Ezekiel displayed some unusual activity during his ministry as a prophet. God told him to pack up his belongings for captivity before the captivity occurred. Each day he would act out his part as the exile by leaving his home and going to another place under the watchful eye of the people of Judah. The hope would be that they would think about what was playing out in front of them, but their rebellion indicated that that was not a promising outcome.
The prophet dug through the wall in the full view of his countryman. He carried his belongings through it. He covered his face so that he could not see the ground. People wondered what about what Ezekiel was doing. He was to tell them that this was a sign for Israel (12.6, 11). The people would be carried away into exile in just this way. They would get what they deserved: future judgment for sin.
Do we have signs of future judgment of sin in our modern setting? They are diminishing to be sure. People do all they can to forget about the fact that they are not going to live forever. A recent memorial I conducted for a dear friend is an indicator of future judgement for sin. His faithfulness to the Lord Jesus meant he died well and was well prepared for future judgement. Funerals and memorials tell us that the days are at hand. Every word of God will come to pass and not one word shall fail!
Time is relentless in its march toward being swallowed up by eternity and future judgment. All from the great and powerful and rich and famous to the seemingly insignificant and poor and downtrodden shall die. All will succumb and be ushered into the presence of God. It matters not if they are prepared to go. They shall go to the One before whom all things are naked and open. All who die become a sign to the living that life is tenuous and judgement is coming.
“It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house.”
Patiently and humbly, believers must correct the course of rebellious people in our generation. It may be that God will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth. They may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will (cf. 2 Timothy 2.25-26).
- Those who will consider the words and warnings of God: Those who place their trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ shall have life. The glories of Heaven await those who have had their future judgement satisfied by the atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus absorbed the wrath of God for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might have the righteousness of God in Him.
- Those who won’t consider the words and warnings of God: Very few people hear this message. But the exile for those who don’t is eternal. It is the second death. It is separation, pain, torment, and misery in the Lake of Fire. It is deserved. And each time a rebellious person hears and rejects God’s saving message, their perdition intensifies.
“And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.’ (Zephaniah 1:12) My hope and prayer for you is that it will not be too late one day. Do not remain captive to do the will of the devil one moment longer. Be wise and consider the end of your life and the future judgment to come!