Have I Any Pleasure In The Death Of The Wicked

Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? (Ezekiel 18:23 ESV)

Brass Scales Of Justice Off Balance, Symbolizing Injustice, Over WhiteGod wants all people to obey his summons to repent and believe the gospel, and so be saved (Acts 17:30; Ezek. 18:23).  In light of this, the church is called to preach the gospel indiscriminately to all people … to the ends of the earth (Matt 28:18). But sadly, all men without exception have a heart of stone, and in their willful blindness, turn a deaf ear and refuse to believe and follow Christ (Rom 3:11, 8:7; 1 Cor 2:14). He has no pleasure in seeing a humanity so unyielding and inflexible in their rebellion against Him.This saddens God and indeed angers Him. But even though all natural men reject this call to faith in Christ, God is yet still merciful. Instead of giving all of us what we justly deserve (His wrath), He still gives life and pardons more ill-deserving sinners than any man can count (Eph. 2:5; Rev. 7:9).

If God simply left us all to our “free will” as our Arminian friends contend, then none would be saved (Rom 9:16; John 3:19). None. This is because no man is naturally wiser than another (1 Cor 1:29, 30) but all men are equally captive to the flesh and unwilling to come to Christ. So leaving us to our so-called “free will” would actually the worst judgment God could possibly give a person – and yet this is precisely what He does to many of the self-seeking. (Rom 2:8) But Jesus’ work on the cross is so complete and sufficient for us that He was willing to do FOR US what we are unwilling to do for ourselves … giving us EVERYTHING we need for salvation, not only offering pardon to all that come to Him for life, but quickening to life all those the Father has given Him (John 6:63, 65, 37) that we would come to Him for life. It is incorrect to assume that if we are commanded to do something it is possible for us to accomplish it. When we, by grace, begin to understand what we cannot do (obey, repent, believe) we humbled before God who alone has the power to supply a new heart to believe (Ephesians 2:5,8) eyes to see and ears to hear (Deut 29:4, 30:6; Romans 9:16).

As Augustine once aptly said, “In some places God requires newness of heart [Ezek 18:31]. But elsewhere he testifies that it is given by him [Ezek. 11:19; 36:26]. But what God promises we ourselves do not do through choice or nature; but he himself does through grace.”

In this world, some get justice and some get mercy. But no one gets injustice.

Original found here.

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