"But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my laws and do what is just and right,
they will surely live and not die.
All their past sins will be forgotten,
and they will live because of the righteous things they have done.
Do you think, asks the Sovereign Lord,
that I like to see wicked people die?
Of course not!
I only want them to turn from their wicked ways and live.
However, if righteous people turn to sinful ways and start acting like other sinners,
should they be allowed to live?
No, of course not!
All their previous goodness will be forgotten,
and they will die for their sins.
Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t being just!’
Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one who is unjust, or is it you?
When righteous people turn from being good and start doing sinful things, they will die for it.
Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds.
And if wicked people turn away from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives.
They will live because after thinking it over, they decided to turn from their sins.
Such people will not die.
And yet the people of Israel keep saying, The Lord is unjust!’
Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions,
says the Sovereign Lord.
Turn from your sins! Don’t let them destroy you!
Put all your rebellion behind you, and get for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
For why should you die, O people of Israel?
I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord.
Turn back and live!"