"All people, including the poor, are enemies of God - unless and until we place our faith in Christ as Savior."
My use of the term "enemies of God" garnered attention from a friend who is not a Christian, and she was gracious enough to point it out in the comments section, and I have been pondering it since then.
It is Biblically accurate. It is a term God uses to describe those that are not His children (by children I mean through a relationship with Jesus) in Romans, Colossians and Hebrews. But I can see how using it in an unqualified way could be offensive, and actually I had not completely thought through what it means to be an enemy of God.
Eternally speaking, if a person dies an enemy of God, what that means is that they will spend their eternity in hell, paying the punishment for their sin against Him.
But I'd like to take a moment to focus on what it means to be an enemy of God while a person is still breathing and alive on this earth.
Being God's enemy means that:
- You are loved by God (Luke 6:34-36)
- You are offered the chance to reconcile with God through the death of Christ (Romans 5:10)
- You are offered the chance to be free of the sin that makes you His enemy, and to have the holiness that He requires as entrance into heaven (Colossians 1:20-22)
- He wants you to be loved by people, especially His people (Matthew 5:43-45)
When I say someone is an enemy of God, I don't mean that I am any better because I'm not. I mean that I used to be His enemy too, but because of Christ, I am now at peace with God (Romans 5:1). And anyone else can have peace with God, too, if only you open your heart and bend your knee to Jesus. Acknowledge Him as Lord, flee from your sin into His open arms. He has done all the work, you only need to accept it in faith and turn to Him. He does not want you to stay His enemy. He loves you beyond all imagination. His love is deep and far and wide.
But it has to be received with humility, on His terms. These are rules we don't get to make up, and we don't get to bend, and we don't get any do-overs. This life is it. If you don't have a relationship with Christ through faith, seek Him while He may still be found, before you die and face Him in His glory. Don't lay your head on your pillow tonight without being certain of where you will spend your eternity, and don't die His enemy. He has made it possible.