READ : Ezekiel 18:21-32
Repent and live! (v. 32 NIV)
In Western culture, divine judgment is one of Christianity’s most offensive doctrines.
I commonly hear, “I just don’t believe a loving God would send people to hell.” Another
objection is related: “How can God be both all-good and all-powerful in the face of
terrible suffering?” At the same time, people believe there should be justice, that evil
should be punished and not merely excused. In cultures that have experienced genocide or
persecution by those in power, it’s the idea of a forgiving God that is offensive!
God speaks to both questions in Ezekiel 18: God’s wrath flows from his love. In Hope Has Its Reasons Becky Pippert observes, “God’s wrath is . . . his settled opposition to
the cancer . . . eating out the insides of the human race he loves with his whole
Kosovo is rebuilding after a ravaging war with Serbia. With an estimated 10,000 Muslim
Albanians killed, and a million more displaced, how does life return to “normal”? How does
one move beyond hatred to forgiveness? Christians have brought development to this
war-torn country, and – what is even more challenging – a ministry of
reconciliation. Christ has radically changed the lives of a number of recent converts, and
the difference can be seen in their attitudes and relationships. Their living faith and
its attractiveness are bringing healing to Kosovar communities and hope for ending the
cycle of hate by leaving justice in God’s hands. Repentance brings life!
God, help us to leave vengeance to you and make repentance our business.