10 "Son of man, speak to Israel. Tell them, 'You've said, "Our rebellions and sins are weighing us down. We're wasting away. How can we go on living?"' 11 "Tell them, 'As sure as I am the living God, I take no pleasure from the death of the wicked. I want the wicked to change their ways and live. Turn your life around! Reverse your evil ways! Why die, Israel?'
12 "There's more, son of man. Tell your people, 'A good person's good life won't save him when he decides to rebel, and a bad person's bad life won't prevent him from repenting of his rebellion. A good person who sins can't expect to live when he chooses to sin. It's true that I tell good people, "Live! Be alive!" But if they trust in their good deeds and turn to evil, that good life won't amount to a hill of beans. They'll die for their evil life. 14 "'On the other hand, if I tell a wicked person, "You'll die for your wicked life," and he repents of his sin and starts living a righteous and just life - being generous to the down-and-out, restoring what he had stolen, cultivating life-nourishing ways that don't hurt others - he'll live. He won't die. None of his sins will be kept on the books. He's doing what's right, living a good life. He'll live.
17 "'Your people say, "The Master's way isn't fair." But it's the way they're living that isn't fair. When good people turn back from living good lives and plunge into sin, they'll die for it. And when a wicked person turns away from his wicked life and starts living a just and righteous life, he'll come alive. 20 "'Still, you keep on saying, "The Master's way isn't fair." We'll see, Israel. I'll decide on each of you exactly according to how you live.'"