02 July, 2017

Prof. Robert D. Decker on Ezekiel 18:23, 32; and 33:11



Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? (Ezek. 18:23 KJV)

For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye (Ezek. 18:32 KJV).

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 KJV)


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[Source: The Standard Bearer, vol. 72, no. 2 (Oct. 15, 1995), pp. 34-36]

These texts do not teach that God is gracious in the preaching of the gospel to the reprobate wicked. There is no offer of grace and salvation in these texts. In both passages there is a direct statement by the God of Israel that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but in that the wicked turn from his evil ways and live. In 33:11 this statement stands in the form of an oath, “As I live, saith the Lord God,” and therefore is no offer, but a most emphatic divine assertion. Note too that both passages are addressed to the “house of Israel,” the typical manifestation of God’s church. God, because He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, comes to His church through the prophet and calls them to turn from their evil ways and live. By the power of that Word of God the elect do indeed turn from their evil ways and live. What a rich, abiding comfort there is in these passages!


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More to come! (DV)






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