In an email I received this morning, there was a quote from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “Natural Men Are God’s Enemies.” It piqued my interest, so I found it and read a greater portion (though not all — yet) of the sermon. Preaching from Romans 5, he had this to say:
There are three epithets used in the text and context, as appertaining to sinners as they are in themselves, verse 6-8.
They are without strength, they cannot help themselves. — They are ungodly or sinners, — and they are enemies. As in the text. — NATURAL MEN ARE GOD’S ENEMIES.
God, though the Creator of all things, yet has some enemies in the world. — Men in general will own that they are sinners. There are few, if any, whose consciences are so blinded as not to be sensible [that] they have been guilty of sin. And most sinners will own that they have bad hearts. They will own that they do not love God so much as they should do; that they are not so thankful as they ought to be for mercies; and that in many things they fail. And yet few of them are sensible that they are God’s enemies. They do not see how they can be truly so called; for they are not sensible that they wish God any hurt, or endeavor to do him any.
But we see that the Scripture speaks of them as enemies to God. So in our text, and elsewhere, “And you that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works,” Col. 1:21. “The carnal mind is enmity against God,” Rom. 8:7. — And that all natural or unregenerate men are indeed such…
This sermon was dated August 1736. I couldn’t help but think how clearly evident this truth is today. Many times I have seen a video of someone walking around on the street asking random people if they will go to heaven and why. Here’s one example.
Thoughts on Eternity
The first guy expresses the sentiment that I hear most. Many people will say that they are going to heaven because they are generally good or have good intentions. They recognize that they have done bad things, but still think that God should let them into heaven because they aren’t as bad as the serial killer in jail. The Bible says something very different!
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. — John 3:16-18
- The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. — John 5:22-29
- Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. — John 14:6
- For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… — Romans 3:20-24
- For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. — Romans 5:10-11
What is your assurance for eternity? Are you going to be “good enough” go through the pearly gates? I am, but it’s not based on my work. I seek to live a life of holiness for His glory. But I can’t do it on my own. It’s only by His redemptive power and grace working itself out in my life that I can strive for His holiness and that I can enter heaven. He wants you to join Him in eternity. It was His joy to go to the cross (Hebrews 12:2) to pay our debt so that we might live fully forever and ever! He is calling out to you to join Him on the adventure of a lifetime.