From a Christian lens (through reviewing Scripture), I see in life that there are broadly three kinds of people:
- The unbeliever;
- The one who says they believe but their life doesn’t show it (e.g., living a life of continual sin, submitted to false doctrine, etc.); and
- The true believer.
Take a guess which two groups God’s heart is poured out toward more…..
Groups 1 and 3.
Surprised? Hard to believe I’m telling the truth? Keep reading…
Let’s first briefly consider the pattern of Jesus’ life. Jesus spent a great amount of time with His disciples (believers), sitting and eating with “sinners” and the “unrighteous” (e.g., Mark 2:15-17), and rebuking and condemning the ones that professed belief but whose lives did not show it (religious leaders of the day; e.g., Matthew 23).
Group 1 – The Unbeliever
God’s love is poured out toward the unbeliever because even though they are living a life absent of Him and may even hate Him, He wants so badly for them to accept the free gift of salvation. It is God’s will that none should perish and that all should come to repentance (see 2 Peter 3:9 and 1 Timothy 2:4). The Bible says that the heavens rejoice when one person comes to repentance more than 99 righteous people who do not need to repent (Luke 15:7). God does not approve of the unbeliever’s lifestyle or actions, but He loves them dearly and wants to save them from the path they are heading down (see Proverbs 14:12). If this is you, please answer the door, He’s been knocking for so long. I apologize if you have been ridiculed and judged by “Christians” when that shouldn’t be their approach. I’m here to tell you that God loves you. Despite what others may say, He really does. Don’t let people that represent Him poorly turn you away from Him. He wants a better life for you and to give you a gift that you will never regret: eternity with Him.
Group 3 – The “True” Believer
God loves the believer because they are the apple of his eye, the bride of Christ, and will share in the eternal riches to come. He can’t wait to fellowship with them for eternity in the new heaven and new earth but also desires to personally know them every day while they are still living on earth. To the new believer that is growing in sanctification and wrestling with sin, be encouraged and endure! It is a process. Truly fight and God will be there to help you. Process these Scriptures: 1 John 2:1-2, Hebrews 4:15-16, Hebrews 12:3-4, 1 Corinthians 10:13. The desires will fall away as He continually replaces them with new desires for Him. If you are a believer and don’t know God personally, begin to develop a connection with the Holy Spirit. He will empower you to live right and be all you were created to be in Christ. Remember, the Bible says the one that puts their hand to the plow and looks back is not worthy of the kingdom (Luke 9:62), that we should bear fruit that demonstrates our repentance (Luke 3:8 and Acts 26:20), that faith without works is dead (see James 2), etc etc etc. Grow in grace daily, do not be unfruitful or turn back around to live the life you’ve died to! Let’s keep pressing through as we longingly desire to finally be with Him in heaven. (Please review the following warning Scriptures about turning away and deliberate, continual sin: 1 John 3: 4-10; Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-27; 2 Peter 2:20-22).
Group 2 – The “False” Believer
Now for group number two. Surprisingly, more people than one would think actually fall in this category (especially in America). This may sound harsh (I believe God says it harsher though) but God’s arms are not open towards them (at least while they remain in their blinded state). He does open His arms to this group if they repent of their ways and humble themselves and turn toward Him with a true heart and pure worship. But at present, you may be surprised with how He thinks of this group. Now before anyone gets upset with me or if this is pricking your heart, read the Scriptures below and direct your anger toward God because this is what HIS Word says that YOU say you believe in.
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me….” (Matthew 15:8)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16)
“That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” (Romans 11:20-22)
….that’s what the Bible says, not Dante…
Nevertheless, there yet remains hope for this group! The Bible says if you hear his voice TODAY do not harden your heart (Hebrews 3 and 4)! He is speaking to you through these words and Scriptures! Repent and turn from your hardness of heart! As much as some Christians may not have you to believe, God still desires holiness, right living, death to sin and flesh, and whole-hearted devotion to Him! Cry out to Him and ask for forgiveness! Love Him with all your heart and never go down that path again!
As Paul instructed Timothy, I am praying for ALL people in line with God’s desire for all to be saved as I believe we broadly fall into these three groups.