Summary: Webster defines calamity as "an extraordinarily grave event marked by great loss and lasting distress and affliction". Such is the estate of the unbeliever.
THE CALAMITY OF BEING WITHOUT CHRIST
“That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12
Webster defines calamity as "a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss; an extraordinarily grave event marked by great loss and lasting distress and affliction". We would be hard-pressed to employ a word that more aptly describes the state of the unbeliever who is living in the sin of unbelief today and facing the never-ending tragedy of an eternity without Christ and without hope.
The Apostle sets forth four dreadful consequences of being without Christ, each one tragic in its own right.
I. ALIENS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL
Israel, under the old covenant (the Law), were God’s chosen people and as such, typified the Church (under grace) which constitutes His chosen in this age. To be without Christ is to be without the blessings that come with being a part of the "family of God."
There are only two spiritual families. One has God as its Father and the other Satan. To His enemies described in John 8, "Jesus said to them, ’If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." John 8:42-44 (NKJV)
The unbeliever, who is alienated from the family of God, considers the worship of God, communion, fellowship, commitment and devotion to the church as unnatural….a waste of time, energy and money.
II. STRANGERS FROM THE COVENANTS OF PROMISE
Apart from faith, the old covenant (The Law) and the new covenant (Grace) benefits no one. Hence, those without faith are "strangers from the covenants of promise", for "without faith, it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6).
The Scripture makes it abundantly that salvation was not found under the old covenant (The Law). What the Law did was to make clear that "all have sinned" and thus it became our "schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24.
The writer of Hebrews describes the new covenant thusly: "so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant." A better covenant because it is based on the grace of God and not on the works of the Law. It assures us of salvation through faith; the privilege of living a "God-ordered life" and its resulting blessings: Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:19; I John 1:9.
Add to these great promises the promise of Romans 8:35-39, which tells us that, as the children of God, we will never be separated from the love of God at any point in time or eternity!
III. HAVING NO HOPE
There is no despair greater than the despair of being without hope. The hopelessness of the lost is set forth in the account of the rich man and Lazarus. Abraham tells the rich man that hell’s only commodity is hopelessness. Consider: "And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed...and that none may cross over from there to us." Luke 16:26
IV. WITHOUT GOD IN THIS WORLD
Paul speaks of unbelievers as "being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart." Ephesians 4:18 NASB
A thought too terrible to bear for the child of God is to live our earthly life without the presence, protection, and provision of our heavenly Father.
The unbeliever need not go on in his sin of unbelief. Indeed our Savior came into the world to seek and to save those who are lost. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ links a holy God with the repentant sinner. “But now in Christ Jesus you who one were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13.
And what can wash away our sin: "NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD OF JESUS!"