Calvary Road Baptist Church

“NONE SEEK GOD”

Romans 3.11

 

Please turn in your Bible to Ephesians 2.12, where the Apostle Paul rehearses with his beloved converts in Ephesus their spiritual condition before coming to faith in Christ: 

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” 

If you are not Jewish, you are a Gentile. Presuming that you are lost, you are of those to whom God has made no promises, of those who are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, of those who are without Christ, of those who have no hope, and of those who are without God in the world. According to Ephesians 2.13, those same hopeless, promiseless, and godless Gentiles in Ephesus who came to faith in Christ were now “in Christ Jesus,” and whereas they formerly were far away, the blood of Christ had now brought them nigh, or very close to God.

My friend, if you are not like those Gentile Ephesians the Apostle Paul was writing to from his Roman imprisonment, if you are yet an unsaved person, your predicament can only be described as utterly hopeless. You need nothing less than a great miracle from God to pass from death unto life, from gloom to glory, from sinfulness to sainthood. Fortunately for you, such miracles are the stock in trade of this Church’s ministry, as we declare the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, Who left heaven’s glory, Who died on the cross of Calvary, Who was raised from the dead, and Who is someday coming again.

Not that we are capable of working any miracles. However, we preach Christ crucified, Who still works miracles in the lives of unworthy sinners. Why does He do that? Have you ever asked yourself why Jesus Christ left heaven’s glory to come to this earth to do what He did most certainly do, die on the cross and then rise from the dead?

To answer that question, “Why did Jesus Christ come and do what He did?” we will examine three lines of related thought: 

THE FIRST LINE OF THOUGHT HAS TO DO WITH THE PRONOUNCEMENT OF SCRIPTURE 

Turn to Romans 3.11, noticing that the verse concludes, 

“There is none that seeketh after God.” 

That is a very direct statement, is it not? I want you to observe two things about this very straightforward declaration:

First, it is an inclusive declaration. Webster’s “New Universal Unabridged Dictionary,” the one that weighs about fourteen pounds, defines inclusive as “Including or tending to include; especially, taking every thing into account; reckoning everything.”[1] If that is what it means for a statement to be inclusive, then this statement that comprises our text really is inclusive. Paul, you may remember from the verses leading up to Romans 3.11, is seeking to show to his readers some universal truths about the state and the nature of all mankind. Therefore, what he says in the second half of our verse really is inclusive, really does make a statement about every human being. There really are not those who do seek after God. I know. I know. There are preachers who frequently refer to those who are seeking God. There are even Churches that have self-described seeker services. However, this verse says what it says, and the Bible is internally consistent. Properly understood, the Bible never disagrees with itself.

Along that line of thinking, this statement is not only inclusive. It is also a conclusive declaration. From that same dictionary, we see that conclusive is defined as, “Final; forming the end. Decisive; settling the question; putting an end to the debate; convincing; leaving no room for doubt.”[2] Ponder that statement in Romans 3.11: 

“There is none that seeketh after God.” 

Does the Apostle Paul equivocate here? Does he leave any room for doubt about what he means? Does he not make an absolute statement of fact? Sure he does. For anyone who believes the Bible, the issue is now once and for all settled: 

“There is none that seeketh after God.” 

Include every member of the human race in your considerations and deliberations. Conclude that they do not seek after God. Period. 

NOW WE COME TO THE SECOND LINE OF THOUGHT. THE PARADOX OF SCRIPTURE. 

Accepting that what Scripture says about people in Romans 3.11, we are, nevertheless, left a little puzzled. Without doubting the truthfulness of God’s Word, there are observations that each of us has made that need explanation or that require some clarification:

First, let me bring up those people who are religious. It is a point of fact that men throughout the world are religious. Whether they are animists in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, or Anglicans in England. Whether it is the idolaters in China and Japan, who worship the spirits of their ancestors, or the idolatrous Catholics in Europe and North and South America who pray to the Virgin Mary and venerate saints. Sometimes the people we see are involved in formal religion. Sometimes they conscientiously avoid organized religion for unorganized or informal religion. Sometimes their religious pursuits are parallel to or included in social activities, such as with the Masons, the Scottish Rite, the Elks, and others. Because the Bible says, 

“there is none that seeketh after God,” 

how are the actions, the obvious religiosity of such people as we see every day, work with, live near, and are related to, to be explained? Folks, let us understand that God’s Word does acknowledge the religiousness of man. Never has there been a question in God’s Word that man is basically a religious creature. Even communistic atheism was constructed along the classic lines of organized religion, owing to the religious instincts of even the most antichristian atheists. So, if the distinction is made between being religious and actually seeking after God, it turns out that the apparent contradiction is only apparent and not real.

Next, let me bring up those people who really seek God. Exodus 33.7 speaks concerning the children of Israel in their wilderness wanderings after they were delivered out of Egyptian bondage by Moses, but before they entered into the Promised Land. In that verse, we read, 

“And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation.” 

So it seems that people really do seek the LORD. Referring to a time when Asa was king of Judah, Second Chronicles 15.12 says, 

“And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul.” 

Thus, it appears that Scripture does acknowledge that there are some people who do seek the LORD. Do we have proof of a contradiction in the Bible here? Is the declaration of Romans 3.11 neither as inclusive or as conclusive as we had thought? Not at all. Proverbs 21.1 reads, 

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it withersoever he will.” 

This verse addresses those situations in which a lost person has had an experience of life and suddenly begins searching for the truth until he comes to know Jesus Christ. It also explains the native in some remote region who is just waiting for the missionary to come and lead him to Christ, and who then says, “I have been waiting for you for forty years.” Though the person’s behavior gives the appearance of him or her seeking after God, such is not the case at all. A sovereign God has reached down from heaven’s glory and turned the heart of a wayward sinner so he would grasp the significance of natural revelation, perhaps experience a provocative event in his life, and thereby become receptive to a Gospel encounter, after that that precious soul would then come to Christ. What about the situation of a believer in Christ seeking after God? Philippians 2.13 explains that matter very well, indeed: 

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” 

There is not a single person who has ever lived who would, if left completely to himself, seek after God, seek after the One Who is Truth and Light. You see, we are by nature creatures of spiritual darkness. We do not, by nature, run toward the Light. We flee from it just as predictably as 

“Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”[3] 

Therefore, when we see someone who is apparently seeking after God, then one of two things must be true: Either that person is simply religious and is not really seeking after God or, two, God has somehow intervened in that person’s life. How do we know for sure which is actually happening? We do not, and cannot always know for sure this side of heaven. Thus, we see that the paradox of the person seeking God in apparent contradiction to the statement of Romans 3.11 is only an apparent contradiction. It is completely true what Paul writes, 

“There is none that seeketh after God.”  

THIS BRINGS ME TO OUR THIRD LINE OF THOUGHT. THE PROVISION OF SCRIPTURE. 

Rightly does the Bible say, 

“There is none that seeketh after God.” 

It has been that way from the beginning. After disobeying God, Adam and Eve established a pattern of behavior that has been repeated by every other human being throughout the course of human history.

They, of course, sinned by eating forbidden fruit. After trying to cover their nakedness with fig leaves, they ran and hid from the presence of God. Genesis 3.9-10 says, 

“And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 

Thus it has ever been. We are all sinners in the sight of a holy God. We try to cover our nakedness in His sight by various means, sometimes by involvement in religion, and sometimes by doing various kinds of good works. Failing that, we run and hide from Him. Note that. We do not run to the One Who can help us. We run from Him.

As already observed, some people run from God by running to religion. Others run from God by running headlong into greater and greater sin. Still, others run from God by running to the companionship of unsaved or unspiritual family or friends. Still, others run from God by absorbing themselves in different distractions. Finally, there are those who think themselves to be successful in running from God by denying His existence.

The fact remains. We run from Him. We do not seek after Him. It is for that reason Jesus Christ came to us. That is why He said, 

“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”[4] 

Friends, the coming of Christ to this earth is one of the strongest proofs there can be that man does not seek after God, for if man sought the face of God, why would the Lord Jesus need to come and seek after man? No, man does not seek after God. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, instead, seeks after man. 

“There is none that seeketh after God.” 

When you couple that with the fact that those who do not seek after God are lost and undone, and are running from the only One Who can save them from a devil’s Hell, the picture looks very bleak.

Why would you run from God? Especially when your only destiny, if you are successful in your flight from Him, is Hell and after that an eternity in the lake of fire? Is man so blind that he cannot see that God loves him? Yes. Man is that blind. Is man so depraved that he thinks that he can get away with sin? Yes. Man is that depraved. That is why your only possible hope is for Jesus Christ to seek you out, for the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sin, for God, Who has your heart in His hand, to turn it toward Himself. Is that happening, my friend?

Is God turning you? Are you now crying out to God the way the Jewish people will cry out for the return of their Messiah, 

“turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.”[5] 

Is the Holy Spirit of God convicting you? Is Jesus Christ seeking after one who is lost by seeking after you? Is the Holy Spirit of God convicting you? Is Jesus Christ seeking after one who is lost by seeking after you? It is not a matter of feelings that should be your guide, but your willingness. If you will come, God is turning you. If you will come, the Spirit is convicting you. If you come to Jesus Christ, then He will have finally found you.

Do the only thing that you can possibly do and come out ahead. Be turned by God. Do not resist. Plead guilty when the Spirit convicts. It is the only way. Stop fleeing and be caught by the Lord Jesus, for when He catches you He will only forgive you, He will only give you eternal life, He will only save you from the sin that drags you into Hellfire.

Come to Jesus Christ right now.

_____

[1] Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1996), page 923.

[2] Ibid., page 377.

[3] Genesis 3.8

[4] Luke 19.10

[5] Jeremiah 31.18

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org