No Temporal Blessings for the Unregenerate
For the devious are an abomination to the Lord; But He is intimate with the upright. The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor. – Proverbs 3:32-35 (NASB)
In 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 20, we are told a magnificent thing with many implications. It states:
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.
Think about this for a moment. In Christ, every promise God has made in all ages find their yes and amen in Him. In other words, all God’s promises are fulfilled exclusively in Him. Every promise of blessing and favor of God to men can only be realized in Christ.
Outside of, and apart from, Christ Jesus, no promise, no blessing, no favor of God applies to the unbeliever. Ever. Apart from the cross of Jesus, they are out of favor with God – no mercies, no favors, no blessings.
In fact, Scripture is clear that those outside of Christ Jesus are objects of His wrath – objects without hope, refuge or common blessing of any kind from God. They are His enemies. Look at Proverbs 3:32-35 again (quoted at the beginning of this post). The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, they are an abomination to Him. This passage agrees elsewhere in proverbs where we are told that God hates, with a perfect hatred, every sinner who abides apart from Christ:
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. – Psalm 5:5
Note, it does not say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. No, it says He hates the sinner. He does not give favor, blessing nor mercies upon any outside of Christ. What a humbling truth to dwell on! There, but for the grace of God, go you and I!
Some will say, “Ah, but the rain and sunshine falls on the just and the unjust! Is that not a temporal blessing to the wicked?”
No, it is not. It’s a good thing, yes, but it cannot be considered a blessing in the biblical sense – especially since all promises of God concerning blessings are found only in Christ! Brethren, the only way one can declare that the wicked enjoy temporal or ‘common’ blessings or grace is if we redefine them in ways other than found in Scripture, and that is nothing less than modernism.
There is no such thing as a common gratitude to God. The unregenerate will not truly give thanks to God for the rain, the sunshine or even a good ham sandwich.
Look at James 5:5:
You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.
Keeping the above in mind, Jeremiah, in chapter 12 verse 1 ask a question I’m sure many of us have asked at some point in life:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive?
And here is the answer regarding unregenerates in the next verses (vs. 2 and 3) – take especial note!
You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. (emphasis mine)
Brethren, I can feed a hog on my farm, and he’ll think it’s a blessing, no question. Other pigs might even be ‘dispensational’ and tell him he’s being blessed. What he doesn’t know, regardless of what the other hogs are telling him, is that it may be a good thing now, but it sure isn’t a blessing from the farmer. When the time comes, that hog will realize what he saw as a blessing was for the sole purpose of him being slaughtered to the benefit and the glory – of the one who fed him.
There’s no such thing as a temporal blessing of God to the unregenerate, at least, not in Scripture. Blessings are particular to those in Christ alone.