Ezekiel — Lesson 14

Ezekiel 25 & 26

1. Introduction to Chapters 25-28

A. So far Ezekiel has focused on Judah and Jerusalem. He has told us that the city will be destroyed, the people will be killed or exiled, and he has told us why this is happening.

B. Chapters 25-33 of Ezekiel contain oracles against the foreign nations that had in some manner cursed or ridiculed Judah and Jerusalem. (Similar groupings of oracles can be found in Isaiah 13-23 and Jeremiah 46-51.)

C. God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:3: "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

D. Chapters 25-28 will deal with six nations: the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Edomites, the Philistines, the people of Tyre, and the people of Sidon. (See Map.)

E. Chapters 29-32 will deal with Egypt.

F. It is interesting that Babylon is not listed among the foreign nations condemned in these oracles. Why? Babylon's day was coming, but at this time Babylon was God's sword to bring judgment on others. At this time, Nebuchadnezzar was God's servant. (Jeremiah 27:6)

2. Prophecy Against Ammon (25:1-7)

A. The Ammonites (literally, "children of Ammon") were descendants of Lot, who was both their father and their grandfather.

1. The Ammonites were descended from Ben-Ammi, who was born to the younger daughter of Lot after they fled from Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:38).

2. After Lot and his daughters fled the city, the daughters worried that there would be no one to carry on the family name. Rather than look to God for a solution, they made Lot drunk and fathered children by him. Those children became bitter enemies of God's people. (The Moabites also trace their history back to these events.)

3. Ezekiel has already given one message of judgment against the Ammonites prior to this one. (See comments on 21:28-32 in Lesson 12.)

B. The Ammonites were known for:

1. Their idolatry.

a) 1 Kings 11:7 tells us that Molech was an Ammonite god --- the same Molech to which the Israelites had sacrificed their own children (Jer. 32:35).

2. Their cruelty.

a) Amos 1:13 tells us that they ripped open women with child.

b) 1 Samuel 11:2 tells us about a peace covenant proposed by the Ammonites that included as one if its provisions that the right eye be put out in every man on the other side of the controversy.

3. Their pride.

a) Zeph. 2:9-10 speaks about their pride and arrogant threats.

4. Their opposition to God's people.

a) See Deut 23:3-4; Judges 3:13; 2 Sam. 10:1-14; 2 Kings 24:2.

b) Remember Tobiah who ridiculed the rebuilding of the wall in Neh. 4:3? He was an Ammonite.

C. Starting in verse 3, Ezekiel reviews the crimes of the Ammonites.

1. They said "Aha!" over the sanctuary -- that is, they reacted with malicious delight over the destruction of the temple and the fall of Jerusalem.

2. They were pleased that Judah had been carried off into exile.

D. The Ammonites hostility toward the Israelites was not new.

1. In the days of the judges, the Ammonites harassed the eastern tribes until they were finally crushed by Jephthah. (Judges 10-11)

2. Saul defeated the Ammonites in the early days of his monarchy. (1 Sam. 11)

3. Amos condemned the Ammonites for their savagery in warfare and predicted their ultimate destruction. (Amos 1:13-15)

E. Ezekiel prophesied four coming judgments on the Ammonites.

1. First, they too would be taken captive.

a) Ammon would not escape unscathed the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar. History tells us that their land was eventually occupied by the desert tribes of Arabs who lived to the east of the Ammonites. These desert tribes may be the "men of the East" in verse 4. Another possibility is that the "men of the East" refers to Babylon itself, which was also located to the East.

2. Second, their capital (Rabbah) would be destroyed.

a) It would no longer be a great city, but would become a habitation and pasture for camels. (verse 5) It would be desolate and overgrown. (21:25)

b) The reason for the coming judgment is restated in verse 6 -- the Ammonites gloated and rejoiced over the fall of Jerusalem.

c) The modern day city of Amman, Jordan is located on top of the ancient city of Rabbah -- 25 miles east of the Dead Sea.

3. Third, Ammon would be plundered by the nations around them.

a) The Ammonites would become a spoil of war.

4. Fourth, the country would disappear from the family of nations.

a) Ammon, as a nation, no longer existed after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and its plunder by the Bedouins from the east (verse 7).

b) But what about Jeremiah 49:6, which predicts the return of the Ammonites?

(1) (Jeremiah 49:6) "But afterward I will bring back the captives of the people of Ammon," says the Lord.

(2) Not all of the people of Ammon would be destroyed --- a remnant would remain. Jeremiah 48:47 tells us the same thing about the Moabites (who will be discussed by Ezekiel in the next section). They would be brought back. They would be restored.

(3) When? They would be restored when all the nations of the world would be blessed through Jesus Christ. The entire Old Testament looks forward to a time when the entire world (including these pagan nations) would be blessed by Jesus Christ.

(4) God did not write them off completely because He had a plan to someday bless the entire world through the very Hebrews that the Ammonites had ridiculed and sought to destroy.

3. Prophecy Against Moab (25:8-11)

A. The Moabites descended from the older daughter of Lot in the same illicit union that produced the Ammonites (Gen. 19:37).

B. The Moabites lived in the land to the east of the Dead Sea. When the Hebrews first approached the land after forty years in the wilderness, it was the Moabites who introduced them to Baal worship.

1. (Numbers 25:1-3) "Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel."

C. The Moabites are condemned in verse 8 for mocking Judah for being like all of the other nations. The purpose of the taunt was to contradict Judah's claim that they were God's chosen people.

1. (Jeremiah 48:26b-27) "Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he shall also be in derision. For was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves? For whenever you speak of him, you shake your head in scorn."

2. The "Mesha Stone" discovered in 1868 recounts the king of Moab's boast that his God Chemosh had vanquished Israel. That stone refers to an earlier event, but the attitude it expressed was no doubt reexpressed when Jerusalem fell.

D. The reference to Seir in verse 8 is a foreshadowing of the next judgment.

1. Seir is a reference to Edom (Gen. 32:3), which is pictured here as sharing the same disdain for God's people that was shown by Moab. God will deal with Edom starting in verse 12.

E. Ezekiel prophesied in verse 9 that God would expose the flank or border of Moab to invading forces.

1. Moab would be unable to protect its border, and soon the whole country would be at risk. As with the Ammonites, the Moabites would be overtaken by forces from the east and they would cease to exist in the family of nations.

2. Also, as with the Ammonites, the Moabites would finally realize that there is no god but the God of Judah (verses 7, 11).

4. Lesson for Today

A. The judgment of God on Ammon and Moab is a commentary on the tragic consequences of wrong choices.

1. Lot never dreamed that when he chose to live in Sodom that choice would affect his descendants forever.

2. His daughters carried the corruption of Sodom with them as they ran from the city, and, as a consequence of that corruption, Israel was beset by and corrupted by two powerful enemies.

3. How did it all begin? Genesis 13:12 tells us that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom! Rather than flee or build a fence, Lot went right in and made himself at home.

4. We should all consider the consequences --- both short term and long term --- before we decide to pitch our tent toward Sodom. Lot no doubt thought that he was strong enough not to corrupted by the wicked city --- and he appears to have been right! But what about his family? And what about his descendants?

B. We should never be happy at the misfortune of others.

1. Romans 12:15 tells us that we should weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Sometimes it seems we have turned that around -- we weep with those who rejoice and rejoice with those who weep!

2. Proverbs 17:5 says that "he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished."

3. Did the Moabites and the Ammonites learn a lesson? Apparently not.

a) (Ezekiel 25:6) "Because you clapped your hands, stamped your feet, and rejoiced in heart with all your disdain for the land of Israel..."

b) Images of airplanes crashing into skyscrapers are not the only images burned into our minds by September 11. Most of us also vividly recall the images of Palestinians dancing in the streets and shouting for joy when they heard the news.

c) "He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished."

C. God can turn great evil into great good.

1. (Genesis 50:20) “But as for you [Joseph's brothers], you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

2. Remember Ruth? Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David and is mentioned by Matthew in the genealogy of Christ (Matthew 1:5). Ruth was a Moabite!

3. Interestingly, King David sent his parents to safety with King Mizpah of Moab when he fled from Saul. (1 Sam. 22:3-4)

5. Question

A. We have seen Ezekiel's prophecies that these nations will cease to exist, and history tells us that in fact they did cease to exist.

B. Yet the Jewish nation did not cease to exist. It continues to the present day. Doesn't that prove (as the premillennialists teach) that the Jews must have some special role to play during the end times?

C. No. It only proves that they were well designed for the purpose that God intended them to fulfill -- a purpose that was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ when all the families of the earth were blessed as God had promised to Abraham.

D. On March 2, 1972, NASA launched the Pioneer 10 spacecraft. Its original mission was to photograph Jupiter. That mission was intended to last for only 21 months.

E. In 1983, Pioneer 10 became the first manmade object to leave our solar system, and it is now headed for Aldebaran, a red star in the Taurus constellation (which it should reach in about two million years).

F. On March 2 of this year (2002), Pioneer 10 celebrated its 30th anniversary -- and it is still going strong! On March 1, NASA beamed it a message, and an answer came back 22 hours later.

G. Does the fact that the Pioneer 10 is still sending us messages prove that its designers intended for it to be still active and playing some role in the space program today? No. It only proves that it was very well designed to carry out its original mission, which it did --- nearly 30 years ago!

6. Prophecy Against Edom (25:12-14)

A. Located just south of Moab, Edom was also associated with the area around Mount Seir mentioned in verse 8. Edom and Moab were close allies.

B. The Edomites were descendants of Esau (Gen. 25:25), who was characterized as red and hairy. (The word "Edom" means "red.")

C. There was a natural enmity between Esau's descendants (the Edomites) and Jacob's descendants (the Israelites), which was perpetuated by the memory of Jacob's perceived treachery and his deception, which cost Esau his birthright (Gen. 25:29-34) and his blessing (Gen. 27:1-40).

D. The Bible pictures the Edomites as:

1. Warring. Isaac told Esau in Gen. 27:40 that he would live by his sword.

2. Idolatrous. After King Amaziah defeated Edom, 2 Chron. 25:14 tells us that he brought Edom's gods back with him to be his own gods.

3. Proud. (Jeremiah 49:15-16) “Now I will make you small among the nations, despised among men. 16 The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD.

4. Cruel. (Amos 1:11) This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked.

5. Vengeful. (verse 12)

E. Esau despised his birthright and thus held the promises of God in contempt. (Hebrews 12:16-17, which describes Esau as a "profane" person). This same contempt was also found in his descendants, who were bitter enemies of God's people.

1. Edom consistently took sides with the enemies of Israelites, and often helped them.

2. Edom's hatred of Israel was shown by their refusal to allow them passage through their country on the way up from Egypt. (Numbers 20:21)

3. 2 Chronicles 20:10-11 reminds us that Israel did not invade Ammon, Moab, or Edom when it came up out of Egypt --- and yet those nations attempted to invade Israel at every opportunity.

4. Edom had called for the destruction of Jerusalem.

a) (Psalm 137:7) Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, “Raze it, raze it, to its very foundation!”

5. Amos tells us that the Edomites bought Hebrew slaves from the men of Tyre (Amos 1:9).

F. In verse 13, Ezekiel prophesies that the whole country would be laid waste.

1. Teman was in the extreme north of Edom, and Dedan was in the extreme south.

2. Both Isaiah (34:5-17) and Jeremiah (49:7-22) have lengthy denunciations of Edom that describe it as becoming a desolate and empty place.

3. The entire book of Obadiah predicts the doom of Edom for conspiring against their kinsmen, the Hebrews.

a) (Obadiah 11-12) "In the day that you [Edom] stood on the other side-In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem-Even you were as one of them.12 But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress."

G. Verse 14 tells us that God's judgment against Edom would be by the hand of His own people.

1. This prophecy was fulfilled when Edom was defeated by the Maccabees and became part of the Jewish state.

2. The Hasmoneans compelled the Edomites to be circumcised, which had the adverse effect of allowing Herod (an Edomite) to later become the king of the Jews.

7. Prophecy Against Philistia (25:15-17)

A. Ezekiel is moving geographically clockwise as he announces judgment on Israel's closest neighbors. Next in line are the Philistines, who "fought Israel at the drop of a hat and threw the hat down themselves." (McGuiggan)

B. The Philistines were a seafaring people who came to the coast of Israel from the area around the Aegean Sea. They formed a confederation of five city-states: Gath, Gaza, Ekron, Ashdod, and Askelon.

C. A strong Jewish state was a threat to their control over the coastal area, so they opposed Israel even before the monarchy. (The judges Shamgar, Jephthah, and Samsom faced threats from the Philistines.)

D. Early defeats and capture of the ark by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4-5) led the Hebrews to ask for a king who could be a military leader (1 Sam. 8).

1. They asked for a king so they could be like all of the surrounding nations. By Ezekiel's time we see that their wish had come true! Not only were they like all of the surrounding nations, but they were all about to share the same fate!

E. Saul was the first king, but it was David who finally subdued the Philistines (2 Sam. 5). Hostilities continued until the Philistines were confronted by Hezekiah (2 Kings 18), Jehoram (2 Chron. 21), and Ahaz (2 Chron. 28), after which they were no longer a threat.

F. Ezekiel's prophecy summarizes all of these years of hatred and opposition.

1. Verse 15 says that the Philistines "took revenge with malice in their hearts."

2. A literal translation of the Hebrew reads: "The Philistines acted with vengeance and have committed vengeful vengeance [great vengeance] with malice in some to destroy with hatred forever."

a) "The emphatic nature of this text states the depth of hatred and vengeance that the Philistines manifested toward the Hebrews."

G. So God promises to act for Israel and execute a great vengeance of His own against Philistia (verse 17).

1. Verse 16 tells us that God would cut off the Kerethites. Who were they? They were a fierce Philistine fighting force who had once been employed by David as his personal bodyguards (2 Sam. 8:18).

2. God promises to cut off their best fighting forces and then destroy the remnant of the sea coast, which was their homeland.

H. Verse 15 tells us that the Philistines were motivated by the "old hatred." How little has changed in the Middle East!

8. Prophecy Against Tyre (26:1 - 28:19)

A. While Tyre was also condemned by Isaiah (23:1-18), Zechariah (9:3-4), and Amos (1:9-10), none had as much to say against Tyre as Ezekiel did, who devoted three chapters to its judgment.

B. Why did Ezekiel say so much about Tyre?

1. Other than Babylon, Tyre and Egypt were the most formidable enemies of Israel at this time. (Ezekiel will take four chapters to deal with Egypt --- Ezekiel 29-32.)

2. Also, as we will see, Tyre's sin was pride, and, as we know, God hates a proud look. (Prov. 6:17)

3. Another possible explanation for why Ezekiel devotes so much space to Tyre is that perhaps God is not just talking about Tyre in these three chapters.

a) Perhaps part of this prophecy is directed to someone else -- perhaps the power behind Tyre; that is, toward someone who was pulling Tyre's strings. But who could that be?

b) We will consider this question in our next lesson. As a homework assignment, read Ezekiel 27-28 (and especially chapter 28) and see if you think God is just talking about Tyre or is He perhaps also talking about someone else --- and if so, who is He talking about?

C. Much of the language used here by Ezekiel to describe the judgment of Tyre is also used by John in the book of Revelation to describe the judgment of Rome.

1. Compare Rev. 18:9, 13, 18-19, 22 with Ezekiel 26:16; 27:13, 30; 26:13.

2. Egypt was byword for immorality and idolatry. Babylon was a byword for godless government. Tyre was a byword for pride and self sufficiency. Rome was all three of these things!

D. Tyre's Sin Identified (26:1-6)

1. Tyre was a principal city of Phoenicia. The name "Tyre" means "rock" and referred to the main fortress that was located on a rock outcropping a half mile off shore. The city was built in two parts -- one on the shore and the other on the offshore island.

2. Tyre left no literature, statues, monuments, or anything else of permanent value. She is known as a panderer to the vices of the ancient nations that surrounded her. "If you wanted it, she could get it if she didn't already have it."

a) Tyre was very influential. Because of her financial power and her connections in all the courts of the lands, she was able to manipulate and influence the other nations. Her fall would be a shock to all the kingdoms of the world.

b) (Isaiah 23:8) "Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city [the bestower of crowns], whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honorable of the earth?"

3. The Egyptians and the Assyrians sought control over Tyre because of its strategic importance as a port city and a military outpost.

a) The Assyrians conquered the land portion of the city in 722 BC after a five year siege, but were not able to take the offshore portion. Tyre paid tribute to Assyria, but as Assyrian power declined Tyre declared its complete independence. Tyre was in this condition when these oracles were delivered.

b) Nebuchadnezzar besieged the city for 13 years (586-573), but again the offshore island was not conquered. Tyre paid tribute to Babylon for awhile, but when Babylonian power declined, Tyre yet again declared its independence.

c) Alexander the Great finally took the island by constructing a half-mile long causeway from the shore and then using his fleet to attack from the sea as well. Alexander's army killed 8000 initially, they then crucified 2000 others, and enslaved the remaining 30,000.

d) Until that time, Tyre was ranked as a great commercial power whose wealth knew no bounds. Their ability to withstand some of the greatest armies in history gave the people of Tyre great pride and arrogance. They (like the Ammonites) experienced a malicious joy when the city of Jerusalem fell. Jerusalem was unable to withstand the same army that had never been able to conquer Tyre.

e) Jesus visited the region around Tyre and was welcomed (Matt.15:21; Mark 7:24-31). People from everywhere, including Tyre and Sidon, flocked to listen to him (Mark 3:8; Lk.6:17). He said that it would be more tolerable for Tyre on the day of judgment than for the cities that had rejected His own message (Matt.11:21-22; Lk.10:13-14).

4. Verse 1 of Chapter 26 contains the sixth dated prophecy in the book of Ezekiel. The year is 587 or 586 BC -- very shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem. The siege against the city was already underway.

a) Verse 2 appears to indicate that Jerusalem had already fallen. Most likely, that reference is simply an example of the "prophetic perfect" tense. When God announces a judgment, he often then speaks as if that judgment has already occurred -- even before it has actually occurred. Why? Such language emphasizes that the judgment is sure and certain.

b) In the book of Revelation God announces a judgment against Rome. In Rev. 18:2, we hear that "Babylon the great is fallen." (Babylon here refers to Rome.) This announcement was made when Rome was still very powerful. Yet its judgment had been announced --- as far as God was concerned, Rome was already fallen.

5. In verses 3-6, God promises to bring six judgments upon Tyre.

a) First, military opponents would come against Tyre as unrelenting waves pounding the city.

b) Second, God himself would come against Tyre. (Verse 3 -- "Behold, I am coming against you.")

c) Third, the walls of Tyre would be destroyed.

d) Fourth, the island fortress would become a pile of rubble that would be scraped away. There would be no trace of the proud and invincible city. Fishermen would dry their nets on the bare rock that remained. (Remember that "Tyre" meant "rock." God is telling them that they will soon be a bare rock!)

e) Fifth, Tyre's great wealth would be plundered by all the nations.

f) Sixth, the mainland city would also be destroyed and would be ravaged by the sword.

E. Details of the Immediate Destruction of Tyre (26:7-14)

1. These verses focus on Nebuchadnezzar's attack against Tyre, which lasted 13 years from 586 until 573 BC.

2. Nebuchadnezzar is named in verse 7 and the pronouns "he" and "his" occur 9 times in verses 8-12 to describe his activities.

a) The process of the Babylonian siege is fully described in verses 8-10. It would have included siege works, ramps, shields, and battering rams.

3. Verses 13-14 refer to something that Nebuchadnezzar did not accomplish, but that instead occurred later under Alexander the Great.

a) Is this a mistake? Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible says that it is. But what did Ezekiel really say here?

b) First, notice that the pronouns change in these last two verses to refer not to what Nebuchadnezzar would do, but rather to what God would do in a future destruction at the hands of Alexander the Great.

(1) (Verses 11-14) The hoofs of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. 13 I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.

c) All these verses tell us about Nebuchadnezzar is that he would sack the mainland city, destroy the walls and towers, and kill some of the people --- all of which history confirms that he did. The Bible never says that he would do anything to the island. Instead, God says that He would destroy the island --- which He did later using Alexander the Great.

d) Also, God had told us in verse 4 that he would would cause many nations to come up against Tyre, "as the sea causes its waves to come up." Thus, we have already been told that Babylon will not destroy Tyre all by itself.

e) Also, later in Ezekiel 29:18, we read: "Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to labor strenuously against Tyre; every head was made bald, and every shoulder rubbed raw; yet neither he nor his army received wages from Tyre, for the labor which they expended on it." Thus, Ezekiel was NOT mistaken at all about the destruction of Tyre.

4. But Ezekiel also tells us that Tyre would never be rebuilt. Wasn't that a mistake? No.

a) Over the years, silt built up along Alexander's causeway, and today there is no island, but only a peninsula. The southern harbor of the island city is today filled up with sand. The ancient city of Tyre is today an uninhabited bare rock located east of the modern city of Sur.

b) Also, the prophecy that the city would never be rebuilt is more likely simply a prophecy that the city would never again have the riches, power, and influence that it once had.

5. The reference to Nebuchadnezzar in verse 7 as "king of kings" refers to the many vassal kings that he would bring to fight along with him.

6. The reference to "strong pillars" in verse 11 may refer to two famous pillars mentioned by Herodotus, who wrote that the temple of Melkart at Tyre had two pillars -- one of gold and one of silver.

F. Effect of Judgment on Tyre's Neighbors (26:15-18)

1. The "coastlands" in verse 15 refers to the neighboring states that were vassals of Tyre and depended on Tyre for their security.

a) The lament in verse 18 is preceded by a brief prophetic section that describes the shock and fright of these neighbors when they learn about the fall of Tyre.

b) The conduct depicted here is the typical reaction that would be expected when news arrived regarding the death of someone important. The leaders removed their royal garments and adopted signs of mourning.

2. The lament in verses 17-18 is set in a special poetic meter known as a funeral dirge.

a) The poetic form is three beats followed by two beats. This same poetic form was used in Ezekiel 19:1, 14 to describe a funeral lament over the loss of the Jerusalem leaders.

b) The lament here depicts the fear and uncertainty of those who depended on Tyre.

G. Tyre's Descent into the Pit (26:19-21)

1. Having completed the funeral, Ezekiel next describes the interment of the body of Tyre into the pit.

a) The term "pit" is used elsewhere in Ezekiel to refer to the grave. (31:16; 32:18, 23-25, 29-30)

2. God had promised Tyre that it would become a desolate uninhabited place. He tells them here that the depths of the ocean would cover the spot where the city once stood (verse 19).

3. The city would be brought down to the pit and would never return to the land of the living -- that is, it would never be rebuilt.

4. Tyre's trip to the pit will not lead to peace and rest, but instead will lead to a "horrible end" (verse 21).

a) The absence of the once great city would produce fear, dismay, and uncertainty.

9. Preview of Chapters 27-28

A. Lament Over the Loss of Tyre (27:1-36)

B. Prophecy Against the King of Tyre (28:1-10)

C. Final Lament for the King of Tyre (28:11-19)

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)