HE HAS NO PLEASURE IN IT! It might appear that He has. Men transfer to God their own low notions of vengeance. Revenge is sweet among men; therefore it is supposed that God must take some pleasure in avenging Himself on those who have offended Him.
“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” . . . “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die.” – Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11
GOD IS MERCIFUL. God does not hate His enemies; He loves those who are perishing. His longsuffering and delay of punishment, His readiness to forgive the penitent sinner, and, above all, the gift of His Son Jesus to redeem the world from death, are proofs that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Yet God permits the sinner’s death. God has given him a free will. The sinner is his (or her) own executioner; his sin is its own sword of vengeance. Sin kills. The sinner is practically a suicide. God has no pleasure in the ruin that the foolish man brings on his own head. There would be no moral nature in him, and therefore no possibility of goodness, if God did not let him abuse his freedom and slay his own soul.
God prefers life for us all. If God has no pleasure in the sinner’s death, He will welcome any avenue of escape. Nay, He will provide all possible means of deliverance – therefore the Gospel of Christ. A life of sin is a curse to the sinner and a blight on God’s world, but a return to the good way is open to all of us through Christ. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15). God loves life, or He would not have created a world teeming with living beings. He loves to give us new life in Christ. “He that hath the Son hath life” (1 John 5:12). Let no one despair. God does not desire your death – He wills your life.
Taken from The Pulpit Commentary, revised and condensed.
The sinner’s prayer that God always hears: “O God, in the name of Jesus Christ, please forgive my sins and give me new life in your Son Jesus. And I thank you for hearing my prayer.”
“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house” (Acts 16:31).
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