turn away or run from them. Just as sins are specific to each of us, so is salvation. Your relationship with Jesus is yours alone.
- "If we repent not, we certainly perish, and our blood will be upon our own heads." We are judged or forgiven according to our own hearts, not others.
- God takes no pleasure in our demise but desires our welfare. God's mercy shows how much He desires each of us to turn to Him.
- "We are made for ever if we repent: Turn yourselves, and live. " God has prepared an eternal place for those who surrender to His will and ways.
Elisabeth Elliot wrote:
"Heaven is not here, it's There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for."