Because there is no fear of God before their eyes, that is why the heathen rage and imagine a vain thing. The Lord has put eternity in the heart of every individual, (Eccl. 3:11) the invisible things of God are clearly seen, (Romans 1:20) they know the truth, and they fight the truth every day. The equation is quite simple, give them free will, at least in their minds, allow pride to be a choice, and they will inevitably choose pride.
The knowledge of the fact of their inevitable death will cause pride to swell, they will know that there is a God, a Most High Sovereign One out there somewhere, and so their minds instead of fearing Him, giving Him the preeminence in their lives, will instead concoct the notion of good works, even if it is just one small deed. They will see, as it were, a balance in their lives, a set of scales, good versus bad, intentions versus actual acts, they will think that what they have thought as the main pleasing attribute to the invisible God they refuse to serve in full, they will have no fear of God before their eyes. Now, you must decide, to whom am I referring, the lost soul who lives life for themselves, or that person sitting a few pews up from you.
Perhaps I have just been in the wrong places at the wrong time the majority of my life, or perhaps the Lord has placed these individuals in my perspective all these years, but I have met very few people in my short life that actually seem to truly fear God, who have a deep reverential awe of Him, who truly abide in the vine, (John 15:4) whose lives are led by the statement, “Not my will, but Thine.” Instead the majority seem completely enamored by the world, their employment field, family, and friends, fear of an unseen future or self-assurance of their capabilities to ensure that future. Conversations of the weather, the obvious and the immediate take precedence over the spiritual, their lives revolve around the here and now, they actually believe that the man of God whose mind is stayed on the Lord is of little value to the world, that these men are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.
They have exchanged good works for works of the Holy Spirit, they have exchanged actions of no eternal value for good intentions, they have exchanged pride for the fear of the Lord, and the worst type of pride of all, spiritual pride, saved by works of the mind instead of by grace, they think themselves to be one thing, a Christian, but have no actions to prove that salvation. There truly is no fear of God before their eyes, they believe themselves saved because they repeated the magic words, because they feel saved, because they attend church regularly, but they deceive themselves. They do not live this life in humility, they do not attend to the things of Christ, they repeat the formalities, they are not as bad as that guy over there, they place their own needs and wants above the will of God, there is no fear of God before their eyes, they are only obligations performed.
How can I be so sure about these things written in this letter to you today, in fact, it is the central theme of nearly every letter, how can I be so sure that many of those that profess Christ are only doing so with their lips, that their hearts are far from Him. Because that is what the Word of God says, and His Word is truth. (John 17:17) “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22) Not some, many. The word does not infer a large group, it means most, it means the majority.
A remnant is not most, it is few. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) I know that you would like to believe that most people will be in heaven when the final day comes, I would also, but that is not going to be the case, the sooner you admit this to yourself, the sooner you will begin to see nearly every one you meet as if they are on fire, screaming for you to help them, to save them, to show them the way. The sooner you will begin to truly fear the Lord.
Every good intention you ever had will bring you to shame and repentance, every thought you have that is not acted upon for the glory of God will bring you to frustration, every man of God that you read about will put an earnest desire to be more like that man in his service to Christ in your heart. The word Sovereign will become real to you, you will understand your need to die to self each and every day, you will look at that word “if” in the Scriptures in a whole new light.
The heathen rage externally, they vent their frustrations at every level, they are filled with hatred, envy, strife, and pride, they know no other way, but those who profess Christ only with their lips are even worse, they have given themselves over to spiritual pride, all of their works are self-centered, they fulfill their obligations for show, even if it is only unto themselves, they bring the world to church, but do not take Christ out into their world, there is no fear of God before their eyes.
Complete humility, total obedience, unquestioning service, a desire that His will be done in our lives no matter the consequences, no matter the cost to ourselves, a hatred of all that is not holy, righteous, and true. If you are not doing whatever you are doing for the glory of God, then you are not serving God, your heart is far from Him, and there is no fear of God before your eyes.