Suggested further reading: Ezekiel 33:1-11
Though our Lord exposed his enemies' unbelief, yet he showed
that he loved and pitied them to the last. God often takes great pains
with ungodly men. He sent the Jews messengers (v. 34). He gave
them repeated warnings. He sent them message after message. He did
not allow them to go on sinning without rebuke. They could never
say they were not told when they did wrong.
This is the way that God generally deals with unconverted
men. He does not cut them off in their sins without a call to
repentance. He knocks at the door of their hearts by sicknesses and
afflictions. He assails their consciences by sermons or by the advice of
friends. He summons them to consider their ways by opening the grave
before their eyes and taking away from them their idols. They
often know not what it all means. They are often blind and deaf to all
his gracious messages. But they will see his hand at last, though
perhaps too late. They will discover that they too, like the Jews,
had prophets and wise men and scribes sent to them. There was a
voice in every providence that said to them that they should turn and
not die (Ezek. 33:11).
Those who are lost for ever are lost through their own fault.
The words of our Lord are very remarkable (v. 37). There is
something peculiarly deserving of notice in this expression. It throws light on
a mysterious subject and one that is often darkened by human
explanations. It shows that Christ has feelings of pity for many who
are not saved and that the grand secret of man's ruin is want of
will. Impotent as man is by nature, unable to think a good thought
of himself, without power to turn himself to faith and call upon
God, he still appears to have a mighty ability to ruin his own soul.
Powerless as he is to do good, he is still powerful to do evil. The seat
of impotence is his will. A will to repent and believe no man can
give himself, but a will to reject Christ and have his own way every
man possesses by nature. This lack of will will prove his
destruction (John 5:40; Acts 7:51; Hos. 13:9).
For meditation: We love sin. God forbid that he should allow
us what we naturally want. Rather let us have new God-given desires.