Hide and Seek

no one seeks God

No One Seeks God – Romans 3:9-20

New Ways: I’m not sure what your thoughts are on this, but I have observed over the past several years that the church in a general sense, has come up with some pretty slick ways of making new converts in a world filled with outward moralist’s but who are totally uninterested in the Gospel. We have studied the culture, watched the movies for good sermon analogies, identified with the music in order to draw crowds (in fact I know of several churches that open up their services to ACDC, Coldplay and Lady Gaga…. I’m not even kidding).

We have become very good at making people feel comfy in a church, or should I say in our ‘campuses’, the offensive crosses have been removed and replaced with missional type slogans and globes and our social justice efforts have tripled.

We strive to accommodate the seekers with trendy sermons often filled with humor, you can do it themes and promises of a wonderful life filled with health and wealth. Our comfy buildings have also made it easier for the unconverted to linger with ease. Decorative eye candy and musical ear spice have attracted a generation that is obsessed with being entertained.

Though many of these things aren’t wrong in themselves at all. The question should arise, are these methods, songs and messages actually producing true genuine converts? And is this the way the Bible tells us to do it?

The Damage: Some would say that with all this closed lipped, seeker friendly, motivational style preaching that seems to echo “say it with actions not words”, that we have finally recovered from a bad reputation of old fashioned ‘whole Gospel preaching’ you know, the ‘Hell Fire Brimstone Type’. The type of preaching that would show a sinner how wretched they really are Romans 7:24, by way of revealing their sin through God’s law Romans 7:7, Then lead the humbled sinner to the throne room of grace.  The truth is, we haven’t recovered, but digressed severely.

A note on ‘Hell Fire’, it really shouldn’t be Hell that’s fearful to a sinner, but rather God that’s to be feared. The Bible say:

Luke 12:5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

We should be preaching the Fear of God, not the fear of Hell. Hell is real and is dreadful, but God is the creator of Hell! He’s the one to fear. Does a criminal fear the Judge? or Jail? Without the Judge they have nothing to fear. If the church would get its Fear in order the Gospel would start to make a lot more sense. Fear God, because for the one who Fears God, hell isn’t even an issue.

What About Seekers: I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “he is really seeking” referring to someone who is unconverted yet is perceived as though they are seeking God. That’s not even a possibility and here’s why. Many people are unaware that the Bible says there is no such thing as a seeker! Let’s read from the Bible.

Romans 3:9-20 ESV What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understandsno one seeks for God. All have turned side; 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.” Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. [20] For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

All Sinners: Many people will say that the law is for the Jews, they were given the law, and once Christ came onto the scene it had no further use. Again, another statement with no weight. Let’s look at vs 9 in Romans 3. Paul says that both Jews and Greeks are under sin and there is no one that is righteous. Paul is making it very clear that no one escapes this sinful state, both Jews and Gentiles (which is most of us) are under the law.

No Seekers: Have you ever played Hide-and-Seek? I loved that game when I was a kid, we used to play it for hours on end. There was one thing that would throw a damper on a good game of hide-and-seek though, and that was if someone just up and quit seeking. Vs 11 is super clear in the fact that “no one seeks God”. Paul is helping in our evangelism effort, and telling us that when we go out to share the Gospel, it’s safe to say that “no one is seeking God,” we are going to have to alert them somehow. Charades are not going to help them find Him, they need the Gospel preached to them. Different than the game of hide-and-seek is the fact that God isn’t hiding from us. His invisible attributes are present everywhere. This means that we’re even more depraved than we think. When boiled down we aren’t just seekers who quit looking, He is out in the open and we aren’t even interested. Apart from Him over-ruling  our natural dislike for His authority, none of us would ever come to Him, and would remain in our rebellion forever.  If you are a genuine follower of Jesus you should really take a couple minutes to ponder on that and thank him for for over-riding your will and drawing you.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

No Fear of God: Vs 18 tells us that no one Fears God either. It says “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” which means that unconverted people do not fear Him and therefore they see their sin as pleasureful and a good time. Sin always looks good when God and His holy commands are out of the picture. If vs 9 is true, that everyone is a sinner, then we must also look at verse 20, which reveals why there is no Fear of God.

The Law: Have you ever had a discussion with someone about evangelism and the topic of sensitivity comes up. You will often hear people say “You can’t tell people they’re sinners and going to hell, that drives people away.” There is a few reasons why that statement is false, the first being “No one seeks God” you can’t drive someone away from a God they were not seeking in the first place. The second argument is often “Everyone knows they’re a sinner,” if that is true then they must all have the 10 commandments on their fridge, and the reason I say that is because vs 20 says “through the law comes knowledge of sin.” If most people in the church don’t know what the commandments are how can we expect the un-churched to know. The reality is they don’t. I want to leave you with vs 19 & 20 again.

“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”

The law stops every mouth, meaning every attempt at self justification comes to a grinding halt when the law is brought up. Have you ever heard the words “You have the right to remain silent”? This is the right every criminal has been given when arrested. They are given this right so that they do not incriminate themselves. When God’s law is delivered to anyone their mouth is stopped, not because if they remain silent they may not incriminate themselves, but “so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God“. There is only one way to bring someone to total surrender to Jesus, running to Him as a criminal seeking refuge and that’s when the law has grabbed us and nailed us to the wall. Christ is your Lawyer, your defense, your wrath remover, your eternal life giver.

Conclusion: “It’s a Fearful thing to fall into the hands of a Living God” Hebrews 10:31. If you are a professing Christian don’t make the dreadful mistake of not examining yourself against God’s Holy commands. Use the law to expose your own sin. If you are reading this post right now God may be drawing you (a non-seeker) to Himself. Call on Jesus Name today and be saved. If you know that you are saved, join the army of people that are daily striving to reach the lost. Start using the law of  God to end arguments and debates by stopping their mouth. And one word of caution, exercise grace and humility because you were once a sinner headed for destruction, no power trips allowed in the kingdom of God.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 ESV … Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. 

Start using the law as a way to show people their need for the Savior. Evidence of the disease reveals a persons need for the cure. The cure is JESUS.

Grace & Peace
~Shane Martin