Willful Rebellion & Lenient Christianity (Human Sinfulness – 2)

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Romans 8:7-8

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 

Titus 2:11-12

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age

Everyone without Christ is lost in sin. But we must not imagine that this means they deserve any kind of pity. It is true that God pities them and that He calls His people to pity them as well, but that is not because they deserve it, but because God is kind and merciful. They are not lost because they have to be, but because they want to be. They are separated from God because they hate Him, His will and His ways. Though they might not admit to themselves that they hate God, the Bible teaches that all people are enemies of God until they are transformed by His saving grace. Every unsaved person has silently declared war on God. Every day they oppose His will and set themselves up as their master and lord.


Many people imagine that if people do good things to other people then they should be classified as good people, and on the other hand, if they do bad things to others they should be classified as bad people. This perspective reveals a fundamentally erroneous view of the universe. The righteousness, or unrighteousness, of someone is not determined by how they treat other human beings, but by how they act towards their Creator. If they treat others with love, respect and generosity but daily ignore, dishonor and rebel against their Maker they are as wicked as any demon of hell. We know from the Bible that even demons are able to cooperate with one another in their war on God, and the Bible teaches us that mankind is capable of the same hypocrisy. Luke 23:12 tells us that Herod and Pilate had been enemies up until the day they crucified God’s Son, but their mutual war against God produced a friendship between them. If a person loves God then it will be natural for him to love others as well. But the opposite is not true; when a person loves other people this does not directly imply that they love God also.

It is important for us to understand that people are radically evil because they daily rebel against the good, gracious and loving God who created them, sustains them and sent His Son to die for them. The demons have rejected Jesus Christ as their Lord and for this they deserve to perish in the lake of fire. But those who have heard the Gospel message and have still not submitted to Christ as Lord, not only reject His authority over their lives, they also reject the blood that He shed for their salvation; mankind is doubly guilty.

In our day many have imagined that mankind is some sort of victim that deserves God’s pity and love instead of understanding that men are wicked rebels that deserve His judgment and wrath. Such misguided people proclaim that God is a loving Father to everyone and tolerates their sin because He understands their weaknesses. They emphasize the unconditional love of God to these “poor sinners.” And they tell them that God just wants them to “open their hearts” to Him so that He can help them and show them how much He loves them. They make sure to tell people that God is a gentleman and will not force His help on them if they do not want it, but He desperately longs for them to give Him the permission to come into their lives and heal their hearts from all the pain that this bad world has foisted on them.

This is a damnable false gospel. It is so deceptive because it has much truth in it. It is true that God loves His children and that he does not treat them as their sins deserve but instead pities their weakness because He remembers that they are made of dust (Psalm 103:8-14). But it is so deceitful because it make rebellious sinners believe that is how God treats them. It fails to make a distinction between those who are accepted by God because of their covenant with Jesus Christ and those who daily spurn His lordship and blaspheme His glorious name with their words, thoughts and deeds. God does have the loving and tender heart of a father, but not towards those who are His enemies. He has compassion on His enemies and is not willing for them to perish, but He has not given His heart to them as He has to those who have repented of their rebellion and trusted in Christ. As we are told in the Bible, God’s mercy is towards those who fear Him, and He looks with favor on those who are humble, contrite in spirit and tremble at His word (Psalm 103:11, Isaiah 66:2). And He is angry with His enemies, opposes the proud and will bring them into tribulation and anguish (Psalm 7:11, James 4:6, Romans 2:8-9).

To tell an unrepentant sinner that God is his Father and tolerates his rebellion because of how much God loves him both deceives the lost soul with a false hope and dishonors the holiness and righteousness of God. Mankind must be confronted with their wickedness. They must be shown with the utmost clarity that they are not poor victims, but that they are rebellious traitors against the God that created them, sustains them and sent His Son to die on their behalf. There is no hope for them unless they recognize, acknowledge and turn from their rebellion. Yes, we must let them know that God is loving to all and is not willing that any should perish, but we must not let them imagine that He loves them as His children. Instead we must make it clear to them that He has not obligated Himself by any promise of mercy or forgiveness outside of Jesus Christ. If they do not turn away from their sins and trust in Christ He is fully committed to their eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

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