Summary: Ezekiel presents us with four case studies: a wicked man who doesn’t repent; a good man who continues in righteousness, a wicked man who does repent, a good man who goes bad....


1. Health insurance: group rates or individual...

2. In some ways, God relates to individuals as parts of a group: the

church, Israel, the 12 Apostles...

3. In other ways, He relates to individuals and deals with them alone:

salvation (God covenants w/the individual)

4. Context of Ezekiel 18.....destruction of Jerusalem...issue: survival,


eternal life...

5. Intro: Ezk. 9:3-6.....similar protection from plagues during the

Tribulation...(Rev. 7:3, 9:4)

6. Ezekiel presents us with four case studies: a wicked man who doesn’t

repent; a good man who continues in righteousness, a wicked man who

does repent, a good man who goes bad....

MAIN IDEA: God’s explanation of human responsibility leads us to

several conclusions.

I. God is Angry at Sin and Punishes It....(18:1-29)

1. As you read through the OT, you see a God who is frequently


2. As you see God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, you see a God who is

frequently angry...

(1) money changers table

(2) curses the fig tree

(3) long speeches criticizing the Pharisees’ hypocrisy

(4) warned more of hell than He spoke of heaven...

3. God’s attitude toward sin is seen in the horror of the took


atoning work of Christ to avert God’s wrath toward us....

II. God Responds to Human Repentance

and Would Rather We Repent than be

Punished (18:30-32)

1. I Peter 3:9---God is patient, not willing for any to perish...

2. In that day, repent for physical deliverance...

3. Salvation: repentance toward God & faith in our Lord Jesus Christ....

4. The believer: secure, but judgment seat of Christ...

---fellowship broken by sin

---whom the Lord loves He disciplines

---God as your friend or adversary?

---God’s blessing on our life is CONDITIONAL....

5. There’s a lot of use of the word "unconditional" that is


(1) unconditional love? In some ways yes, others, no

Deuteronomy 5:9-10

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD

your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of

the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate

me, but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who

love me and keep my commandments.

(2)unconditional forgiveness? No--else all would be saved...

(3) unconditional blessing...the lost are at enmity w/God

(4) unconditional blessing of believers? no...

Conclusion: Salvation is free to us, but God’s blessings and rewards are

very conditional. God is eager to bless us, but we need to make

ourselves "blessable."

III. "Holiness" cannot be stored up....We

can ruin at the end all that our lives have


1. This is a sad truth...

2. Like King Solomon, it is possible to begin well but not end well...

(1) Pastor’s who mess up after many years...

(2) General Douglas MacArthur...

(3) Richard Nixon did lot of good things...

3. Note 18:24---none of the good is remembered....

4. Lesson: we never have so many laurels that we cannot lose them all,

the bad we do can negate all the good....we need humility, fear, and

caution....DON’T BLOW IT AT THE END...

IV. We are responsible for our own

behavior... We do not have to repeat the

sins of our fathers...(18:19-20)

1. Passing the buck is an old tradition: Adam blamed Eve and Eve

blamed the serpent...

---one of the signs that God is really at work in a person’s life is when

they stop blaming others and begin blaming themselves...

2. The curse of Exodus 20 upon the 4th and 5th generation is from the

parents is easy/natural for children to repeat the sins


their fathers.....

3. But from the child’s perspective, we cannot excuse our sins on our


(1) they can make a certain way of life seem natural, but

(2) we can be different (see vs.19-20)

(3) co-dependency....overcome by being uncomfortable.....

(4) often times the best environment for us is the uncomfortable and the folks of Cicero Bible Church...

----many want familiarity at all costs, even a messed up life...

4. Alternatively, a good man can produce an evil son (cf. 18:10)...

----we can sometimes imply that good parents will always produce good

children; not so....we can give our kids an edge, but they have wills of

their own....cannot be programmed like robots...

V. It is Our Current Relationship Toward

God, Not Our History, that Repels or

Predisposes Him Toward Us

1. God forgives the repentant sinner, but not the formerly good non-

repentant sinner...(21)

----how does this affect us? We have to forgive a person who repents,

that does not mean we immediately trust him...(God knows the future)

2. To the people of Judah, this seemed unfair; what should have

mattered, they though, is the quantity of bad vs. the quantity of good,

not only the current attitude of a person....(29)

3. When a sinner repents, the angels of heaven throw a party. God is

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