CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 1, 2023 – There are two types of unbelievers in the world.
The first type either believes that God doesn’t exist, or that if he does exist, he’s either nothing like the “god” depicted in the Bible or he’s long left the world to its own devices and doesn’t intervene anymore. These unbelievers live by their own rules, doing what they want.
The second type of unbeliever says they believe that God exists, but they live as if he doesn’t. Some of these unbelievers believe in some other “god”, but not the Father of Jesus. Of those who say they believe in the Father of Jesus, they claim to rely 100% on his mercy. They live the life of the world, knowing they should repent, but delay it. They delay it and delay it and delay it. Even as they delay doing what they know they should do, they claim to be relying on God’s mercy it get into Heaven. This is the second type of unbeliever. I call them unbelievers, because they obviously don’t believe. They only say they believe. If they truly believed, they would be on their face repenting, not talking about some hazy future repentance. Those who know they should repent but choose to delay repenting are unbelievers. There’s no other word for them but unbelievers.
God doesn’t want us to scare people into believing. He wants people to come to him because they want what he has to offer. He wants them to come to him of their own free will, not under the compulsion of fear. Dictators demand your loyalty under the compulsion of fear. God is no dictator. Dictators demand your obedience on fear of punishment, but again, God is no dictator. In God’s economy, you don’t get punished because of disobedience; your punishment is your own deeds repackaged and sent back to you.
Every day, our world sinks deeper and deeper into godlessness. As believer after believer dies, the world gets a little darker. We are not replacing ourselves as believers. More of us are dying than are being reborn.
I have, for the most part, removed myself from mainstream society. I live out in the boonies in rural New Brunswick. It’s beautiful country here, covered in “snow trees” whose bark has turned white as a form of camouflage. There’s snow on the ground for more days of the year than not, so the tree bark has turned white in solidarity with the snow. Even the twigs right to the tips are white. I’ve asked God if I could have a forest of these snow trees at my place in Heaven, and he’s agreed. They’ll be waiting for me if/when I get Home.
I wish it were that easy to get people to believe.
I saw a video earlier today of a group Canadian male politicians in one of the houses of Parliament prancing around in pink high heels. The prancing was supposed to be a gesture on the males’ part (after seeing that video, I can’t call these people “men”) – it was supposed to be a gesture of solidarity with women, or more specifically solidarity with women against violence against women. But all I saw were a bunch of middle-aged and older males teetering around a conference table in hot pink stilettos. It looked like some kind of hazing or initiation ritual, and I was humiliated for them. But even more so, I was humiliated for Canada, for what has become of our “diverse, inclusive, and equitable” alphabet-people-dictated godless post-nation. In case you’re wondering what such a country looks like, check out this video. These are our elected “leaders”. And remember – you don’t get the leaders you want; you get the leaders you deserve. Canada has fallen so far that it now deserves these pink-stilettoed humiliated buffoons. Let that sink in, fellow Canadians. We’ve earned this.
I wrote a while back about neighbourhoods and what makes them good or bad. The same principle of what makes a neighbourhood good or bad also applies to countries or families or apartment buildings or any group setting where people live.
Let’s suppose we have a gated community with ten homes. Some of the homes are family-occupied, some are couple-occupied, and some are single-occupied. All the people living in the neighbourhood love God and follow Jesus. All adhere to the Ten Commandments. This kind of neighbourhood is the closest you’ll ever get to Heaven on Earth. You don’t even have to lock your doors at night, since you can trust all your neighbours and the gate keeps out the riffraff. You can leave you bicycle outside unlocked and not worry about it being stolen. You can leave the keys in your car’s ignition overnight, with your car’s doors unlocked, and your car will still be there the next morning, just as you left it. All the lawns are tidy and well cared for. The flower beds are weeded and cheerful. The houses are attractive and in a good state of repair. No-one disturbs anyone else after-hours or on Sundays, and there is a peaceful calm about the place. It truly is a godsend, such a community.
Then one of the families decides to move to a bigger house in another neighbourhood, and a new family moves in. This family does not love God or follow Jesus or keep the Commandments. Things start to go missing, so the other nine neighbours start to lock their doors at night, including their car doors. The new family doesn’t mow their lawn or tend their gardens, so weed spores start to spread to neighbouring properties. (Sloth is a contagion in more ways than one.) All things considered, the neighbourhood is still OK, but not as good as it was before.
Then two of the couples decide to leave, and two new families move in. Like the other newcomers, these new families don’t love God or follow Jesus, and they have no time for the Ten Commandments. They somewhat tend their properties, but they have parties late at night, and their visitors are loud and disrespectful to the other neighbours. The kids of the newcomers pick fights with their neighbours’ kids. More things disappear, even from inside people’s garages. Police cars show up every now and then in response to noise and theft complaints. Litter starts to accumulate along the curbs in front of the newcomers’ houses. It’s definitely no longer “Heaven on Earth”, this neighbourhood, but it’s still better than most others.
Then both singles decide to leave and two new couples move in. These newcomers are also not God-fearing. (They aren’t even married.) So now in the neighbourhood there are five houses of God-fearing people and five houses of unbelievers. Weeds in the lawns and gardens have become a constant battle on every property, as has trash and litter. A few of the newcomers have dogs, big dogs, that spend most of their time out in the backyard. The dogs bark all day and all night, and when their owners take them for a walk, unleashed, the dogs poop and pee wherever they want. Barbecues and lawn furniture now need to be chained or they’re stolen. Garden hoses need to be taken indoors at night, along with potted plants or anything else than can be carted away under cover of darkness. Graffiti and tags have appeared on neighbourhood fences. The raucous weekend parties have spilled into weeknights. The five original God-fearing neighbours have had security systems installed indoors and out, as the community is no longer gated due to a law being passed banning gated communities. They talk among themselves, these five neighbours, about how much things have changed for the worse, but they’re powerless to do anything about it.
Then one of the five last God-fearing families decides to move to the country, and another family of unbelievers takes their place. The community descends into lawlessness. Trash and litter, including used needles, are everywhere. Lawns are unkempt and dotted with piles of garbage and dog poop. The sidewalks smell of urine. Many of the neighbours don’t work and so spend the day drinking or doing drugs or fighting with other neighbours. Their kids run wild. The four remaining God-fearing neighbours now keep entirely to themselves and rarely go outdoors. There is no longer a sense of community, but rather a sense of siege. Police have stopped responding to theft and noise complaints, since they’ve been defunded and more serious crimes take priority of their limited resources. The unbeliever neighbours know this, and so no longer make any attempt to keep the noise down after hours. They also steal with impunity from their neighbours’ properties, knowing there’ll be no legal repercussions.
Of course, this is all just fiction. It bears no resemblance to reality. It’s not a metaphor for where we are now in our families or communities or countries. It’s just made up. Godlessness doesn’t lead to lousy living environments any more than godliness leads to good ones. Right?
There’s a reason why, during his ministry years, Jesus hung his hat only with believers at night. During the day, he mingled with everyone, but at night, he battened down the hatches with his disciples. It’s important that we, like Jesus, take care to live and sleep among those we trust. Yes, Judas Iscariot was also among the disciples, but Jesus knew who and what he was and watched him carefully. He knew his every move and every thought (God informed him).
We may not be able to know every move and every thought of our neighbours, but we can at least get the big picture about them. God doesn’t want his children living among drug addicts and prostitutes. Reformed drug addicts and reformed prostitutes, yes, but not those still deep in their sins and proud of it. We can visit those deep in their sins and spend time with those deep in their sins and minister to those deep in their sins, but we shouldn’t live and sleep among them, any more than we should live or sleep among wild animals.
God gives us a sense of self-preservation for a reason.
We need to heed it.