People have found it difficult to believe that God has “…no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Eze. 33:11) There are people who believes that God has destined the greater part of mankind to eternal misery before they were born in order to magnify his own glory. This is not true. “I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”(3 John 2).
The heathen have had ideas of gods who delight in taking vengeance on the sinner. Let us consider the cause of these views. God warns sternly. He will do what He say He will do. The analogy of human passion tells us with man, revenge is sweet. Therefore they imagine that God does the same.
The experience of Divine judgment are at times so sweeping and wholesale. To escape from them seems to be so hopeless, that their victims are tempted to regard them as the outcome of God’s own anger. The Lord said to the children of Israel, “when I see the blood, I will pass over you,” (Ex.12:23) It is a fact that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. This is positively affirmed. Verse11 states,”I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” No revelation of truth is more clear or positive than this.
God is true to his character, “for God is love” (1 John 4:8) God is our Father, and a true father can have no pleasure in the death of his children This truth is confirmed by the action of God. He sent his Son to save the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
While death is the wages of sin, the gift of God is the opposite, eternal life. (Rom.6:23) The New Testament is a grand contradiction to theological thinker. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (I.Tim.1:15)
The death of the wicked is due to their own will. The question is asked in verse 11, “Why will ye die?”
“For so was it charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest.” ( 1 Kings13:9) The person who takes poison willfully takes his own life. Life and death is a matter of a man’s own election.” Then Judas which had betrayed him…departed, and when and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5 ) God does not desire a man’s death, but earnestly desires their salvation, “choose you this day whom ye will serve;” (Jos.24:15)
God entreats men to turn and live. It is more than possible for all to live. As the sinner chooses his own death, so the means of life and deliverance are with in his reach.”Now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” (II. Cor.6:2)
We know that a sinner cannot save himself, but he may choose whether he will be saved. He has that choice. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God..” (Eph. 2:2.) The condition of eternal life is conversion. “Turn ye from your evils ways” Turning from your sin is the beginning of true repentance. It means more than regretful tears. It takes place in the will, not merely in the emotions. May I say this, a tearless change could be true conversion, while weeping without change is worthless sentiment. Yet this does not require perfect conquest of evil and a full recovery from it before God will have mercy.
Repentance sets one’s face in the right direction. God urges and bids sinners to turn and live. This shows that there is great danger before a person. And yet the difficulty there is in inducing men to repent. Happy are they who hear His gracious call and respond to it. The jailer in (Acts 16:30) responded to the call of repentance,” Sirs, what must I do to be saved? the answer to this question is,” Repent, and be baptized ever one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:36)