Two Types of People and Two Eternal Destinies

As you consider these statements, examine your life and see if you are in the faith.

The unbeliever sets his mind on the things of the flesh (the world) while the believer sets his mind on the things of the Spirit (God and the things of God). The unbeliever receives the second death while the believer receives eternal life and eternal peace. That’s the entire point of Romans 8:5-6. In other words, what we believe controls how we live. Unbelievers love the world proving that the love of the Father is not in them (1 John 2:15). The believer loves God and demonstrate that by a life devoted to him. The unbeliever goes to hell and the believer goes to heaven. There is no other option.

 

Yesterday I preached from Romans 8:5-8 in our series through Romans. While many people attempt to teach a third category of people (the carnal Christian) and a basic Universalism approach to eternity with heaven being real and hell being reserved for the monsters of society—it’s imperative to grapple with the reality that Paul sets forth in this paragraph and to understand that real people go to hell everyday and they will never leave. Where will you spend eternity?

Paul begins with a comparison of the two people and their eternal destinies. The unbeliever sets his mind on the things of the flesh (the world) while the believer sets his mind on the things of the Spirit (God and the things of God). The unbeliever receives the second death while the believer receives eternal life and eternal peace. That’s the entire point of Romans 8:5-6. In other words, what we believe controls how we live. Unbelievers love the world proving that the love of the Father is not in them (1 John 2:15). The believer loves God and demonstrate that by a life devoted to him. The unbeliever goes to hell and the believer goes to heaven. There is no other option.

Paul then completes this section with three clear statements about unbelievers. As you consider these statements, examine your life and see if you are in the faith.

Statement #1: Unbelievers are Hostile to God

In Romans 8:7, Paul states, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God…” The word translated hostile is the Greek term, ““ἔχθρα” which means “to be at enmity with God; hatred towards God; to be hostile in attitude and action towards God.” This means that a person who is an unbeliever is the enemy of God and is at war with God. This warfare is manifest in both active and passive disobedience. In other words, there is both a physical and non-physical (mental) aspect.

The unbeliever who is at war with God can physically rebel against God by physical acts of sin that demonstrate hatred. This could include everything from murder to sexual sins such as homosexuality and adultery. Self-mutilation is another means of physical war against God—including the sin of suicide (self-murder).

The unbeliever who is at war with God can likewise wage war against God with ideas and ideologies. For instance, “the fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Ps. 14:1). The false ideas about God and false teachings about his character, the doctrine of salvation, and various other ideas that assault the nature and sovereignty of God prove that even mentally—the unbeliever uses his or her mind against God.

Statement #2: Unbelievers Cannot Obey God

Paul points out that the mind of the unbeliever “does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot” (Rom. 8:7). This is what we know as the doctrine of Total Depravity. The Bible teaches that man, if left to his own ability and his own will, would never choose God. According to God’s Word—the unbeliever is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1-10). Furthermore, the unbeliever cannot understand God’s Word, because such understanding comes from God (1 Cor. 2:14).

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