Sunday School Material 8-16-15: A Call for Repentance





(Ezekiel 18:1-13, 30-32; 8/16/15)


Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God is calling for repentance, so He doesn’t have to punish. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on our repentance, so we can experience more blessings and less punishment.

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Body:

Read Ezekiel 18:1-4

I. Self-Delusion Exposed. The Lord asks about a proverb that is being spoken by Israel. The proverb essentially says that the child will be punished for the parent’s sins. In the Sunday School material the Lord says the proverb is wrong. Each person will be punished for his/her own sin.

Applications –

- God’s ways compared to popular ways. Notice in vss. 1-3 that just because something is popular doesn’t make it right. The proverbs about sour grapes was wrong, as is popular opinions about since people love one another, they should be able to marry, no matter what the Bible teaches.

Let’s work on staying focused on what God says is right, instead of being distracted by simply what is popular. There are ways that look right to us, but they end in death.

Read Ezekiel 18:5-9

II. Who Will Live? An example of a righteous man is given. On the list of things that are mentioned are the matters of avoiding idolatry, avoiding sexual sins, and avoiding the mistreatment of people. In our Sunday School material the Lord says that righteous men/people will live.

Applications –

- Righteousness. Notice in vss. 6-8 that a righteous man should have several things going for him. He should be known for serving only God, no idols. He should be known for treating people with mercy and justice without adultery, oppression, or lack of justice.

First, as New Testament believers, our righteousness starts with accepting Jesus as our savior by faith. Second, we should love God with all that we have, which includes the avoidance of idolatry.

Third, we should love others, as we love ourselves, which includes mercy and justice instead of adultery and oppression. Let’s work on living by God’s will as saved people.

- Blessings for righteousness. Notice in vss. 5, 9 that righteousness leads to life. The more we line up with God’s word and will for our lives, the more abundant living we can expect. God can bless with not only stuff, but He can give us peaceful and joyful spirits.

He can give us loving and supportive relationships. Let’s work on living righteously, so we can enjoy the blessings of God.

Read Ezekiel 18:10-13

III. Who Will Die? In our Sunday School material the Lord now moves to an example of an unrighteous son. The unrighteous son does the things that his righteous father avoided. Consequently, the unrighteous son will be put to death, instead of having the gift of living.

Applications –

- Raising our children. Notice in vss. 10-13 that righteous parents can have unrighteous children. First, every parent and caregiver should give their best to raising their children.

However, we should remember that every child has a mind of their own. Sometimes they use their minds to go in the wrong direction.

Second, when a person disobeys God, punishment is not far behind. God can take our stuff, our peace of mind, and allow relationships to turn sour. Let’s work on doing the best that we can to help our children live obedient lives, instead of living in dangerous disobedience.

Read Ezekiel 18:30-32

IV. Choice Offered. Tin our Sunday School material the Lord pleads with His people to repent. If they do right from here, God wants to bless them. However, if they continue to live wickedly, punishment is on the way for each of them (i.e., each individual and generation).

Applications –

- Repentance. Notice in vss. 30-32 that God almost pleads with the people to repent, so He doesn’t have to punish them.

First, God wants every person who is living in disobedience to turn to obedience, so He can bless them, instead of punish them. God gets so much more pleasure out of blessing us than punishing us.

Second, if a person doesn’t repent, punishment is on the way. God doesn’t punish because it gives Him pleasure. He punishes because it is His duty as One who is committed to justice.

Let’s work on repenting and urging others to do the same, so we can experience God’s blessings, instead of His punishment.

Conclusion: Let’s work on our repentance, so we can experience more blessings and less punishment. God has much for those who obey His will.

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