Why Unbelievers Can’t See It, Part 2

Posted on January 18, 2021

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By David Ettinger

The Human Side
A few years ago, I wrote a blog titled, “Why Unbelievers Can’t See It.” It examined why so many unbelievers are closed to the Gospel when it makes so much sense to believers. It was centered around 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

In Part 2, I want to look at rejection of the Gospel where the natural evil of the human race apart from Satan’s influence is the key factor. The central passage is Titus 1:15-16:

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.

Pure and Impure
The phrase, “To the pure, all things are pure,” is a tough one. What was Paul – who wrote Titus – getting at?

Many of the 1st century churches came under attack by factions of the Jewish community. These “Judaizers” ­began “disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach” (v. 11). Topping the list of their errant teachings was that all believers – Jewish or not – were required to follow the Mosaic Law.

The Judaizers were particularly keen on the dietary laws, specifically what the Old Testament referred to as “clean” and “unclean” foods. Because the Judaizers followed the Mosaic Law, they considered themselves “pure.”

However, Paul made clear that these Judaizers were far from pure. He could well have been referencing Jesus’ teaching on the dietary laws when the Lord said: “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them” (Mark 7:15).

In other words, eating pork – forbidden to Israel (Leviticus 11:7-8) – but permitted under the New Covenant – did not defile anyone. Rather, it was people’s thoughts, beliefs, and resulting behavior which condemned them.

Paul made clear that the unsaved were the impure ones, not those who did not measure up to the standards of the now-defunct Mosaic Law.

Specific Category
In essence, the “pure” can only refer to believers in the Lord Jesus. Because Jesus is the “fulfillment” of the Mosaic Law, all those who accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ, in a sense, obey the Mosaic Law.

But does this mean every unsaved individual is spiritually “impure”? Yes, but this does not exclude every one of them from receiving salvation in Christ. In discussing the impure, or “those who are corrupted and do not believe,” Paul points to a category of people who have crossed the point of no return.

Does this mean there are people who can’t be saved? I believe there are unbelievers who have pliable hearts who are open to the Gospel, and those with rock-hard stony hearts who have at some point closed their hearts to the Gospel for good.

Ironically, many of these with the stony hearts, according to Titus 1:16, “claim to know God” – as do many of our politicians – “but by their actions deny him.” Paul is addressing this category of unbelievers. These are the unbelievers of which “both their minds and consciences are corrupted” (v. 15). And because of it, spiritually speaking, “They are detestable, disobedient and unit for anything good” (v. 16).

I believe these are the ones who can never see God the Father and the Lord Jesus for who they truly are. I believe it is these “impure,” or “corrupted,” who will continue to renounce the God of Creation, ridicule His followers, and mock the Bible.

Many of these “impure” and “corrupted” now occupy high positions in world governments, view themselves as the gods of this world, and will do whatever they can to stamp out all that is pure in the eyes of God.

Don’t Be Shocked
But these are not the only ones who are “corrupted.” The list includes family members, friends, work associates, and neighbors. This is why our Christian ways make no sense to them. This is why the Gospel makes no sense to them. This is why those who strive for righteousness make no sense to them. And, most of all, this is why worshiping God makes no sense to them.

The impure – the “corrupted” – are the ones who “can’t see it.” This does not mean you should not share the Gospel with them if the opportunity arises, but don’t be shocked when they look at you as if you are nuts, and worse, with disdain.

Don’t be aghast when politicians attack our religious beliefs and try to outlaw them, or when your siblings accuse you of losing your mind over your faith in the Lord Jesus. It is the impure and “corrupted” doing what comes naturally, and we can only pray that they have not crossed the point of no return!