God Does Not Like Sin
“The life of every person belongs to me, the life of the parent as well as that of the child. The person who sins is the one who will die.
Suppose there is a truly good man, righteous and honest. He doesn’t worship the idols of the Israelites or eat the sacrifices offered at forbidden shrines. He doesn’t seduce another man’s wife or have intercourse with a woman during her period. He doesn’t cheat or rob anyone. He returns what a borrower gives him as security; he feeds the hungry and gives clothing to the naked. He doesn’t lend money for profit. He refuses to do evil and gives an honest decision in any dispute. Such a man obeys my commands and carefully keeps my laws. He is righteous, and he will live, says the Sovereign Lord.
Then suppose this man has a son who robs and kills, who does any of these things that the father never did. He eats sacrifices offered at forbidden shrines and seduces other men’s wives. He cheats the poor, he robs, he keeps what a borrower gives him as security. He goes to pagan shrines, worships disgusting idols, and lends money for profit. Will he live? No, he will not. He has done all these disgusting things, and so he will die. He will be to blame for his own death.
Now suppose this second man has a son. He sees all the sins his father practised, but does not follow his example. He doesn’t worship the idols of the Israelites or eat the sacrifices offered at forbidden shrines. He doesn’t seduce another man’s wife or oppress anyone or rob anyone. He returns what a borrower gives him as security. He feeds the hungry and gives clothing to the naked. He refuses to do evil and doesn’t lend money for profit. He keeps my laws and obeys my commands. He will not die because of his father’s sins, but he will certainly live. His father, on the other hand, cheated and robbed, and always did evil to everyone. And so he died because of the sins he himself had committed.
But you ask: Why shouldn’t the son suffer because of his father’s sins? The answer is that the son did what was right and good. He kept my laws and followed them carefully, and so he will certainly live. It is the one who sins who will die. A son is not to suffer because of his father’s sins, nor a father because of the sins of his son. A good man will be rewarded for doing good, and an evil man will suffer for the evil he does.
If an evil man stops sinning and keeps my laws, if he does what is right and good, he will not die; he will certainly live. All his sins will be forgiven, and he will live, because he did what is right. Do you think I enjoy seeing an evil man die? Asks the Sovereign Lord, No, I would rather see him repent and live. But if a righteous man stops doing good and starts doing all the evil, disgusting things that evil men do, will he go on living? No! None of the good he did will be remembered. He will die because of his unfaithfulness and his sins.
Now I, the Sovereign Lord, am telling you Israelites that I will judge each of you by what he has done. Turn away from all the evil you are doing, and don’t let your sin destroy you. Give up all the evil you have been doing, and get yourselves new minds and hearts. Why do you Israelites want to die? I do not want anyone to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn away from your sins and live.” (Ezekiel 18 v 4-32)
Be careful about what you allow to form your opinions. The Bible is the only standard of truth. Therefore evaluate all other opinions in light of its teachings and do what is right.