“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”
(Ezekiel 18:23 ESV)
January is a month that has been recognized as Sanctity of Life Month. The 21st of January will be Sanctity of Life Sunday. It’s a time to remember that, because it was created by God, all human life is sacred.
Our focus, during this time of year, is typically on abortion. And it’s needless to say that this practice is a terrible evil. However, the scope of this remembrance goes much further. It speaks to issues such as euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, in vitro fertilization, living wills, contraception, and more.
One of the primary things we must remember, when it comes to life issues, is that God is the giver of life. Life flows from him. And life has value because of him.
We remember from the creation account that God formed man and breathed into him the breath of life. We’re told also, in John 1, that life is in the Word, that it’s in Jesus. And we find in Scripture that not only did God provide for us life in this world. He’s also provided for us eternal life. Through Jesus he’s enabled us to live not only for eighty, ninety, or even one hundred years. He’s enabled us to live forever.
Even though he is just, even though he issued the punishment of death upon man in response to our sin, and even though he’s decreed the punishment of hell for those who do not receive salvation, he doesn’t take pleasure in this. He is not a sadistic God who celebrates as the wicked receive their due. As we see in the above passage, it’s his desire that the wicked should turn from his way and live.
It’s God’s desire that all should live. It’s his desire that all should live forever. And, for this reason, he’s made eternal life available for everyone. Jesus’ death served as the atoning sacrifice for the lives of not only a few, but for all.
This great blessing is available to all people through faith in him. By trusting in Jesus, by trusting in his sacrifice, we’re enabled to receive salvation. And we are called to take this message to the world around us.
Seeing that God desires life for all, we should share this desire. We should desire that people would gratefully receive the blessing of life in this world, and that it would not be denied them. And we should also desire that all people will receive the blessing of eternal life. It should be our desire that, through faith in Jesus, they will receive salvation from sin and death.