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Monday

Gospel Driven: No One Seeks God

I briefly touched on this in the last post about the Fall but I would like to look at this particular truth more in depth here because the lack of understanding concerning this implication of the fall is behind many of the improper views of the church.  Let's look at how scripture speaks to this reality.  Here is what Paul tells us in Romans 3:10-18:


“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands;  no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.” 
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” 
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Paul makes it pretty clear here that the idea that there are people out there desperately searching for God is false.  No one seeks God.  No one naturally comes to the conclusion that God is the answer to the problems in their life.  It just doesn't happen.  We are all by our nature unrighteous.  Paul makes this point even more clear in Ephesians chapter 2.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Just in case we were still unclear where we stand spiritually after reading Romans 3, Ephesians 2 makes our hopelessness even more apparent.  We are dead in our sin.  Not mortally wounded, not in desperate pain, not slightly wounded, we are dead.  Just as physically there is nothing a man can do to resurrect himself once life has left the body, so spiritually there is nothing we can do to change our state before God.  We are dead.
Not only are we dead, but our very nature is such that we are objects of God's holy wrath.  We are separated from God, dead in our sin, and everything about us causes God's wrath to burn against us.  In order for their to be any hope for any of us, we must be resurrected from our spiritual death.  This is exactly what God does.  Paul tells us that because of God's great love and mercy for us, He makes us alive together with Christ.  We don't do this, it is done to us by God.  This is our only hope, that God would be merciful on us and resurrect us from our death to life in Christ.

What this means practically for the church is that the idea of a city full of people searching for God is a myth.  Our job is not to attract seekers to our services so that we can expose them to the gospel.  Our job is to live out the gospel so that people who cannot seek God are exposed to the gospel that can resurrect them from death to life in Christ.

This means as church leaders, our primary responsibility is not to make sure that our people are bringing lost people to our church or to make sure that our services are welcoming and non-threatening to those apart from Christ.  Our primary responsibility is, by our lives and our teaching, to equip the flock to live out the life they have been called to by God.  Our calling is to make disciples of Jesus Christ and let those disciples bring the gospel with them wherever they go so that it reaches those who will never, on their own, seek after it.

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