TURN— REPENT— AND FOLLOW JESUS!
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. —Ezekiel 16:49-50
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
There are many characteristics that are revealed in those who are living wicked lives, according to the Lord. The wicked show themselves by being—
- Having excess food
- Living in prosperous ease
And they were doing this while—
- Not aiding the poor
- Not aiding the needy
- Doing abomination before the Lord
These are self-righteous, self-focused people. They are like the Foolish Rich Fool Jesus spoke about—
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” —Luke 12:14-21
“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36). It is short-sighted and blindness of one focused only on the temporal things. Lifting oneself up, thinking too highly of self, caring only for self’s prosperity, comfort and leisure with no thought of helping the poor and needy reveals the true characteristic of a person. According to our Lord, it is wickedness.
But “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?” Our Lord’s desire is that a person would turn or repent from their wicked ways and follow Him and His righteous ways. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). And… “This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 2:3-4). Brother and sister, fellow followers of Jesus, that is God’s desire and that is why Jesus came. May we encourage people to turn from their ways and live for Jesus. Yes, Dear Father, may this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and I the authority of Your Precious Son Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD6khv6pGkw&t=4s