1. IMPENITENCE; or rebellion against the moral law of God. At the core, the main reason why people are not saved by hearing the Gospel is because they don’t want to obey God’s rules that are written down in the Bible. They want to live their lives free from all rules, as much as possible. They hate rules. They don’t want to think about rules, they don’t want to read or study about rules, and they certainly don’t want to comply, agree with, or obey any rules. The satanic dictum, “Do what thou wilt,” is their unspoken creed. A person that is in this condition cannot experience salvation, because they refuse to obey the ten commandments, or anything in the Bible. Their rebellion is just like the sin of witchcraft: it is totally meant for selfish purposes (1 Samuel 15:23). The devil has their hearts and minds in his hands.
2. UNBELIEF; or refusal to trust God and live by faith in Jesus. Faith is important to God. It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Some people seem to think that faith is not a requirement of Christianity or religion; they assume that Christians just automatically accept religious teachings. But acceptance of Christian teachings or things that the Bible says, is not the same thing as faith. Its a good step in the right direction, but its not faith. Habakkuk 2:4: “The righteous shall live by his faith.” Simply accepting a few hard-to-believe Bible teachings is NOT faith. Then what is faith? Read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11: this is what God means by the word faith. It is TRUSTING IN GOD to providentially care for your survival, to guide you according to His plan; it is trusting what the Bible says about unseen things (11:3); it is obeying and acting on divine revelations (11:4, 7); it is trusting in God’s difficult promises that we have received by direct revelation (11:11-12); it is always looking forward to Heaven (11:13-16); it involves obeying difficult, risky commands from God that have been received by direct revelations (11:17-19, 24-28, 29, 30, 31); it involves futuristic prophesying about dreams and visions (11:20, 22); it requires worship (11:21); and it leads to real Christians being mistreated, scoffed, made fun of, persecuted, imprisoned, executed, impoverished, and socially isolated (11:36-38). Are you living by Biblical faith? This is the only way to be saved and have real faith in the cross. If not, something’s wrong; perhaps you’ve compromised somewhere. Worldly people (that is, non-Christians who think like everyone else in the world does), refuse to embrace the idea of living by faith because it is too costly. They would have to give up so much fun. Yes, but they would also get to experience eternal life in Heaven, rather than in Hell! Worldly-minded people are content with unbelief, and so also, with confusion.