The Jews in exile were saying that God was going to condemn them so He could watch them suffer, that God would take pleasure in destroying them (vv. 30.32).

Ezekiel‘s reply to this idea was that God does not want you to die! (See v. 23.) These statements from God cannot be any more plain, forceful, or beautiful than this: I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies. (v. 32). God wanted His people to live. He did not want Judah to be destroyed; He wanted His people to live, not to die!

If they died, it would not be because God wanted it to happen; it would be instead because they refused to listen to God’s prophet and turn from their sins that they might be saved, so they might live! Even so today: If you die, if you are lost now and are lost eternally, it is not  because that is what God wants. God does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9); rather, He wants everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus died for all (Hebrews 2:9); the grace of God that brings salvation is available to all (Titus 2:11). If you ultimately are lost, then, why will it happen? The answer is sin.

Sin condemns (Romans 6:23), regardless of the type of sin that it may be.

Even that answer is incomplete. We are lost because of our sins, certainly; but if that were the complete answer, everyone would be lost eternally, for all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Why will you be lost? The answer is unrepented-of sins! That was Judah’s problem: It was not merely that Judah had sinned, but that Judah had, in spite of the warnings of the prophets, refused to repent. Ezekiel came with a final appeal: Repent and live.! (18:32b). In the end, Judah was destroyed as a result of the people’s failure to heed Ezekiel’s appeal.

Likewise, if anyone should perish, the reason will not be that God wanted it to happen. Rather, destruction will come because you have failed to heed the warnings found repeatedly in His Word. Our Creator loves all of humanity, regardless of where you live or who you are. He wants us all to come to repentance if we will only give our lives to Him and follow Him and do what is right in His sight daily. Repent, accept Jesus and live!