“A world of nice people, content in their own niceness, looking no further, turned away from God, would be just as desperately in need of salvation as a miserable world and might even be more difficult to save.” – C.S. Lewis
What is meant by “nice people, turned away from God”? Well, nice means pleasant or agreeable. “Turned away from God” speaks for itself. So, it means pleasant or agreeable people who assume they know God but are actually turned away from Him. It is a very dangerous spiritual condition.
King David wrote, “I hate vain thoughts: But thy law do I love” (Psalm 119:113). The word translated as thoughts here means divided. It refers to a person of a divided mind. A person who has no sure faith in regard to divine things. It is a state of mind in which there is no solid foundation, no stability, and no sure settled view. A person with such a mind might be very pleasant or agreeable around other people — both the faithful and those immersed in the world.
David knew that without God’s law written in his mind, he could easily vacillate between good and evil. He might appear nice to others, but he wouldn’t be stable like God is.
The Apostle James explains that, in effect, a person can be content in their own niceness up until coming into a hard trial. He spoke of how the faithful are to count it all joy when in various trials because trials test our faith and produce patience, which in turn, will perfect us. That, however, does not make sense to a doubting mind. The solution, he said, was to ask God for wisdom. Then he said, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8).
Christ warned of the hard trials to come at the end of the age. “Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise, the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:28–32). Lot’s wife failed in the heat of a hard trial. She would likely have been an agreeable enough person with her husband whom God called righteous, and she probably would have been an agreeable enough person with many who perished in the fire. She was unstable. What she needed was what David had, a hatred of divided, double-minded thought. With God’s law written in her mind she would have sighed and cried over the abominations of the dying culture she was in and would never have looked back.
We must single-mindedly look further than just being nice.