Unsaved vs. Saved: What A Contrast!

Posted on January 22, 2020


By David Ettinger

Sun and Rain
Jesus said about God the Father: “… He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).

In other words, in this world, good and bad occur equally to both the saved and the unsaved. However, this is where the similarities end between believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and unbelievers.

Ideally, believers should handle the rising sun (good fortune) and the rain (bad fortune) far differently than unbelievers. In the worst moments of life, believers are to be faithful, knowing that God is in control and that a greater destiny awaits us – the glories of eternity. In the face of calamity, we are to display confidence that though life is difficult, even heartbreaking, we have a bedrock of security which can never be shattered.

For the unbeliever, there is no such bedrock of peace and certainty in which to attach their hopes. For them, there is no loving, supernatural God upon whom to cast their anxieties (1 Peter 5:7), hence their lives are a series of chance happenings, very much like a swirling feather in the wind (remember the movie Forrest Gump?).

Two Realities
These two realities are elegantly illustrated in a beautiful Old Testament passage. Though Jeremiah was regarded as “the weeping prophet,” his book is filled with breathtaking promises, poetry, and passion. We see this illustrated in Jeremiah 17:5-8. In verses 5 and 6, the prophet describes those who have rejected God:

Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

The believer cannot help but make the spiritual connections in these lines. Nor can the believer help but to make the spiritual connections in verses 7-8, which speak of the believer’s security:

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

This does not mean believers have it easy, but that in God we can live in the richness of His blessings, capable of weathering anything life throws our way. The last sentence of the passage does not tell us Christians are without worry, but that when the worst of life assails us we can continue to be productive and of benefit to others. Our roots are in Christ, and they cannot be severed. Like rich trees which produce fragrant fruit, God “always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

More Trees!
Having been blessed in such a way, let us not rest in it. Pray that God will plant more trees “by the water that send out its roots by the stream.”

May God produce multitudes more who will be “blessed … who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him”!