Text:: “When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.” - Ezekiel 33:13.
Comment: The need for continuity in the practice of righteousness lies more in the fact that it is the end that matters. The preacher admonishes, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” – Ecclesiastes 7:8.
In the parable of labourers in the vineyard, one of the points advanced by Jesus Christ is that, it is those who remain till the end that will earn the penny reward. Therefore, the grace of salvation is not granted to the recipients merely on the basis of coming early or the duration they had worked or whether the person is rich, poor, young, old, male or female. Whereas Lot and his two daughters were saved, the wife was not saved. It is true that our righteousness even at its best is as “filthy rags”. (Isaiah 64:6) That notwithstanding, God Almighty being merciful will never ignore our efforts by His grace. Thus, He has promised forgiveness to those who truly repent of their evils and make conscious efforts to obey His commandments. Isaiah 1:16 – 19; 55:7
In contrast, all who claim to be worshippers of God but wallow in sin like the people of Sodom, or like Lot's wife; those who do the righteousness of God for a while and then “look back”, shall have themselves to blame at the end. - Isaiah 1:20; 3:11.