The natural man does not comprehend spiritual things. I Corinthians 2:14
An unsaved guy misses a great deal. He’s on the outside looking in and so he will not value some of the things Jesus said or God did.
Some unbelievers have a sharp sense as to what is right and what’s utterly stupid. Case in point…
A friend messaged to say the last line at the end of chapter 3 in our book “Pastoring” deserves its own treatment.
We were talking about a pastor goofing off when he should have been studying, fooling around in the pulpit when he should have been feeding the flock, and glorifying himself instead of Jesus. An unsaved fellow who was in the congregation one day when the preacher did some dumb stuff told his family afterwards, “That pastor is a joke.”
And we said, “Some things even a lost man knows.”
Let’s see if we can identify a few more things an outsider knows concerning this message we preach and ministry we engage in.
One. As we said, he knows when a preacher is goofing off.
He knows. My dad, coal miner, lifelong Democrat, and not a role model for spiritual things at the time, heard a visiting preacher making jokes about President Bill Clinton. Dad was offended. He said, “What if a Democrat was in church that day and needed the Lord? He would have been offended by the foolishness of the preacher!”
He was right. What in the world was the preacher doing! (Likewise, it is just as foolish to speak out in church supporting a president who is not walking the walk. Stay on message, servant of God!)
Two. The lost man often knows when God’s people are not walking the walk.
This fellow came by my house one day. “Isn’t Rob a deacon in your church?” I told him he was. “Well, I see him at the casino almost every day. He’s gambling, and big time.” This man made no pretense of living for the Lord, but he could spot when someone in the church was living a lie. We dealt with the matter too, and Rob got right with God.
Three. The unsaved guy often knows when the church people around him are merely play-acting and not taking seriously the things of God.
God’s people sometimes think because no church people are watching, they can get by with crossing a line. Sooo foolish. The world is watching, just as they were listening to the singing and praying of Paul and Silas in the Philippi jail (Acts 16:25).
Hypocrites are offensive to God, repulsive to other believers, and a stumblingblock to the world. Of course, the enemy–Satan himself–would have the lost person believe that all professing Christians are this way. Not so. Some of the greatest humans ever to walk this planet have been outstanding followers of Jesus Christ. But the unsaved person needs to see some of them from time to time.
Four. The unsaved guy knows it’s not enough to believe a thing, but there must be evidence to back it up.
Let the cultist try to convince him of his foolishness, and the typical lost man will have none of it.
In the old movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” the Maureen O’Hara character told her little daughter, “Faith is when you believe something your mind tells you is not true.” What an insulting explanation of faith. This could hardly be more wrong.
Even the unsaved, spiritually ignorant person knows that to believe something you know is not true is completely ridiculous and only someone scamming themselves would attempt it. There must be evidence to believe anything.
One of the best ways we have of witnessing to the modern mind is to show people the evidence for the Holy Scriptures, for the resurrection, etc.
Five. Even a lost person knows that if Jesus Christ is real and the Gospel true, then it’s worth everything in the world. And if not, it’s worthless.
I cannot get out of my mind something I read a half century ago about a character named Mark Sabre who watched as the churches in his country (Australia, New Zealand, not sure) kept watering down their message and adopting the entertainment values of the world in order to attract people. He said, “They call it making religion a living thing of the people.” Then, he said, “Don’t they know? A man wouldn’t care what he had to give up, if he knew he was making for something inestimably more precious!”
A lost person knows.