Are You an Enemy of God?
Yes this is well worth asking: Am I an enemy of God?
How’s that for the title of an article on a Christian website? Indeed, how’s that for a sermon title or a book title? Some of you are probably thinking only some fightin’ fundie would come up with something like that. Only some guy trapped in the Old Testament would speak about such things.
Well, I am not sure if I am a fightin’ fundie, and yes, there is much in the OT about the enemies of God. But what if I told you there is plenty in the New Testament as well? And what if I told you that many folks – both Christians and non-Christians – have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to how we think about God?
What if I told you that so much of what we believe about God is simply wrong and unbiblical? Too many folks have simply created a god in their own image. They refuse to run with the one true God and his revelation of himself. So they come up with counterfeits – that is, with idols.
So let me speak about this matter of enmity with God in more detail. But first, let me offer a few quotes that help set the stage for this. As A. W. Tozer famously put it in the opening words of his classic 1961 book, The Knowledge of the Holy:
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
James Montgomery Boice may well have had this quote in mind when he said something similar several decades later:
No people ever rise higher than their idea of God, and conversely, a loss of the sense of God’s high and awesome character always involves a loss of a people’s moral values and even what we commonly call humanity. We are startled by the disregard for human life that has overtaken large segments of the western world, but what do we expect when countries such as ours openly turns their back upon God? We deplore the breakdown of moral standards, but what do we expect when we have focused our worship services on ourselves and our own often trivial needs rather than on God? Our view of God affects what we are and do.
Exactly right. We need to have God’s view of God, not our own view. And that includes seeing his perfect holiness and hatred of sin. Those who want nothing to do with such a God are portrayed in Scripture as God’s enemies. And that ultimately means every single one of us.
Until we lay down our arms and come to God through Christ in faith and repentance, we are in a state of enmity with God. That is the plain teaching of all of Scripture. But let me offer some of the passages about the enemies of God as found in the New Testament.
One obvious candidate for an enemy of God is Satan. As we read in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” And what we find in 1 Timothy 5:14 is most likely a reference to Satan as well: “So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.”
Jesus also says the same, when he gave the parable of the sower. In Matthew 13:38-39 he says: “The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil.”
But as mentioned, all human beings, because of the Fall, are also viewed as enemies of God until they turn from their sin and turn toward God. Paul makes this clear in various places. For example, in Romans 5:10 he says, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved.”
And in Colossians 1:21-22 Paul makes a similar point: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
Also, Paul in Acts 13:10 rebuked a false prophet with these words: “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”
And these enemies who do not turn to Christ will one day face the judgment of God. The writer of Hebrews speaks of those who have “only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Heb. 10:27).
And Paul speaks of this as well in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25: “Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.”
Those who are redeemed are also warned about not again becoming enemies of God. James for example warns about worldliness: “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
Paul also offers warnings about this, as in Philippians 3:18-19: “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.”
As these passages make clear, there are indeed enemies of God. In light of all this, the only really important question in life that we must ask ourselves is this: “Am I an enemy of God?” What is my standing with God – is it a state of enmity, or one of reconciliation?
Those are vitally important questions that we all need to ask ourselves. We need to be made friends again with God – that is what the word reconciliation means. Instead of enemies, we become friends. Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 discusses this ministry that all believers have:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Are you reconciled with God? And if you are a Christian and you are reconciled to God, it is also worth asking if the life you are living indicates that you still may be an enemy, because of carnality, compromise and worldliness. These sorts of questions deserve to be asked now, and not put off any longer.
8 Replies to “Are You an Enemy of God?”
Bill excellent article as ever. It grieves me that so many clerics and ministers over talk the grace and the love of God and have lost sight as to what it is to fear the Lord, together with the requirement for genuine repentance. Folk have this half baked notion that God is a softy who shall overlook the sins of the unrepentant. Here is an excellent You Tube clip featuring RC Sproul and John MacArthur https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcOzTZUOBn0
Sadly many think that religion is just a matter of personal choice – or none – blissfully unaware that we begin with a status which is at war with God – enemies – and dead in trespass and sin. Sorting this out is the major stumbling block for people looking for the good in each other. Tozer’s words “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us” I have often repeated in preaching – so many just don’t get it and just don’t ‘get God’.
Yes Bill, it would be devastating to be God’s enemy, thinking you were saved, and finding out one day and hearing the words of the Lord Jesus,. Matthew 7: 21-23 KJV. 21. Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; BUT HE THAT DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER which is in heaven. 22. MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in YOUR NAME ? and in YOUR NAME cast out devils ? and in YOUR NAME done many WONDERFUL WORKS? 23. AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU; DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY. (They were Religious and did MANY wonderful WORKS, Oh yes, but JESUS TELLS THEM (The self righteous) I NEVER KNEW YOU. they were never saved.
In John 6.40 KJV tells us what the will of the Father is: ” And this is the WILL of Him that sent me, that EVERYONE which sees the Son and believes on HIm, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day”……..
NIV. says. John 6.40. For my Father’s WILL is that everyone who looks to the Son and BELIEVES in/ON Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Isaiah 55.6. NIV Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.
“These sorts of questions deserve to be asked now, and not put off any longer.”
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
This is one I like to think about. Imagine expecting to go to heaven and waking up in hell. It works as a really good wake-up call, especially since our prime fault is to take everything too glibly.
And I bet it does happen. Horror!
I would suggest you would have to put people like ‘Rev’ Kate Bottley in the category of an enemy of God. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/08/18/songs-praise-broadcasts-shows-first-gay-wedding/
Also regarding Philippians 3:18-19, have you noticed that not only are we overwhelmed with cooking shows on the commercial TV stations, we now also have an SBS derivative dedicated to worshiping people’s stomachs.
It is no wonder the world is in the mess it is in when the filth have control of the media and so much of the offensive filth is paid for by the taxpayer.
When you believe that you are serving God faithfully and share the joy of the Lord that’s going to blessing folk, don’t rest on your laurels.
Remember, “Be self-controlled and alert your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion” 1 Peter 5:8
I have been through this experience and know the feeling of ‘”marginalizing” myself, The enemy says to you that you’re doing enough take it easy, chill out your such a one for doing more than enough.
Well. he does have a heavy weapon in his arsenal called “platitudes” flattery is the deceive of many a heart.
Hi Bill, read many articles like your’s – “Are you an enemy of God”. I have lived all my life thinking that I was saved but now realised I was actually a counterfeit believer and treated God at arm’s length with the idols in my life. I am now old (in my 60s) and having read these and realized the truth, I am actually a reprobate/apostate and enemy of God. My heart is hardened to my old ways and now difficult to turn back to God with Him being in total control. I am left with the thought that I have to live the rest of my life before I am damned to hell. Appreciate your counsel to one who is spiritually dead.
Thanks Andrew. I can offer you two things. First, what God says in his Word:
“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.” Ephesians 2:4-5
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” 1 Timothy 1:15
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
Second, I will keep you in prayer. God is greater than any hardened heart, and no sinner is beyond his reach. You know you are a sinner and in a bad way. That is where we all must be before we can call on the Lord and ask him to save us and change us. So you are actually in a good place.