Ezekiel 33:12 “The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.”

Observation: The thirty-third chapter of Ezekiel is a beautiful word picture concerning the restoration of Israel as a nation, but it has application to us as individuals. It contains hope for those lost in sin and rebellion and is a clear warning for the complacent righteous.

Application: Ezekiel firmly nails shut the door to an easy salvation when he warns in 33:13, “When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity…he will die.” Ouch! This makes it sound as though eternal security is something more than a one-time premium paid on a fire insurance policy. You mean the policy must be maintained? That once acquired, I have to continue making regular payments? Forever? Why, there would be no end to it, no point at which payments could stop if that were the case!

But of course that is the case. We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Having once accepted the finished work of Christ, we then find ourselves at the beginning of the beginning of our journey in Him.

Our assignment, our joy, is to live the rest of our lives in the righteousness He has purchased for us. No room in His inn for Christian slackers. Those who continue in sin, trusting in a soft salvation, will die in their sin.

Ezekiel had a hopeful word for the unrighteous. “’As I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.’” What this clarifies is that eternal death, like eternal life, is a choice I make while I yet have life. Even to the end, God is for me; He will never stop tugging, wooing, and convicting me to abandon the way of death.  O, how He longs to see me finish the race well, to enter into His presence hearing His “Well done!” ringing in my heart. The desire of my heart is the same as His: that I, having once been made righteous through the blood and body of Jesus, would make righteous choices not just once, but daily, for as long as life remains.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your word today, which brings conviction of my failures, yet contains great hope. I am so grateful that You never give up on me nor become discouraged when I make wrong choices.