Ezekiel 33:1-20 (NIV)
Call of the Watchman
33 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 Son of man, speak to your people and say to them:When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone life, that persons life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.
7 Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, “You wicked people, you will surely die,and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, those wicked people will die for[a] their sins, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sins, though you yourself will be saved.
10 Son of man, say to the house of Israel, This is what you are saying: Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of[b] them. How then can we live? 11 Say to them, As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, house of Israel?
12 Therefore, son of man, say to your people, “If someone who is righteous disobeys, that persons former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that persons former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous, if they sin, will not be allowed to live because of their former righteousness.13 If I tell the righteous that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things they have done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to the wicked,You will surely die,but they then turn away from their sins and do what is just and right 15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil, they will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins they have committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.
17 Yet your people say,The way of the Lord is not just.But it is their way that is not just. 18 If the righteous turn from their righteousness and do evil, they will die for it. 19 And if the wicked turn away from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live by doing so. 20 Yet you say, house of Israel, “The way of the Lord is not just. But I will judge each of you according to your own ways