I hate that title. Do you know why? Because it is untrue.
First, every person on this earth sins or did sin or will sin. Christ is the only exception. So now we understand that everyone does evil, but this idiotic saying seems to suggest that there are sinners and there are saints meaning that there are wicked people and there are righteous people. If a person sins then she is considered wicked.
Anyone who believes in Christ is known as a saint (Romans 1:7). So all Christians are saints. Saints are considered blameless before God (1 Corinthians 1:8), but this is ONLY because of Jesus’ pure blood covering over all our sins. Keep this in mind because all throughout the Bible there are references to the “righteous” and the “wicked.” This again seems to suggest that there are people who never sinned, but this is certainly false. Everyone has sinned, but believing in Christ purifies us (1 John 3:3). It’s as if we never sinned because we have been forgiven and God will remember our sins no more (Jeremiah 31:34, Ezekiel 33:16).
Here are several verses that use such terms.
“There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 8:14
“If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right–if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil–that person will surely live; they will not die.” Ezekiel 33:13-15
“If you know that he (Jesus) is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 2:29, 3:1
“‘On the day when I act,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.’” Malachi 3:17-18, 4:1-2
It’s easy to see how someone might misunderstand the terms being used here, but everyone who disobeys God is considered wicked. Having forgiveness through Christ makes a person “righteous” or “pure” or “perfect.” Whatever of the three words you choose it matters not because they all apply.
My head was just spinning a moment ago about all this. Here’s why: no person can believe Christ or accept his forgiveness unless the Holy Spirit moves her heart to do so. The gift of believing in Christ is free, yes, but you do not accept it of your own strength because you need God to even have faith in his promise.
This being said, why can’t all people be saved? Why have I believed in Christ and yet there are others who have disregarded him? Doesn’t everyone have the chance to be saved? My acquaintance River (from previous posts) believes that not everyone has the opportunity to accept Christ. This makes me grit my teeth because the Bible says that Christ died for everyone’s sins (2 Corinthians 5:14) yet River told me that really Christ only died for certain people. I do not agree with her.
There are multitudes of ongoing arguments in the Christian church about freewill. Do we have any kind of control in our lives or are we puppets to God’s will? You see, I find this whole matter trivial. The point is that God is in control of everything and he works out all things to his own ends (which is not a bad thing because he is Love). God does not string us along on some horrible ride called life. Instead, he cares about our dreams and considers a man’s heart. He often gives us the things we desire (Psalm 37:4). His plans are only for goodness. He wants us to have extraordinary lives that sow seeds of greatness for those to come.
“I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” Ecclesiastes 3:10-14
I cannot wrap my mind around people. Some individuals even refute the existence of good and evil. How can you be so blind as to believe that? What about war, rape, murder, theft and adultery? Do you think those things are neutral? Should we be passive in our judgment?
But my head spins again because I don’t understand why some people believe in Christ and others refuse. In a previous post I spoke about a parable that Jesus told about weeds and wheat. I tried to take comfort in believing that there are two kinds of humans: ones from God and ones from the world (Satan). I thought that made sense, but then my heart cries out because it doesn’t seem plausible. Surely every person has the chance to be saved!
Then I got to thinking that all people really do have the chance to believe in Christ, but there are many who refuse because they love their sin. They are infatuated with evil. It’s too tempting, it’s too wonderful. Darkness hates the light. People hate to be told they’ve done wrong because they don’t want to stop. They want to do what feels good and what satisfies them for an extremely finite amount of time.
But then again, do we harden our hearts to understanding or does God? The Old Testament verse about the veil over our eyes is the same as saying someone has a stubborn heart. They cannot understand God unless they turn to him (2 Corinthians 3:14-17).
I am beginning to believe that everyone gets what they want in the end. If you didn’t want Christ then you did not receive him. If you wanted him then you had his forgiveness. In the end, do look back to the Ecclesiastes verse above. We can’t understand these things because who has known the mind of God Almighty?
The suffering just makes me bite my lip. How can anyone tolerate the pain of this world? Can you really drag that around all day? Do you rely on your own strength to get you through the storms (Philippians 3:3)? That’s not going to be good enough, you know, that’s why people get depressed, that’s why people get so angry, that’s why people can look their addiction in the face over and over again and not quit. You cannot save yourself. You really are fucking pathetic and you know it. I promise you that the human race is so sensible that if you set a cup of poison in front of them their mouths would water for it. They’d want to drain it dry.
Look at history, I beg you, look at any part of history. Screw ups. Selfishness, stubbornness and lust. The only thing humans are truly talented at is spreading the virus of sin all through the world.
Eventually, and oh God I pray it’s soon enough, I desperately hope that you will fail. I hope all of your forms of escapism or tolerance or distraction will crumble into ashes. You must be conscious of eternity. You must know that this world has only the power to destroy.
I only pray that you realize how weak you are and how great your problems are because God is waiting for you. Please, don’t let another day go by without asking for his help. Tomorrow is not a guarantee for you or me or anyone else.