"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17).
Adam should have given more careful consideration to God's solemn warning of the consequences of sin.  God said he would surely die.  Despite the countless millions and billions of human deaths since that first transgression, most people still live their whole lives in denial of what God says about sin.
Eve fudged on the solemn warning from God when she misquoted it to the serpent.  "God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die" (Genesis 3:4b).  "Lest ye die" sounds more like a forecast calling for chance of showers.  This kind of substitution no doubt takes place in the minds of many who read God's absolute statement, "thou shalt surely die".King Ahaziah, the son of Jezebel, is another example of someone God sent these words to.  Ahaziah had just sent out messengers to enquire of a Philistine god whether he could expect to live after injuring himself in a bad fall.  God sent him Elijah the prophet with a message instead.  "And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die" (II Kings 1:16).




God was pointing out that by his own choice Ahaziah was denying the God of Israel.  Since he had refused the one God of salvation, there was no hope.  He would surely die.




While this may seem like a gloomy topic, it is God's desire that people know where they stand with Him as a result of their sin.  The warning gives an opportunity to turn to God and receive eternal life through the sacrifice provided by Jesus Christ.  The spiritual leader that fails to give clear warning has blood on his hands.  "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand" (Ezekiel 3:18).

 


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