As we live in this world we are either for or against GOD (Matt 12:30). We are CHRIST’s sheep whom He will never cast out or lose (John 6:37, 39), or we are goats that will never inherit His Kingdom (Matt 25:31-34).
We all start out as goats (Rom 3:9). Man in his self-centered greediness tries to secure GOD’s gifts without loving GOD. Ones, who have an aversion to GOD, live a pleasure-seeking, dissolute life, disobeying Him—rebelling by breaking His rules (ref#126, p33). They are the “Resisters” of the Gospel. They are presently goats.
The “Pursuers” of the Gospel are egotistical and live a fastidiously obedient life choosing GOD’s rules that they can keep (ref#3, p10). They advocate GOD and CHRIST but serve as their own ruler. They are pew-sitters acting like sheep. They are presently goats—in sheepskin.
“Backsliders” are goats-in-sheepskin that reveal their real goat nature as they go from “Pursuers” of the Gospel to “Resisters.” Some of these resisting goats regress further to become deliberate apostates (Heb 6:4-6). Having burned their consciences they are unable to return (1 Tim 4:2). They live as permanent goats suffering the punishment of eternal destruction, away from GOD’s presence and the glory of His might (2 Thes 1:9).
“Pursuers,” “Resisters,” and “Backsliders” resent GOD’s claim on them and seek ways to get out from under His authority (ref#123, p36). But, some of these goats and goats-in-sheepskin, GOD is in the process of drawing (John 6:44). They are unlike apostates; they will be able to return.
We can plead with GOD to do His sovereign work of drawing (John 6:44) and also plead with GOD to help the ones we pray for to take the correct action to His sovereign work of drawing (2 Thes 2:13). The FATHER is ready to hear our prayers and, if it be His good pleasure, to make the “not yet regenerated,” regenerated.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am ready to hear Israel’s prayers and to increase their numbers like a flock” (Ezek 36:37 NLT). If GOD hears Israel, He will hear us. Never stop praying for your family and friends.