Decided Ungodliness

by Mike Ratliff

O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent. (Jeremiah 5:3 ESV)

Obstinate refusal to bow the knee to the Lordship of Christ is not always apparent or observable in professing Christians. Unlike men such as the late George Carlin, their rebellion is often shrouded in ceremonies, religiosity, morality, good works, and the like. They may have been convicted to repent, but instead of doing so they remain turned from God as they pursue their own way of placating their conscience. This is attempting to be a Christian on ones own terms.

George Carlin was among those who honestly declare that they will never quit their sinful ways. However, there are other people who have promised to repent, but have not done so. Others, such as formatlists, mere professors, and hypocrites, have a form of godliness, but it is only a show. Therefore, there are people who have heard the truth, have heard the Gospel, yet they refuse to repent. Even though this may disturb us, we must come to grips with the fact that there will be untold numbers of people who will not repent and be saved.

This obstinate refusal to repent reveals much about the unregenerate heart. The unregenerate have an intense love of sin. They prefer their sin to any promise they have heard about eternity with Christ in Heaven. The do not love God or His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ no matter how much they profess to do so. If they cling to their sin then they prove that they love it far more than they love God. In their rejection of Him they reveal that they actually despise God and prove it by rejecting His counsel, His command, and even Himself. They actually resolve to continue in evil. They make plans around their sin, hoping to feed their insatiable desire to feed their flesh. They refuse to repent.

The unregenerate person has no concept of the difference between them and a genuine Christian. They see a regenerate person being Christlike and it incites within them negative emotions that evolve even unto hate. Why? This is the the divisiveness of Christ becoming manifest in the lives of His people.

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19 ESV)

From this unregenerate heart that hates God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and those chosen out of the world, we see actual attributes therein that drive the person to adamantly stay turned from God. For example, they are full of self-conceit. This blinds them into believing they are already ‘good enough.’ Others reveal an attitude of sheer recklessness. These refuse to consider their own best interests. They resolve to be a trifler. Death and hell and Heaven are to them as only distractions to sport with.

The unregenerate heart has an intense dislike of holiness. This is actually the core issue. The man or woman or child that is untouched by the grace of God cannot endure humility, self-denial, and obedience to God. When confronted with sin and the call to repent they weigh the pleasures of the present with the promise of an eternal life with the Lord. Unless God regenerates their hearts they will never chose the latter, but will always prefer the former.

Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5,6, & 7) lays out the Christlike, godly nature that He has and will grow and build within those who are His. None of us will ever see 100% sanctification in this life, but we are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to become living sacrifices by being transformed through the renewal of our minds, to be spirit-filled as we pray continually and submit to our spouses, and our friends, and to love our enemies and pray for them. We are commanded to abide in Christ. This is what we are called to do and to become, but one of the main excuses the ungodly use when called to repent is that they see the visible Church and see the inconsistencies and hypocrisy and the cakes half-baked and they want no part of it.

Therefore, we must pray for our churches and the pastors and leadership over them. We must pray for wholesale repentance and a return to intentional, God glorifying preaching of the Word, worship, and discipleship. This must be done from the focus of God’s Sovereignty and Holiness and our humble devotion and love for Him. We must pray for God’s people to have their spiritual blindness cut away by our Lord so they can see their sin and repent. Let us pray for Christians all over this world to repent and become intentionally devout, holy, humble, and obedient. Let us pray that we will not be man-pleasers or become afraid of men. Instead, let us plead with God that we become wise, discerning, and bold as we share the gospel with all who will hear. O’ Lord, make us intentionally godly as you cleanse us of manifesting decided ungodliness.

Soli Deo Gloria

26 thoughts on “Decided Ungodliness

  1. Pingback: Decided Ungodliness - Reformata

  2. So true Mike. Unfortunatly the George Carlins are all over this world. Sometimes we seriously wonder if they think they will ‘talk’ their way into heaven because we have a God who forgives and loves people. Nothing like playing russian roulet with eternity. Personally, we see everything coming to a head here quicker than we think. Yes there are many we probibly know who are not going to make it to heaven. So sad. We will continue to pray because as you say God commands it and like Spurgeon said, there are no yellow stripes on their backs to tell us who is and who isn’t. Good post and sobering.

  3. Your quote of Jeremiah is similiar to what will be happening in the last days. In the midst of birth pangs (war, rumors of wars, natural disasters, famine, and various calamities), men will continue to curse God and mock at warnings. The world will be predisposed to finding its own way to save itself as well as attempting to solve its problems. Because of a wicked heart, many will take pleasure in unrighteousness, and God will send them strong delusion.

    The severity of God deserves a lot of attention and respect. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the angry living God.

  4. I am reminded of John Hyde (also called “Praying Hyde”). He was once asked how he knew what God’s will for his life was. He responded that he tried to stay so close to God that he knew the moment he stepped out of His will.

    I think this relates to what you are saying: Let us stay so close to our Father and keep our hearts so tender before Him, that we know the instant we have stepped out of His will and into any activity or thought that does not honor Him.

  5. Josh, you mention Jer. and its meaning. We have been in that paticular book for the last week now. We see it too.

  6. Josh,
    Your so right, my family at the flood site was discussing the reasons that the unusual flooding happened from global warming to more snow than usual last winter. No one mentioned the obvious that God is in control of all His creation.
    They don’t like hearing that . When I mentioned that this actually fits the end times prophecy to my daughter, she got upset. So to hear that this can be somehow explained to their satisfaction, then they all feel better. If God wants our attention He will get it, but what will it take??!!

    Mike,
    Good and truthful post. Decided Ungodliness is the way the unregenerate Christians I know are. Trying to justify their decisions by the worldly standards. The rest of us are just to “way out there”. Thank you

  7. I also have been in Jeremiah, it is amazing how much like Judah we are. Peace, Peace, but if you tell them there is no peace and that the pastors and preachers do not speak the Word of God, well,” That’s your interpretation.”

    May God grant repentance, He is the only Hope.

  8. Dear Mike,

    Yesterdays blog comments from a person named Julie didn’t sit right with me. I will ask for your forgiveness that I didn’t respond. She said Jesus commended a widow who gave her last two coins into the treasury, I know the vs out of Luke 21, but if we read the verses before in Luke 20:46 – 47 and the then Luke 21:1-4. This woman went home destitute to die… thinking that she could buy salvation and had obtained it through giving everything she had, He was rebuking them for allowing this to happen, because they didn’t help her out in the right way. Salvation cannot be bought at any price, it is a Gift from God. Jesus loves a cheerful giver. We are to be good stewards with what He has given us. You sure can’t be cheerful when you give all you have and have bills to pay. Please I hope the Lord speaks to your heart in what I have written, Mike I’m now on 2nd shift, praise the Lord, for His purpose and my own good and am not sleeping well. Still Process Engineer and again Plant Superintendant on an different shift and I thank Him that it is 3rd shift again. I know that there is more but my mind is not working to well. Understand and this not a complaint, I drive 60 miles each way to work. In the last two weeks I have found myself not wanting to be behind the wheel of the car on the way home. Praise the Lord that He has blessed me to make it home. I also thank Him for teaching me that my dog treats me the same every day He allows me to come home….very happy to see me and never anger and upset with anything. Again Praise the Lord.

    With the Love In Christ Jesus for whom I joyfully am a Slave,

    David

    P.S.
    Hopefully Julie will read this.

  9. My understanding of this is that the woman was already a believer and was not trying to buy salvation, but was giving “all she had” as an act of self-denying worship of the Living God. She was willing to be destitute if God is glorified in it. That is the message to us from her sacrifice.

  10. Here is Luke 20:46-47

    46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, 47 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

    I didn’t get that out of this passage either.

  11. I wondered. I had never heard it told that way before, thats why I asked. The only ‘other’ way I’d heard it was the way the wof’ers told it, which of course is wrong, but later learned it the way you said, which of course is the right interpretation. Thanks.

  12. “George Carlin was among those who honestly declare that they will never quit their sinful ways. However, there are other people who have promised to repent, but have not done so. Others, such as formatlists, mere professors, and hypocrites, have a form of godliness, but it is only a show.”

    You forgot the most common sin group is those who don’t understand the depth of their sin and their need for a Savior. (ie Pharisees) I dont believe Georges biggest problem was his desire to keep sinning. The problem was he had no deep recognition of his need for a savior.

    In my opinion if we understand how great our need for a savior is then the ‘God mechanics ‘ are in place to remove sin in our lives.

    Thats the common problem no matter what sin group you are talking about: Religious talk is cheap. Understanding the depth of our sin is hard.

  13. Hi all,

    I will ask this, If I am wrong I pray the the Lord changes my heart on this, if yours is wrong I pray the the Lord changes your heart, in Jesus’ name we pray.

    I never got out of that passage that the woman already had eternal life. And the preceed passage states to beware …for they devour widows houses. I don’t know how much two mites are valued at…But if I were standing there I would give it back two her. For it did state that she tossed in all the living that she had. And I feel she went back home desitute to die. No money for food or anything. Remember, when I go to work I work for God. He supplies all my needs and I know that is more important to help a neighbor out in need than to send money to some church. Also as stated in Proverbs 27 that the prudent sees danger and hides themselves and the simple go on and suffer for it.

    In Christ
    David

  14. Sorry, we need to look at the group of people he was talking to in these passages of scripture. He wasn’t talking to the widow. Agian he was talking to the scribe

  15. David, We read the sermon. And I must say, we have never heard it preached that way before. It does make sense. A.W.Pink said when Jesus was outside of Jerusalem and was saying how He longed to gather them like a hen and etc. that Jesus was furious, not hurt feelings like alot of people say, but down right mad at them. So if Johns view is also like A.W.s then maybe we should give it some thought and careful study too. We really respect John MacArthurs preaching and teaching, but like I said, we have never heard it this way before. Thank you for sharing the sermon.

  16. David or Paul,

    Would you point me to that sermon,please? I would like to read it. I use someones computer at this time, so I do not have full time access to the internet right now. Thank you, I would appreciate that.

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