An Invitation to Turn, Encounter God And Live

Text:    Ezekiel 18:20-28

Sometimes our thoughts are hoping that the wicked suffer.  We sort of wish God would just blast them out of existence.

If we are honest, and we think about our past, there are times when we would have fallen into that category.  With that in mind, we take a step back and realize that we are GLAD God has a different perspective.

When the wicked repents they are safe: 21-22 “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.  None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live.

That is an awesome promise!

So, what is Righteousness?

For the Old Testament, it was keeping the Law and the Prophets.  WOW – lots, but let’s see how Jesus explained it and made it simple… Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” nkj

On another occasion when someone else gave Jesus this answer He responded with: Luke 10:28, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” nkj

Simply put, if someone is willing to embrace God and reject their past by asking for forgiveness and walking a new life, they can be saved.

I guess that is why I like 1 John 1:9 so much: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” nkj 

There is hope for anyone who will reject sin and embrace a living encounter with God.

However, that free will to choose to reject also applies to those who decide they don’t want to continue with God…

If the Righteous turns away he will be lost. 24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.”

Throughout the Old Testament, God calls to His people to return to Him in true love and commitment, not in pretense and superficial ways.  He wants a REAL encounter with His followers, otherwise He will allow them to go their own way and perish.  He gives them that freedom.  HE never walks away from us, but He gives us the freedom to leave Him.

Paul tells the Christians in Rome the same thing in Romans 11:22, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” nkj

Starting the race is great, but you must continue the race to win.  You can’t quit.  Anyone who finishes a marathon – even last place is considered a marathon racer and one who has completed the marathon.  It isn’t about starting, it’s about finishing!

God doesn’t delight in the death of the wicked.  23 Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

Why not?  “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27

When God ends their life, so ends their last chance of turning to Him for forgiveness.  There is no second chance at the afterlife.  Jesus made that pretty clear.  “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46

God wants each individual to stop and recognize Him.  Acknowledge His Son, Jesus, and ask for forgiveness.   2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord … is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

God really pulled back the curtain for us to see His heart in the book of Jonah.  Jonah 4:10-11, “But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”

God cares about each and every person He has created.  He lovingly knit each one together and wants them to turn to Him in repentance and encounter Him in a living loving, eternal relationship.

Don’t miss the Invitation to Turn, Encounter God And Live.


Pastor Brent.

He is Risen!


It is time for us to have AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD by turning our lives over to Him through faith in Jesus Christ.  We need to read His word, believe it, and ask Him to work it out in us through His Holy Spirit.

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Church family and friends

Whether you’re part of the church or not, we have a free gift for you! I’m excited to share that our church has access to an extensive, new video library called RightNow Media!

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We hope you and your family enjoy this gift from all of us here at Granby Pentecostal Church 🙂

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