Soul Sins (A Soundbite)
By Benjamin H. Liles
A lot of people believe that when they die they aren't going to Heaven or Hell, kind of a holding place somewhere between. God says otherwise. "The soul who sins is the one who will die. A son will not bear the iniquity of the father, and a father will not bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will fall upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked man will fall upon him" (Ezekiel 18:20, Berean Study)
This isn't going to be a huge article like the ones I post at times. Rather, the aim of this is to provide clarity on the issue. Paul writes, "He will repay each one according to his works" (Romans 2:6, Holman Christian Standard). Notice the one thing not being said here, and it's about where our faith is. The bulk of those two verses focus on the works a man accomplishes. Has God declared a man sinful or righteous, and through what means?
The main point is God calls out to each and every one of us. Look at the case for both Abraham and Paul, who once had been Saul of Tarsus. God called Abraham to believe and follow Him to where "Your descendant will be as numerous as the grains of sand." Christ Himself did the same with Paul, saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? And [Paul, as Saul] said, "Who are You, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9:4-5, New American Standard).
Jesus also made this comment, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28, Berean Study). We are to fear God. We are called and chosen by Him who grants life to be His ambassadors of His word; a witness of the truth He gives a measure of to us. Just as scripture declares, "The soul that sins dies," so it is the same with our faith. "Your faith has made you whole; go in peace, and be whole" (Mark 5:34). Perhaps this same faith is what makes us righteous before God. May we always be reminded of that.