384. (2) Those in Christendom who reject the Lord and the Word have no faith, although they live morally, and even speak, teach, and write rationally about faith. This follows as a conclusion from all that precedes; for it has been shown that the true and only faith is faith in the Lord and from the Lord, and that a faith that is not a faith in and from Him, is not a spiritual but a natural faith, and merely natural faith has not the essence of faith in it. Moreover, faith is from the Word; it is from no other source, since the Word is from the Lord, and consequently the Lord Himself is the Word. Therefore He says,
That He is the Word (John 1:1, 2).
From this it follows that those who reject the Word, reject the Lord also, for these cohere as one; also that those who reject either of these also reject the church, since the church is from the Lord through the Word; and furthermore, that those who reject the church are outside of heaven, since the church introduces into heaven; and those who are outside of heaven are among the damned, and these have no faith. Those who reject the Lord and the Word have no faith, although they live morally, and even speak, teach, and write rationally about faith, for the reason that such have no moral-spiritual life, but only a natural life, and no rational-spiritual mind, but only a natural mind; and merely natural morality and rationality are in themselves dead; therefore as dead men there is no faith in them. A man who is merely natural and in regard to faith is dead may indeed talk and teach about faith, charity, and God, but not from faith, charity, and God. That those alone have faith who believe in the Lord, and that others have not, is evident from the following passages:
He that believeth on the Son is not judged; but he that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18).
He that believeth in the Son hath eternal life but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the anger of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
Jesus said, When the Spirit of truth is come, He will reprove the world of sin, because they believe not on Me (John 16:8, 9);
and to the Jews He said:
Except ye believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).
Therefore David says:
I will declare the decree Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and ye perish in the way. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him (Ps. 2:7, 12).
That in the consummation of the age, which is the last time of the church, there will be no faith, because there will be no faith in the Lord as the Son of God, the God of heaven and earth, and one with the Father, the Lord foretells in thee Gospels, saying,
That there shall then be an abomination of desolation, and tribulation such as hath not been nor ever shall be, and that the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven (Matt. 24:15, 21, 29).
And in the Apocalypse,
That Satan, loosed out of his prison, shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea (20:7, 8).
And because the Lord foresaw this, He also said:
Howbeit, when the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8).