08 February, 2017

John Owen (1616-1683) on Ezekiel 33:11

Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezek. 33:11)


[Source: The Works of John Owen (Great Britain: Banner, 1967), vol. 10, pp. 387, 388; emphasis added]

“God willeth not the death of a sinner,” is either, “God purposeth and determineth he shall not die,” or, “God commandeth that he shall do those things wherein he may live.” If the first, why are they not all saved? why do sinners die? for there is an immutability in the counsel of God, Heb. vi. 17; “His counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure,” Isa. xlvi. 10. If the latter way, by commanding, then the sense is, that the Lord commandeth that those whom he calleth should do their duty, that they may not die (although he knows that this they cannot do without his assistance) ... I have often admired how so many strange conclusions for a general purpose of showing mercy to all.

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