Where the world comes to study the Bible

Does Ezekiel 3:20 mean we can lose our salvation?

Whenever we read or study any passage, we must understand the use of words such as salvation, righteousness, death, repentance, etc. according to the context and be very careful not to read our own ideas into the text. Salvation can refer to salvation or deliverance from physical death, from divine discipline, or any number of conditions. Of course, it often does refer to eternal life as well, but this must be determined from the context.

I have copied a quote from the Bible Knowledge Commentary on Ezekiel 3:20 which I think will help.

Ezekiel 3:20-21. The righteous man also needed to be warned to prevent his turning from his righteousness and doing evil. If a righteous person had left the path of righteousness, he too was in danger of death. This is not referring to an individual losing his salvation. The “righteous” one described here was outwardly conforming to God’s commandments, and the “death” spoken of here is physical death (cf. comments on vv. 18-19). The one obeying God’s Law was to be protected during the approaching judgment, but those who broke the Law could expect death.

If Ezekiel failed to warn of approaching danger, God would hold him accountable for the blood of the people. The principle of blood accountability is expressed in Genesis 9:5-6. If Ezekiel did not warn the people, he would be held as responsible for their murder as if he had killed them himself. However, if Ezekiel fulfilled his responsibility, then he would have saved himself (Ezek. 3:19, 21). The word “saved” (na„s£al, “to deliver, snatch away, rescue”) should be translated here “delivered,” as it does not refer to eternal salvation. Rather, by giving warning, Ezekiel would have delivered himself from any responsibility for the coming calamity. People who refused to heed his warning had only themselves to blame.

Related Topics: Scripture Twisting, Assurance