Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.
God is warning his people in Ezekiel 22 that judgment is coming due to their own conduct. They are guilty of boldly and blatantly sinning against the Lord, and God is asking them if their courage to be so bold will be able to hold up when he executes his judgment on them. I’m thinking, “No.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says,
Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God’s kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob—these people will not inherit God’s kingdom.
I was talking with a recent high school graduate the other day. I asked what her plans were now. She mentioned travel and a plan for future schooling but made it really clear that she has no intention of ever settling down and that her lifestyle wouldn’t include any kind of faithful monogamous relationship. That’s code for sleeping around. And God says that those who sin sexually (the King James Version calls them fornicators - a person who has sex with a person to whom they are not married) will not inherit God’s kingdom.
This is not good. What’s her plan? God sent his Son into the world (the first time) not to judge the world, but to save the world through him according to John 3:17. But the next time Jesus comes it will be to judge the living and the dead (2 Timothy 4:1). So what is this girl’s plan? “Those who sin sexually” will not “inherit God’s kingdom.” I’m pretty sure Jesus is going to ask her about this.
She may just be choosing not to think about that right now, but I do know that if she doesn’t alter her plan, her courage to live purposefully in sin will not endure when the Lord comes to deal with it. Purposing to spend a lifetime in sin is a really bad plan. It is arrogant and gutsy to live a life defying God and his commands. And the same ostentatious fearlessness it takes to defy God will not be around to save a person on Judgment Day.
The Good News for this sweet misguided girl is this: I can encourage her. It’s not too late at all. 2 Timothy 4 goes on to say, Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching...
And better yet 1 Corinthians 6 goes on to say that she can be washed clean. She can be made holy and right with God. She just needs to direct her boldness and courage to believing and obeying rather than to defying.
I pray for my young friend and many friends I know just like her who use their courage to stand against you. Help me to encourage them with great patience, and help them not to be fooled any longer that there will be no consequences for sin simply because society doesn’t recognize it as such. Lord, NO ONE will be able to stand opposed to you when your Son comes back to judge. So, I pray these people would not be lost to you, but instead they would join the family of tons of people you have made holy by your Son. I love you and trust you to do this good thing. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.