There Are Consequences
Read Ezekiel Chapter 24
Eze 24:13 “ ‘Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until My wrath against you has subsided. 14 “ ‘I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for Me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.’ ”
There is a great misunderstanding going around in Christian circles today. Our churches and church leaders do not seem to remember that there are consequences for open rebellion against God, as it applies to the unrepentant. Our society today has a great tendency to believe they can willfully ignore God’s instructions and believe that God will wink and withhold His wrath. That is absolutely an abominable mistaken notion. There have always been consequences awaiting those who refuse to repent, for both the unsaved and the saved.
Our Lord’s wrath hangs heavily over the heads of all who have failed to trust and believe in Him and His Son, Jesus. Unless there is a point in time when they turn and submit themselves to Him and His authority, they will spend eternity in abject torture, without a scrap of hope. However, today’s lesson will be focused on the consequences which ensue when God’s redeemed fail to listen to and heed His word.
In this passage, Ezekiel is pronouncing judgment on His people in Jerusalem. The Lord time and time again warned His people that they must repent of their misdeeds and their failure to submit to His will. Time and time again He gave the prophets a warning against the coming disasters which the people had brought upon themselves by their rebellion.
There is an unmistakable parallel today within the body of believers. There are many men and women today who are living in willful disobedience to God’s commands. Men and women are living together without the benefit of marriage, having children out of wedlock, living as the world lives, and have no fear of God’s wrath. That kind of willful disobedience, and many other kinds as well, will eventually bring disaster upon any who refuse to repent.
The same is true of Christians who are living active gay lives and have refused to let God guide them into a better life. Not only are there false Christians who believe that their same-sex behaviors are not against God’s will, there are some true believers who fully know God’s word it true, but believe that God will somehow understand and will not call them to account. That kind of ‘grace’ is found nowhere in God’s word. A man can search from Genesis to Revelation, and that theology will not be found. God’s children, those who truly belong to Him, will suffer severe discipline if no repentance is forthcoming.
Verse 13 explains that the Lord tried to cleanse His children from impurity, but they would have none of it. Verse 14 clearly shows that there will come a time for God to act against rebellion. There will be a time when He calls His people into an earthly judgment. In case someone believes that this idea is only an Old Testament idea, here are some scriptures which settle that dispute.
Heb 2:1 We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him.
Heb 12:5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”
No Christian can continue to willfully ignore God’s instructions without undergoing severe disciplining. It will happen unless repentance precedes the time of disciplining. There is little or no teaching of this truth in today’s churches.
Prayer: Father, some of us have personally undergone some of Your disciplines. We know that it is unpleasant. Make this truth real to anyone who is currently living in rebellion against You.