From Pastor’s Desk:
Ezekiel 18:32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
I can just hear the critics rise in unison against this verse. What? The God of the Old Testament who routed out nations and destroyed them? Yes! Absolutely, that God! Notice the verse says “I take no pleasure…” That does not mean that He will not exact judgment on people, even His own people, as we see throughout Scriptures.
The last phrase of the verse is the qualifier: “Repent and Live!” Rather conclusive, isn’t it? If people will repent they will live, if they don’t they won’t. God certainly takes more pleasure in repentance than in non-repentance. The verse following the “Golden Text” of the Bible says, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17 NKJV)
Greek for “condemn” is κρίνω krinō (kree’-no), meaning to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: English derivatives are avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.
God sent His Son, Christ Jesus, into the world not to do the above, but to save.
Greek for “save” is σώζω sōzō (sode’-zo), meaning ͂̄̄́to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively), with English derivatives being, heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
A penitent soul has all the benefits of the latter. To repent is to turn around and go the other direction, that is, to do a 180 degree turnaround.
The apostle, Paul, says it this way: “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV).
Repentance results in total change, if it is genuine repentance.