Share This Episode
In Touch Charles Stanley Logo

How God Sees the Unbeliever

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2023 12:00 am

How God Sees the Unbeliever

In Touch / Charles Stanley

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 638 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

May 31, 2023 12:00 am

Only God's viewpoint matters when it comes to unbelievers.


Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Wednesday, May 31st. God loves everyone, but it doesn't mean that everyone goes to heaven. If that sounds like a contradiction, listen to today's podcast to learn how God sees the unbeliever. Today I want to talk about some of the members of your family. In fact, I may be even talking about some of you.

You may ask the question, well, how can you talk about my friends when you've never seen them and you don't know them? Well, I can talk about them because God knows them and God has already publicly described them. In God's Word, He has described all of us and today I want to describe a certain segment of our society, folks that you and I know, sometimes people we live with, people we work with, people we socialize with, and oftentimes we see them a certain way. But the important thing is how does God see them?

What is God's viewpoint? All right, let's see what God's viewpoint is and if you'll turn to Ephesians chapter two, and I want you to notice what the Lord says about a person who has yet to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. And in this passage, what He does, He compares the unbeliever with the believer or that is what He's really saying as He writes to the Ephesian Christians, here's what you used to be like so that every person who is unsaved, this is God's viewpoint. The first thing He says about the person who is unsaved, your friends and neighbors and our families, this verse chapter two, verse one, and you were dead in your trespasses and sins. That is all of us who are saved, He says we're dead. That means all of those who are unsaved today, God says they're dead. Now you say, now wait a minute, I live with this fellow, he's not dead. He may not be physically dead, but spiritually he's dead.

Look down in verse five. Even when we were dead in our transgressions, He says dead in trespasses, dead in sins, that is having fallen short of God's plan, having fallen short of God's requirements, transgressed, crossed beyond the boundary of what God has applied for our life. He says, first of all, dead.

One of these days, you're going to physically die. But if you have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, that won't bother you one bit in the world, because when you leave this old physical body down here, your personality, your soul, your spirit is going to be with the Lord. The eternal life which is within you, which is your life, is the life that's going to last forever.

So He says your friends and your loved ones and your neighbors who have never taken a time in their life to voluntarily, deliberately, willfully choose to accept the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross as their salvation and Christ as their Savior. He says that person is spiritually dead. He says that person has no life. They've got physical life, but no spiritual life. Therefore, they are spiritually dead, walking dead men and women.

And I want to show you how tragic that is in just a moment. The second thing He says about them, if you'll go back to First Corinthians chapter two, and if a person is spiritually dead, then the following thing would naturally be true. When a person is spiritually dead, they have a very difficult time with spiritually minded people over the things of God. And so Paul says in First Corinthians chapter two, verse fourteen, But a natural man, that is the man who's not received Christ as his Savior, he's in Adam, a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God.

They're foolishness to him. He cannot understand them because they're spiritually appraised, spiritually discerned. Now, listen, here's the person who is spiritually dead.

And you talk about spiritual things, you talk about prayer and how God works in the human heart, how He responds to us and the things that God is up to. The man who is spiritually dead cannot perceive, does not perceive, cannot understand, does not understand. It is beyond him because, listen, that which receives the truth of God is dead within him, and he cannot receive the truth of God because his spirit is dead. He is a spiritually dead man.

A spiritually dead person cannot receive spiritual truth. Now I'm talking about somebody you may live with. I'm talking about somebody you work side by side with every day. I'm talking about somebody that you love. I'm talking about somebody that you care for. I'm talking about somebody who could be your best friend.

I'm talking about maybe the best neighbor you ever had. I'm talking about your employer who's treated you right. I'm talking about your employee who's faithful to you and your business. I'm talking to people that God says they are spiritually dead and they cannot understand the things of God. Now look, if you will, in chapter four of 2 Corinthians. And here, listen to what Paul says in this passage about that person. He says in the fourth chapter, in the fourth verse, he says, here's the reason they're blind. He says, The God of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Listen, the person who, listen, the person who's turned his face from God, he says Satan has blinded his eyes and what? Has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they may not see the light of the gospel of Christ.

They've been blinded by Satan. And listen, when you turn your back upon Almighty God, you turn it away from the light to darkness. And when you keep on in the direction of darkness, hardness sets up, callousness sets up.

And after a while, not even the touch of Almighty God in a worship service from a power of God is present. And the preaching of the gospel is true. And you can sit there coldly, hard, callous and nothing get through because you have walked in darkness so long that not even the light of the gospel can penetrate.

And my friend, that's why it's very dangerous to hear the truth. The entrance of thy word giveth light. But my friend, if you turn away from the light and turn to darkness and you keep on turning to it, he says, he says, The God of this age. Listen, what you are doing when you turn from the light to darkness is you are cooperating with the devil.

And he says the devil's purpose here is to blind your eyes so that you cannot believe the truth of the gospel of Christ. What about the lifestyle of these folks who are our friends and our neighbors and our loved ones? Go back to Ephesians Chapter two for a moment, because he describes their lifestyle here for just a moment. Ephesians Chapter two, beginning in verse two, he says, In which you formerly, that is, the lost person, is walking according to what? According to the course, the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, which now worketh in the children of disobedience. Among them we too also formerly lived.

How? Here's the lifestyle. The lifestyle is according to the course of the world.

What is the course of the world in America today? Is it not sensuality? Is it not pride? Is it not greed? Are not those three words the words that best describe dishonesty, violence? Are these not the words that describes such a large segment of our society? The lifestyle of those who walking in blindness is to live in self-indulgence.

Listen to what he says. Among them, too, we also formerly lived in the lust of our flesh, indulging in the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. That is living in self-indulgence. Go back over to Romans Chapter eight for just a moment. Look at this verse here. In Romans Chapter eight, he says in verse five, They have set their minds on the things of the flesh.

On verse six, he says, The mind set on the flesh is death. That is set on indulgence, self-gratification. What pleases me? What honors me? What do I want?

What does it take to satisfy me? He says in verse seven, Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God, it does not subject itself to the law of God. It is not even able to do so and it cannot please God. Listen, here is the lifestyle of the unbeliever. He says in Ephesians Chapter two, verse two, In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world. Listen, now walked according, listen, according to.

That is walking in pace with and walking in concert with the prince of the power of the air. That is, listen, the person who is without Christ, that there are only two families in the world. Listen, there's the family of God and there's the family of Satan. Now, listen, you are born into the family of God in the new birth experience by trusting in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and accepting him as your savior. If you are not born again into the family of God, then you must be in the family of Satan, in the family of the devil. He says, We who are in the family of God were translated from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of his dear son, the kingdom of light. So, my friend, think about this for a moment.

You may be living with, working with, playing with one of your friends, your neighbors. That person is lost. The Bible says that they're walking according to the course of this age, that they, listen, they are in the family of Satan, that Satan is their God. There are two gods in the world, one capital G, Jehovah God and the little G, the God who set himself up as God, who was a fallen angel. Satan himself builds above the old devil himself, the dragon. The scripture says that he's the God of this age.

That is that he himself catapulted himself and the whole world system religiously, politically, economically, socially. The whole thing has the pattern and the smell of death and hell out of it because it is anti-God, anti-Christ and anti that which is spirit. Now listen to me. If you're not in the family of God and you don't have the life of God in you and you don't have the spirit of God and you've not sealed, been sealed by the grace of God through his spirit. You're in the family of the devil walking according to the course of this age. Listen, you may be a church member. You may have been baptized, sprinkled and poured on. You may be a deacon of church, an elder or something else. You may be a man standing behind the pulpit each week talking about the things of God and talking about religion. But he says, if you've not been born again by the Spirit of God and the family of God, the kingdom of God, you are lost and you do not belong in the kingdom. But the scripture says you belong in the domain of darkness.

That's where you are. Now I want to tell you something, my friend, the word of God says, I don't care how good you are and how free you may appear to the world. But Almighty God says, not this preacher. God says you are enslaved. You are in bondage.

You are imprisonment to the devil and to sin. Now I want to show you where he says it. In Romans chapter six.

Look, if you will. Beginning in verse 16. He says, don't you know this? This is Paul's way of saying it.

Don't you know this? Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, that is, to whomever you present yourself or whatever to obey, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death or of obedience resulting in righteousness. Look in verse 19. I'm speaking in human terms because the weakness of your flesh. But just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness resulting in further lawlessness. So now present your members as slaves to righteousness resulting in sanctification.

The teaching of the Word of God is very simple. That I am either, listen, I am either living in wonderful, exciting, liberating bondage to Jesus Christ or I'm living in destructive, degenerating bondage to Satan himself and to sin. I'm going to be a slave to one of the two.

There are a lot of folks who think they're straddling the fence. That they're serving God and enjoying this and he says you're a slave to one of the two. The unbeliever is walking according to the course of this world. The course of this world is headed toward destruction and ruin. And the course of this world is guided by Satan himself.

And Satan's concept is to chain in prison in bondage people and to eventually carry them into utter destruction. And you see, you and I have friends and neighbors and loved ones and people live in our household who are enslaved by Satan. Now listen, don't tell God, oh Lord, I know they have a little problem.

They don't have a little problem. They are prisoners of the devil himself. And I want to tell you part of the problem. Friends, some of us have become so deceived and what we've done because we don't want to face the truth and it's too painful for us to understand. It is too painful for us to acknowledge the fact that we've got people we love dearly who could possibly live in our household under our roof for 20, 30 years and die and they go to hell and we go to heaven and never see them again.

We don't want to face that. So we said, look, I know they're not all they ought to be and I know that they're not everything that God would like them to be. But I want to tell you, my friend, the only but is have they received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of their life.

If they have not every single thing I've read to you out of God's word up to this point is absolutely God's viewpoint of that person. Enslaved, entrapped, living in bondage to sin. And not only that, look in Titus chapter three, because here's what he says has happened and this is a big problem by the folks and not only a lot of folks. Sometimes God's people in chapter three of the book of Titus, he says in chapter three, verse three. He says, for we also once were foolish ourselves, speaking of the lost man, disobedient, listen, deceived, listen to that, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, deceived. Listen, this is the tragedy. When Satan blinds a man, a woman's eyes, what does he do?

He blinds them and lies to them. You are all right. You are going to make it. You're as good as some other church members. And God is the God of love and mercy and goodness and kindness. And listen, God is not a God of justice and hatred. And God is God. He's not going to send anybody to hell. And Satan, listen, you're right. God never sent anybody to hell for a man to get to hell. He's got to trample over the cross of Jesus and every single witness of the gospel.

He's got to trample over all of it. But the Bible says they've been deceived. Listen, you and I live with people who are living in deception. They have been deceived by Satan. They think they know the truth, and they don't know the truth. They would swear to you they know the truth, but they don't know the truth.

They've been deceived. That is, Satan has put a veil over their eyes, and they do not know the truth. Well, what about that person's relationship to God? Go back to Ephesians chapter 2. What is their relationship to God? Verse 12 of Ephesians chapter 2.

Remember that you were at that time, what? Separated from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel. That is, you've missed the blessings that God's provided. Strangest to the covenants of promise.

Having no hope and without God in this world. Now, I can hear you now. Oh, but now wait a minute.

Stop right there. I don't go to church, and I've never been saved, and I believe in God. But don't tell me God doesn't answer my prayer. I'm going to tell you God doesn't answer your prayer because he can't hear you.

My friend, the only prayer you can pray, not having received the Lord Jesus Christ and be heard by God, is the prayer of confession and repentance wherein you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. You say, but now wait a minute. Now hold it now. Look. God's blessed me. Look at all the good things God's done for me. You mean to tell me he's not answering my prayer?

I'm saying absolutely you cannot. Listen, he's not answering your prayer. Paul gives an answer for what you're asking. In the second chapter of Romans, here's what he says. He says, know you not, watch this, know you not that the goodness of God came in order to lead you to repentance, not because you're good enough, not because God is rewarding you. He says for the purpose of leading you to repentance.

Now watch this. If you are an unbelieving mate in a family, if you're an unbelieving son or daughter, a husband or father or mother, you think about this. My friend, if God is good to you, it may be that you're just getting in on the blessings of somebody else in your family. And he says, don't you know that God is good to you in order to lead you to repentance? That sometimes, sometimes God sends judgment to get people's attention. Sometimes he sends good things. But God's ultimate purpose for allowing any good in the life of the unbeliever is in order to motivate them to see the goodness and acceptance and love and generosity of God.

And listen to me. When a person spurns the cross, when they turn their back upon God, they turn their back upon the goodness of God and the mercy of God. You think God ignores that?

No. The future, the relationship with that person is what? Separated from God, apart from God, no hope and without God in this world. Then I want you to notice something very significant. Back over the Sermon on the Mount in chapter seven. The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has been talking about fruits and fruit from good trees and evil trees. Notice what he says in verse twenty-one. Now I want you to listen carefully to what he says. Not everyone, not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Watch this. In the day of judgment, many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? And in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles. That is, Lord, haven't we preached many sermons? Haven't we performed many miracles? Haven't we cast out demons?

Has not our life been invested in great works for the kingdom of God? And listen to what Jesus said. And then will I declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, ye who practice lawlessness.

Now let me tell you something. Those verses right there get my attention. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And cast out demons and done many wonderful works in thy name? And Jesus will look at them face to face and say, You sure have, but I never knew you. You know what He's talking about? He's talking about the shock that many people are going to receive when they stand in the judgment of God without Christ.

Now let me ask you a question. What about the family member you live with who's not saved? What about that gal you work with every day across the desk? She's not saved. What about the fellow who's your boss who's treated you so well? He's not saved.

What about the guy who works for you, the gal who works for you is so faithful employee? They're not saved. What about your neighbor? She's not saved. What about your friend in college? He's not saved. What about your roommate? He's not saved.

What about the friends you socialize with? They don't know Christ as their savior. And you just heard God's viewpoint. These people are dead. They can't even understand the truth. They have no fear of God. Their lifestyle is that of indulgence. They're enslaved by sin. They're deceived. Their relationship to God, they have no relationship.

And the Bible says that they're on their way to utter destruction unless somebody steps in the way and presents to them the truth of Jesus Christ. Thank you for listening to How God Sees the Unbeliever. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 03:52:09 / 2023-05-31 04:01:06 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime