1.Ezekiel 3:17-21 (New International Version, ©2011)
17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
In these verses, God is not talking about loss of salvation but rather about physical death. If the people back in Judah continued in their sins, they and their land and cities would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s armies. If, on the other hand, the people would turn to God, God would spare them. God would hold Ezekiel responsible for his fellow Jews if he failed to warn them of the consequences of their sins. All people are individually responsible to God, but believers have a special responsibility to warn unbelievers of the consequences of rejecting God. If we fail to do this, God will hold us responsible for what happens to them. This should motivate us to begin sharing our faith with others—in word and deed—and to avoid becoming callous or unconcerned in our attitude.
2.Ezekiel 7:12-13 (New Living Translation)
12 Yes, the time has come;
the day is here!
Buyers should not rejoice over bargains,
nor sellers grieve over losses,
for all of them will fall
under my terrible anger.
13 Even if the merchants survive,
they will never return to their business.
For what God has said applies to everyone—
it will not be changed!
Not one person whose life is twisted by sin
will ever recover.
3.Ezekiel 7:19-20 (New Living Translation)
19 “They will throw their money in the streets,
tossing it out like worthless trash.
Their silver and gold won’t save them
on that day of the Lord’s anger.
It will neither satisfy nor feed them,
for their greed can only trip them up.
20 They were proud of their beautiful jewelry
and used it to make detestable idols and vile images.
Therefore, I will make all their wealth
disgusting to them.
4.Ezekiel 12:21-28 (New Living Translation)
A New Proverb for Israel
21 Again a message came to me from the Lord: 22 “Son of man, you’ve heard that proverb they quote in Israel: ‘Time passes, and prophecies come to nothing.’ 23 Tell the people, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will put an end to this proverb, and you will soon stop quoting it.’ Now give them this new proverb to replace the old one: ‘The time has come for every prophecy to be fulfilled!’
24 “There will be no more false visions and flattering predictions in Israel. 25 For I am the Lord! If I say it, it will happen. There will be no more delays, you rebels of Israel. I will fulfill my threat of destruction in your own lifetime. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
26 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 27 “Son of man, the people of Israel are saying, ‘He’s talking about the distant future. His visions won’t come true for a long, long time.’ 28 Therefore, tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: No more delay! I will now do everything I have threatened. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’”
These two short messages were warnings that God’s words would come true—soon! Less than six years later, Jerusalem would be destroyed. Yet the people were skeptical. Unbelief and false security led them to believe it would never happen. The apostle Peter dealt with this problem in the church (2 Peter 3:9). It is dangerous to say Christ will never return or to regard his coming as so far in the future as to be irrelevant today. All that God says is sure to happen. Don’t dare assume that you have plenty of time to get right with God.
5.Ezekiel 13:10-12 (New Living Translation)
10 “This will happen because these evil prophets deceive my people by saying, ‘All is peaceful’ when there is no peace at all! It’s as if the people have built a flimsy wall, and these prophets are trying to reinforce it by covering it with whitewash! 11 Tell these whitewashers that their wall will soon fall down. A heavy rainstorm will undermine it; great hailstones and mighty winds will knock it down. 12 And when the wall falls, the people will cry out, ‘What happened to your whitewash?’
Today for example, some spiritual leaders assure us that God promises his followers health and material success. This is comforting but is it true? God's own Son did not have an easy life on earth. Make sure the messages you believe are consistent with what God teaches in his word.
6.Ezekiel 14:12-23 (New Living Translation)
The Certainty of the Lord’s Judgment
12 Then this message came to me from the Lord: 13 “Son of man, suppose the people of a country were to sin against me, and I lifted my fist to crush them, cutting off their food supply and sending a famine to destroy both people and animals. 14 Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves, says the Sovereign Lord.
15 “Or suppose I were to send wild animals to invade the country, kill the people, and make the land too desolate and dangerous to pass through. 16 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if those three men were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be made desolate.
17 “Or suppose I were to bring war against the land, and I sent enemy armies to destroy both people and animals. 18 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if those three men were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.
19 “Or suppose I were to pour out my fury by sending an epidemic into the land, and the disease killed people and animals alike. 20 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, they wouldn’t be able to save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved by their righteousness.
21 “Now this is what the Sovereign Lord says: How terrible it will be when all four of these dreadful punishments fall upon Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, and disease—destroying all her people and animals. 22 Yet there will be survivors, and they will come here to join you as exiles in Babylon. You will see with your own eyes how wicked they are, and then you will feel better about what I have done to Jerusalem. 23 When you meet them and see their behavior, you will understand that these things are not being done to Israel without cause. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”
The people of Judah, although eager to accept the messages of false prophets, considered the presence of a few God-fearing men in the nation an insurance policy against disaster. In a pinch, they could always ask God’s prophets for advice. We must remember that the relationship our pastor, family, or friends have with God will not protect us from the consequences of our own sins. Each person is responsible for his or her own relationship with God. Is your faith personal and real, or are you resting in what others have done?
7.Ezekiel 16:44-52 (New Living Translation)
44 Everyone who makes up proverbs will say of you, ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45 For your mother loathed her husband and her children, and so do you. And you are exactly like your sisters, for they despised their husbands and their children. Truly your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 “Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south. 47 But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. 48 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. 49 Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen.[a]
51 “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more detestable things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you. 52 Shame on you! Your sins are so terrible that you make your sisters seem righteous, even virtuous.
The city of Sodom, a symbol of total corruption, was completely destroyed by God for its wickedness (Genesis 19:24-25). Samaria, the capital of what had been the northern kingdom (Israel), was despised and rejected by the Jews in Judah. To be called a sister of Samaria and Sodom was bad enough, but to be called more wicked than they were meant that Judah’s sins were an unspeakable abomination and that its doom was inevitable. The reason it was considered worse was not necessarily that Judah’s sins were worse but that Judah knew better. In that light, we who live in an age when God’s message is made clear to us through the Bible are worse than Judah if we continue in sin (see Matthew 11:20-24).
8.Ezekiel 18:23-32 (New Living Translation)
23 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. 24 However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? 26 When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. 27 And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. 28 They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. 29 And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I.
30 “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! 31 Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!
12 And this is the basic law of the Temple: absolute holiness! The entire top of the mountain where the Temple is built is holy. Yes, this is the basic law of the Temple.
The basic law of God’s Temple was holiness. In all he does, God is holy, perfect, and blameless. There is no trace of evil or sin in him. Just as God is holy, so we are to be holy (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15-16). People are holy when they are devoted to God and separated from sin. It is important to understand the concept of holiness in order that we may progress in our Christian growth.
10.Ezekiel 44:17-19 (New Living Translation)
17 “When they enter the gateway to the inner courtyard, they must wear only linen clothing. They must wear no wool while on duty in the inner courtyard or in the Temple itself. 18 They must wear linen turbans and linen undergarments. They must not wear anything that would cause them to perspire. 19 When they return to the outer courtyard where the people are, they must take off the clothes they wear while ministering to me. They must leave them in the sacred rooms and put on other clothes so they do not endanger anyone by transmitting holiness to them through this clothing.
11.Ezekiel 46:19-20 (New Living Translation)The Temple Kitchens
19 In my vision, the man brought me through the entrance beside the gateway and led me to the sacred rooms assigned to the priests, which faced toward the north. He showed me a place at the extreme west end of these rooms. 20 He explained, “This is where the priests will cook the meat from the guilt offerings and sin offerings and bake the flour from the grain offerings into bread. They will do it here to avoid carrying the sacrifices through the outer courtyard and endangering the people by transmitting holiness to them.”