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Bible Study by Dena Stevens for Nov. 14, 2013
SoVaNow.com / November 13, 2013Ezek. 33:15 “If the wicked” (lawless) “restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed” (this is saying, make it right) “walk in the statutes of life” (this is civil law) “without committing iniquity” (wrong-doing) “he shall surely live, he shall not die.” We have Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to thank for this. That is His gift. When we fall short of these things, repentance restores us as though we had never sinned.
Ezek. 33:16 “None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him:” (once you have repented of a sin, that sin is gone. On judgment day, that sin is not on your record—it’s blotted out—it does not exist!) “He hath done that which is lawful” (kept the civil law) “and right;” (does not commit iniquity) “he shall surely live.” These words are from the lips of Almighty God Himself, and God cannot lie. It’s a promise written in stone; it cannot be changed. Some religions teach that if a person is divorced and remarries, they commit an unforgivable sin, and they treat those people like second-class citizens. Divorce is breaking a vow that have been made before God, and that is a sin. But, nowhere in God’s Word does it say that divorced persons cannot find forgiveness. The only unforgivable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and divorce does not do that. If two divorced people want to marry, and if they repent of their part in causing the divorce, that sin is forgiven just as any other sin is forgiven. Forgiveness is what God does when we sincerely ask for it! When God forgives a sin, He does not remember that sin or hold it against them. They have a clean slate, and they are as free to marry as they were the first time. It’s a strange thing, but some religions use the Bible to put people in bondage, when Christianity sets us free.
Ezek. 33:17 “Yet the children of thy people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not equal’: but as for them, their way is not equal.” Some people say that God is not fair. They say that if somebody sins, they have to suffer the consequences of those sins. They believe that if a man and woman are divorced, it doesn’t matter what God has promised, or how much they love the Lord. For the rest of their lives they have to suffer the consequences of their part in that divorce, or else, God would not be fair. Some people like to see others suffer. God promises freedom from sin when we repent and try to live right. But, we can forfeit that freedom when we continue to live in sin, and He makes that very clear. God’s Truth is not a license to sin; it gives us forgiveness when we ask for it and it gives the way to find a fresh start in life. God intends for us to be happy even in this fractured old world, and in Him, we can be. But, any time we think God is unfair, we are not understanding something correctly. The law of fairness demands that any unrepented sin must be answered for.
Ezek. 33:18 “When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.” This verse is about salvation, or living eternally. God is speaking to His people, Israel, who, in their day lived under Law, but, the message is just as much for His people today who are living under grace, meaning Christians. It is talking about the soul. Salvation by grace was provided for all people when Christ was crucified. Salvation is ours when we ask Him for it. Christ does not force salvation on anyone. We hear people say, “once saved, always saved”, but is that true? When a person becomes a Christian, who does the saving? Christ, of course, but, who does the sinning? People do, and it is possible for a Christian to give themselves over to a life of sin. However, if that happens, and they really don’t want a change in their lives, they forfeit their salvation. By choice, they denounce it, give it up, and are no longer living under the promise of salvation. We have been given free will to choose what to do with our lives, and if someone chooses to go to hell, God will allow it. He doesn’t want it to be that way, because He loves all His children and He doesn’t want to lose any of them to Satan, but if it is someone’s choice, so be it. Without repentance and forgiveness, they lose their soul. Christ does not remove His plan of salvation. As long as this world age stands, salvation will still be there for all. But the unrepentant person who chooses not to give up that lifestyle can sin so much that they miss another chance at salvation. As the rich man of Luke, Chapter 16 learned, after a person dies, there are no second chances for salvation. No matter if one is Christian or infidel, salvation is open to all while life remains in the body, but, sin will take you straight to hell, where there are no second chances and no escape doors. It’s as simple as that.
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