John MacArthur calls these the three classes of those who need wisdom:
“Naive ones who are simple-minded”,
“Scoffers who scoff”, and
“Fools who hate knowledge”
This is the “downward progression of sin”.
*At first, a lifestyle of sin starts out naively. Maybe you’re just out to “let the good times roll”, not intent on living sinfully, but willing to just go along for the ride, wherever the good time may take you. You MIGHT attend church now and then, but you don’t take the things of God seriously. Once this simple-minded sin habit ensnares you, you can’t help but progress farther down the road into a more dangerous trap.
*As you are more and more comfortable in your sin, it will make you feel better about yourself to mock those who don’t share your same willingness to revel in ungodliness. You become a scoffer of those who live a life that pleases God or refuse to join you in your “fun”. Instead of attending church, you will begin make fun of those who go to church or believe in and live by the Bible. As you become more and more mired down in your mockery, you inevitably become hostile.
*If you continue to spiral farther and farther downward in sin without ever coming to repentance, you will become a hater of all things having to do with God. Where at one time you may have tolerated the things of Christianity, ultimately you will begin to despise them. You will become angry at anyone who tries to share the gospel with you. Your mind is closed and your heart is hardened. “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good.—Psalms 53:1
He can melt the hearts of even the vilest of the vile who hate Him. He can break the heart of the mocker and draw the simple-minded.
We can do NOTHING about our sinful state in our own strength. We cannot make our own way out of our self-loving, sin-laden pit. We are in utter despair unless He reaches down and pulls us out.
John 6:44 says,
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
R.C. Sproul has a profound explanation of this verse that blows me away.
( This is a little lengthy, but keep reading! )
“That passage, of course, is very controversial. In an older translation of it, Jesus says, “No man can come to me unless the Father draws him.” The dispute about that passage has to do with the meaning of the word translated “to draw.” What does it mean? There are those biblical scholars and Christians who believe that it means to entice, to woo, or to seek to persuade. For them, then, what Jesus is saying is, “People, if left to themselves, are not going to seek me out; there has to be something added to their normal inclinations before they would be moved to come in my direction.” Jesus is saying that God has to do something. And the old translation is that he has to draw them just as the Siren voices drew Ulysses to the sea. They tried to entice him, persuade him, and woo him to come by being as attractive as possible in granting the invitation. Some people hold the strong opinion that wooing is the very opposite of compulsion, that God doesn’t compel people to come to Jesus but he does entice them and encourage them and try to woo them and show them how attractive Jesus is so that they will incline themselves to respond to Jesus.
I once had a debate on this subject with a professor of New Testament studies who was an expert in the biblical languages. I was taking the position that God does more than invite and entice and woo. I think the word here is very strong because it is the same word that is used in the book of Acts when Paul and Silas are dragged into prison. It’s not like the jailer went inside the bars and tried to woo Paul and Silas, saying, “Come on, fellows, please come on in here.” He compelled them to go inside that jail. I think the word there is strong, and I pointed that out to the New Testament professor. Then he surprised me somewhat because he quoted the use of the same verb that he found in some other Greek literature where the verb was used to describe the human activity of drawing water from a well. And the professor went on to say, “Now, you don’t compel water to come up out of a well.” And I said, “But I have to say you don’t woo it either. You don’t stand up there and say, ‘Here, water, water, water,’ and expect the water on its own power to jump up out of the well into your bucket. You have to go down with your bucket and take that water.” I think the force of that verb is to say that we are in desperate need of the assistance of God to come to Christ, and we will not come to Christ unless the Father brings us to him.”
As the old quote says, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
Our only hope of rescue is for Christ Himself to mercifully intervene and, through the hearing of the gospel, pull us out of the deep well of our sin to repentance and to new life in Him. Only He can bring the dead to life and makes us a new creation!
*O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood, To every believer the promise of God; The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.