Ezekiel 18: 25,27
We must keep in mind our responsibility to the Lord. It is an act of singular kindness that God should stoop to reason with the perverted mind of man, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him,” (Ps.8:4).
At one time the mind of man was not perverted are corrupt. The instrument that the Lord has created has been injured by the work of Satan, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked,” (Gen. 3: 7).
Today the Lord deals with us as creatures capable of discerning between right and wrong. Our ethical motive is every in the sight of the Lord. The Lord’s glory is for us to be pure and holy, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb. 12: 14).
When we stand before the Lord the final inquiry will not be, are you wealth, are you poor, are you learned or unlearned, but this only, are you righteous. All of us are undergoing moral trial, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,” (Ja. 1: 12). We all must give an account of our self before the Lord, “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son,” (v. 20).
These people was involved in idolatry and this sin is the rooted of various immorality. This sin is not merely a creed, nor yet only a form of worship, it indicates a state of the heart, “For where your treasures is, there will your heart be” (Mtt. 6: 21).
Idolatry is a departure from the soul’s harbor, “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven…And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possession” (Mk. 10: 21, 22).
Same people are like the brutes of the field, they are guided only by their senses, “Every man is brutish in his knowledge,” (Jer. 10: 14) Jesus is the source of all our purity our greatness and to wander from him is to drift into darkness and vice and ruin. Wherever idolatry has prevailed, there has prevailed also impurity,wrath, licentiousness, violence, and cruelty and blasphemers.
There is a lack of godly parental influence in our world today, yet this is not fatal to one’s soul salvation. A father’s opinions and beliefs will, in the first instance, be conveyed to his child. Yet soon the child will gather opinions and teaching from other sources, and often modifies or reverses the beliefs of its parent.
The evil example of a parent will influence, more or lest, the character of a child. As a parent is the channel of natural life to the child, so to he may become the channel of morals and spiritual life, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6: 7).
Yet a child is not doomed to copy the character of his parent, nor to imitate his vices. The power of grace does not run in the human bloodline, ”but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jh. 1: 17).
Each person has the responsibility and power to consider, to ponder, to choose and to resist evil. To the church of Philadelphia the Lord said, “I have set thee an open door, and no man can shut it” (Re. 3: 8).
Repentance, at any stage of man’s probation, is possible. It is recognized, throughout the scripture, that a man may turn from evils. If, at any point short of death, a man is disposed to turn from a evil course, all the resources of God’s skill and power are on his side, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I. Jh. 1: 9).
There is no hindrance to a man’s deliverance and improvement, save his own unwillingness.
Repentance leads to complete and perfect righteousness. Repentance is not merely a few words, but a positive good. It is the first link in a golden chain that shall bind the soul in sweet allegiance to God. It is the first drop in a precious shower of blessing. It is the foundation stone of a new character. It is the seed of a wonderful harvest.
From true repentance every virtue, every excellence deed, every noble quality, shall spring from it. Give it time, and it shall bear upon its branches all the fruits of goodness.
Repentance is the first ray of heaven struggling to find entrance into a man’s heart. We must not forget that the Lord has his motives in granting pardon to those who repent, “Have I any pleasure at all the wicked should die? Saith the Lord God, and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” (v. 23).
Righteousness is the parting of a new life. Note (v.22) “in his righteousness that he hath done, he shall live.” Only that man who is righteous truly lives.
The life of a man include the life of conscience and the life of the soul. The unrighteous man must forsake ”all” his sin, (v. 21) and he must subdued his evil will.
Just to eat, drink, sleep is the life of an animal, not the life of a spiritual being. The first activities of conscience are the movement and signs of life.
Therefore repentance is the beginning of a new life. Reformation with God is the budding of the heavenly life. The life of grace is the dawn of an eternal day.
Righteousness brings peace, rest, joy into the soul, heaven begin here on earth, purity here on earth are the first fruits of the coming harvest “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost“ (Rom. 14: 17).