A lot of years ago Hollywood produced the western drama, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” The movie was a world-wide hit, winning academy awards for some of its actors. Few realize it, but the great director in the sky has so designed the drama of life, that mankind consists of only three kinds of men. However, its divisions aren’t simply good, bad, and ugly. They are Glorified, Redeemed, and Natural.
At the present time, the Glorified is out of this world but it is the “good” division. Its ranks are the essence of quality for sure. Those people now possess a scintillating, pure, and eternal body in a supernatural dimension of life - Heaven. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God hath prepared for those who love him,” (1 Cor 2:9)
The ranks of the Redeemed division consist of the followers of Christ on this earth. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Members of this group are “partakers of the divine nature,” and they “look for new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness.” This group can be seen as “bad” because having experience & affiliation with the true God, we must endure time in this hard & evil world. We are burned out on the dog-eat-dog , throat cutting stuff & hypocrisy which goes on all around us.
The Natural division consists of all members of the race who are living for themselves. Their interests, standards, and religion reflects man’s design. It is a perilous "ugly" condition because “the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” These folks can be promoted though – it is the very reason we are all in God’s drama of life. “He made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him, and find him.”
To conclude this message, it won’t be asked if the reader is good, bad, or ugly. The question is whether he is Redeemed and headed for Glorification. Now some will say this is a pie-in-the-sky philosophy. They’re right – it is, but it’s a mighty fine pie. A guaranteed one at that! “He that spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” So “be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God.” Jesus Christ is the only way of redemption. Choose Jesus - He is alive. Scriptures referred to are: Ephesians 1:7; 2 Peter 1:4, 3:13; Romans 8:7-9; Acts 17:26-27; Romans 8:32; and Ephesians 4:23-24 respectively. RSV and KJV
Many other interesting titles: www.gospelnotes.net -- link 1 is index * * F. J. Stone * *
*This essay was one of the earlier "Gospel-notes" - about 1979. The analogy never did quite fit exactly, but recent changes 2011, seem to help.