1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
As many of you know, I did not grow up as a Primitive Baptist. I remember hearing for the first time the preaching of the Primitive Baptist preachers many years ago. While listening, my heart was comforted in understanding that if I believed in Jesus Christ it was an evidence that I was already born again. 1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God:…” John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” But what if someone does not believe the gospel truth? What if a person fails to manifest that they believe in Jesus Christ? Does that mean they are not a child of grace? Does that mean they are not born again? As a life long Bible student, I will agree that believing the gospel is a strong evidence that one is born again, but as long as breath is in me I will contend that unbelieving cannot be used to determine whether or not a person is a born again covenant child of the King. Why? Because the Bible teaches that there are multiple reasons why someone will fail to believe the gospel truth. Yes, the Bible teaches us that the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (I Corinthians 2:14). But I ask the reader to consider the other reasons why someone will fail to believe:
(1) Judicial blindness, Romans 11:8! The Lord is very merciful. The Lord is long suffering, but long suffering is not forever suffering. According to scripture, if a child of grace continues to disobey God and His Commandments, He will take away the blessing of seeing and hearing the truth. These children of God are said to be blinded with a spirit of slumber and will miss out on the goodness of God in hearing and being comforted by the gospel message. Will they be in heaven one day? Yes, but they will miss out on many heavenly experiences in this temporal world.
(2) The influence and efforts of the devil (2 Corinthians 4:4)! According to Revelation 12:12, the devil knows he hath but a short time to torment the children of God. In his efforts, he will deceive and hinder the child of grace from hearing and understanding the gospel truth. In 2 Corinthians 4, the Apostle tells us that the devil blinds the mind. He often blinds the mind of the born again child of grace through false teaching. I heard an older preacher say one time, “it’s much more difficult to un-teach a child of God of false teaching than it is to teach the child of God the truth.” I will say Amen to that.
(3) Fear of losing popularity with friends, John 12:42-43! There are times when a child of grace will hear the truth, but fail to manifest that belief because they are afraid of the opinion of the group with whom they are currently associated. I personally have witnessed this many times, especially during funeral services. I’ve had opportunities to preach funeral services when I was satisfied that people heard and understood the truth. But because of their fear of the opinions of the groups they walked with, they would deny it. Do I believe these will be in heaven one day? Yes. But they will also miss out on so many temporal blessings in the gospel truth.
(4) Lack of proper information, Acts 8:26! I pray often that God will, in His abundant mercy, bless me to teach the truth clearly to every child of grace I have an opportunity to speak to/preach to. But the fact is, no man is perfect. I need the Lord’s help. But I will confess, there have been times in my life when I did not convey the truth as clearly as I could have. What happened? I failed. My lack of reading and study prevented me from answering the questions or etc to the spiritual profitability of the hearer. When I was faced with those experiences I prayed that God would give me another opportunity.
On the other hand, there have been times when I came across a diligent seeker of the truth who had never understood the rich treasures of Christ in the gospel. These individuals had not had the opportunity to hear the truth. After a little time of Bible conversation, I could see the precious reflections on their faces as they began to understand. These precious children of God did not become regenerate when they began to understand and believe, but they were children of God who began to understand the truth about the Savior Who was already in their hearts.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope all of this is sufficient to satisfy you that just because someone does not believe the gospel truth, that doesn’t mean that they are not born again children of God. There are many examples in scripture of this fact. The Bible is also very clear that the effectual call to life (directly by God) and the gospel call to believe the truth are not the same. Anyone who combines these two in their Bible study conclusions have missed the mark of truth themselves. Is God able to preach the gospel truth to every elect child of grace? Sure, but that’s not the general way God does things according to the Bible. God directly and alone saves His children in an eternal context, but God uses the means of the gospel truth to convert the mind of children of God to the truth. A quick study of the history of the world will convince any sincere Bible student that only a small portion of God’s children will be blessed to hear the gospel message. For me, this a serious subject. If someone tells me that all the elect will manifest faith in believing the gospel truth, I quickly conclude this person is not going to be accurate on multiple Bible subjects. I enjoy preaching the gospel truth. I am thankful for every opportunity to tell one of God’s little children about the eternal grace of God. But if someone fails to believe, that does not mean they are not a born again child of grace. God’s family is a big family. His children are out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation. The “many” belong to God. May God help me to hone my skills to teach children of God the truth about Him. And may God help me not to be judgmental toward those who fail to believe. To God be the glory, forever and ever, Amen!