The Gospel Message of Jesus is available to anyone who will receive it. However, one must not only believe that message, it then must be received into one’s heart and life by faith. “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it” (Hebrews 4:2). When one does not believe, it does not profit them. See why not: “Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:6). We can read in the next verse that there is a cry for one not to harden their heart (so that faith can enter in). See how this is described: “12. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12-13). One who rejects the Gospel message of Jesus has departed from the living God in unbelief. There is no hope for such a one. Remember, in the Old Testament God’s people were to obey and follow God, waiting for Jesus to come.
One cannot help but remember back to the Bible and a very real example of one without faith. His name was Saul, the first king of Israel. He was physically, everything a people could want in a king. He was good-looking, and he stood head and shoulders taller than anyone else did. However, what kind of a man was Saul really?
In the administration of his kingdom, we find out that Saul demanded obedience to his command. He even promised death to anyone who defied his command. In one instance, it turned out to be his son, Jonathan, who had unwillingly disobeyed his father’s command. When the king was prepared to kill his son, the people stepped in and saved his life. Shortly thereafter, God required King Saul’s obedience in a matter. But when Saul disobeyed God, God did not demand his death. God is forgiving and although there was discipline for disobedience, God gave him a second chance.
God told Saul to go and utterly destroy Amalek and everything they had (for they were God’s enemies). He was even to kill the king. Saul gathered the people and went to Amalek. They took the city. “But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly” (1 Samuel 15:9). Saul did not obey God’s command. God declared that Saul had turned back from following Him, and not performed His commandments. When confronted with the truth of the matter, Saul lied. Read his response when questioned by Samuel, God’s prophet. “20. And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal” (1 Samuel 15:20-21). Did you notice that King Saul blamed the people for his disobedience? Because of his disobedience to God this time, God removed the kingdom from Saul and his family. Samuel told him that because he had rejected the word of the Lord, God had also rejected him from being king.
It was not until the punishment had been uttered that Saul admitted his fault. “And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice” (1 Samuel 15:24). Samuel completed the job that Saul was to supposed do. Samuel killed the king of the Amalekites.
Shortly after that, God chose a man after His own heart, David. Saul spent the rest of his kingdom not trying to please God, but trying to destroy David. This caused his kingdom to become one mainly of defeat. We do not hear of him seeking after God until right before he died in his last battle. When the Philistine army gathered together against Israel again, Saul gathered all of Israel together. He was afraid. Saul wanted a word from God, but he did not receive one: for God did not answer him (see 1 Samuel 28:6). Saul then searched and found a woman who had a “familiar spirit” (means a necromancer or sorcerer; a witch). Saul disguised himself, went by night, and found her. He sought the world’s ways of seeking answers instead of waiting upon God.
We can understand that the main problem of Saul was that he had no spiritual foundation on which to build a godly life. Sure, he was God’s chosen man to be king of His people, but Saul never sought God or His wisdom with all of his heart. When David came into Saul’s life, many of Saul’s insufficiencies (his lack of faith and obedience to God) revealed themselves. Saul openly became a double-minded man. He was a soldier pursuing David as if he were Saul’s enemy one day, yet the next he would acknowledge that God was with David. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). We can recognize that Saul had no faith.
Are you one with no faith, like Saul who departed from the living God in unbelief?
Have you received the Gospel Message of Jesus, by faith, into your heart and life?