In the book of Ezekiel, God explains that the sins of the father will no longer be visited on the son, and vise-versa; the sins of the son (or child), will not be counted against the parents. While doing so, God further explains that a wicked person who turns from their sins will live, and likewise a righteous person who turns to a life of wickedness will not. In Ezekiel 18:21-23 it says:
“But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all of my decrees and does what is just and right he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?"
The scripture goes on to say that a righteous man who turns to wickedness will die. God is calling the Israelites - and as an extension, us, - to turn from wickedness to righteousness. It helps to understand that God is patient. He says that “none of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him”. This should give us hope. If you are new to the faith, remember that your past does not define who you are in God. It is what you do now that matters. I believe that our God is a God of the present. He really cares about what you’re doing now. Are you turning from wickedness so that you will live, or turning to wickedness which leads to death? I hope and pray that it is the former.
I hope the portion of scripture from Ezekiel gives you hope, and not despair. It is nice to know that God’s forgiveness is absolute. His grace is abundant. So if we turn from our evil ways and obey him, we will live. But it is equally important to know that God is a jealous God. He wants our entire selves. And once we claim to be children of God, it means our death if we turn to a life of wickedness. So, I encourage you to keep the faith my brothers and sisters. And know that God cares about your relationship with him right now, more than what you’ve done in the past.