Ezek. 3:20-21 “If good people turn bad and don’t listen to my warning, they will die. If you did not warn them of the consequences, then they will die in their sins. Their previous good deeds won’t help them, and I will hold you responsible, demanding your blood for theirs. But if you warn them and they repent, they will live and you will have saved your own life too.”
Every time I read this passage and meditate on it, it challenges me. I know God spoke to Ezekiel during a different time than we live in. The Israelites were living under the law and not grace. God dealt with His people differently then than He does now. Yet, I can’t help but take this passage and draw a parallel to our living.
The Lord suggests that good people can turn bad. Can godly people turn away from their godliness and sin against God? I believe so. We do not lose our free will when we give our hearts over to Christ. We still choose between good and evil. We still choose whether or not we are going to live by God’s Word or not. We daily make spiritual choices. So, what happens when godly people turn away from God and choose to live in sin?
This passage tells us that the people of Ezekiel’s day would die if they did not repent. Does this mean that they would lose their standing with God? I will let others debate that issue. All I know is what the Word declares. Here God says that their past goodness would not help them. God says He would hold them responsible for their sins. I believe that God has not changed. He still holds us responsible for our sins. How can it be otherwise? God is holy and there will be no sin in heaven whatsoever. One way or another, all sin will be dealt with before we are allowed into heaven. God makes it clear in His Word that when we sin we must confess it and seek Christ’s forgiveness. Only the pure in heart will see God. What happens if we don’t confess our sins and seek God’s forgiveness? He will deal with us accordingly. He judges each of us by the righteousness of Christ and the standards of His Word. He will judge each of us rightly.
I would caution each of us to not ignore this truth. It is a very serious thing to harbor sin in our hearts. It leads us away from God and soon takes over our lives. If we turn away from God and live sinful lives, we will stand before God and give an account for our lives Listen to what God says about sin; let His Spirit lead you according to His Word.