“As surely as I live declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:3-4).

The Jewish people in the days of Ezekiel refused to accept responsibility for their sinful behaviour. They said, “The fathers have eaten the grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Eze. 18:2). By this they meant, “We are being punished for the sins of our fathers. It is our fathers who fell into sin, and God is punishing us, we ourselves are not sinful.” This is what the people of Israel were saying. But God says to them in this verse, “The soul that sins is the one who will die.” In other words, God said to them, “The person who sins is the person who will be judged; if you are facing judgement then it is because you have sinned.” This is what God is saying to the people of Israel in this verse.

We will learn three things from this verse.

1. Every human being is God’s creature: “Every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to me.”

The Bible makes it clear to us that we are not here on earth by chance merely because of some natural occurrence as many think. We have not evolved from any kind of animal or creature. The Bible in Genesis chapters 1-2, tells us that we have been created by God, and that we have been created in the image of God, “He created him; male and female, He created them (Genesis 1:26-27). The word created has been repeated to stress the point which is, man and woman both have been created by God.

The father and the son, the mother and the daughter, the old and the young, the white and the black, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlearned; all are God’s creation and naturally they are all the same before God. God makes no distinction between His creatures and He does not show favour to some. You and I are God’s creature, created by His own hand and power, out of the same clay. All human beings belong to the Living God and we are His creation and He can do with us as He wishes.

2. Every human being has a responsibility towards God: “For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to me.”

We have seen that we have been created by God in His image, He created us. The question that each and every one of us must ask himself is, “Why did God create me?” This is a question that every one of us must ask himself: “Why am I here? Why did God take His time to create me? What is my responsibility as God’s creature?”

The Bible gives us an answer to this question: “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:12). God created us so that we may bring glory to Him in all things. He created us for His own glory. He created us that in all things He alone should be glorified and not man or any other creature.

What does this mean for you? It means that God requires you to live for Him alone. In everything that you do, God must be first. The question is, how can man accomplish this? The means by which we can do this is given in the text: “Through Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ Himself talked about doing the will of God. The will of God is accomplished in Him being glorified in Christ: Jesus was asked by the Jews, “What must we do to do the works that God requires?” He replied: “To believe in the one He has sent” (John 6:28-29).

What Jesus meant was that in order for man to be able to please God, he must have faith in Him. This is a responsibility that each one of us human beings has towards God: It is our duty to believe in His son whom He sent into this world to die for us because of our sins. This means any man or woman who does not believe in Christ, cannot please God no matter what he or she does. God only accepts our responsibilities in Christ Jesus alone.

Do you have faith in the son of God? Have you trusted in the death of Christ at the cross of Calvary as the only way to receive your forgiveness? If you have not done this, you are disobeying God and in this you are not carrying out your responsibilities as required by God. Your destiny is hell and no one can rescue you. This is your chance; don't look at the past, just believe in Jesus Christ and you will fulfil your responsibilities to God. You will become a child of God and heaven will become your eternal home. “Yet to all who received, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right become children of God” (John 1:12).

3. Every human being is responsible before God for his or her own sins. “The soul who sins is the one who will die.”

This is the truth which all human beings must understand: we are all responsible for our sins. This is why all those who do not repent of their sins will be thrown into hell. I make this my last point because I want you to understand well your state before God and also because I do not want you to be deceived. If you are not saved God will throw you into hell and no one will be held accountable for your sins except you yourself.

We have all been born sinners and rebels against God (Psalms 58:3). God in His word has said that, “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Every one of us is responsible for his or her own sins. Because of this, all those who refuse to repent, will face the second death which is eternal fire in hell.

I know that many in our country and all over the world always like finding excuses for their sins. They like blaming other people for the wrong things they have done. They forget that each and every one of us has a responsibility towards God as individuals and that if we do not carry out our responsibilities, we will condemned. For example, a person steals money and blames the problems he has in his life, another one tells lies and blames his boss at work, a man or a woman commits adultery and blames the unfaithful partner or his body. A person who does not want to get saved will tell you that in their family there is no one who is saved. It is always a blame game: “In our family we are drunkards, we are witches, we are prostitutes. My father is this, that is why I am this.” God will not hear any of this, you will stand alone before God and the question won’t be, “Who taught you to sin; where did you learn to sin?” The question will be, “Did you believe in the One (Christ) I sent?” (John 6:29).

You who are not saved, do not be deceived. The Bible says that the grave is eager to meet you when you die (Isaiah 14:9). You must do something now. Forget about your past and what other people say. Come to Christ as you are. Christ Jesus is inviting you to Himself today; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mathew 11:28). And Christ assures you that He will receive you: “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).

Why wait and yet you will face the sword alone, run for your life now, come to Christ and be saved.

For those who are saved, praise be to God in Christ, our sins are not on us, but they have been taken away from us by Christ. God has forgiven us, we are His children and heirs of His kingdom. Let us not accept anything that claims that we can lose our salvation which was purchased for us by Christ. We are in the kingdom now and forever. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last” (John 6:39). Glory to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.