Gen 3:7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Gen 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Gen 3:9 But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" Gen 3:10 And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith states that when Adam and Eve fell they not only fell into sin and death but they lost communion with God. Spiritual death is separation from the source of all life, God, not just bodily and legally but also to be at odds with him spiritually. We would expect, and I believe the Bible supports this, that our salvation would fix this communion problem. Unfortunately many want to ignore or deemphasize this today and the result is easy beliefism or a complete jettison of the gospel entirely.
It is clear that God created us to have a relationship with him in which we know him, love him and do all in light of pleasing him. He did not create us just so we can live forever and so our salvation did not just secure for us the forgiveness of sins so that we can get on with our lives (see post below). When we center our existence and our salvation around man and how much God loves us rather than around God and getting back to a life of glorifying him, we begin to redefine what conversion is all about.
In the above verses clearly Adam and Eve became guilty sinners seen in their realization that they were naked and the accompanying guilt and shame. But the other result of this was that they hid from God rather than look for him for help. One of the identifying marks of the unregenerated is that they are still hiding in the world rather than coming to God. I see this every Sunday and any number of ways throughout the week. Instead of our churches filled to capacity, the golf courses, bars, lakes, sports arenas, workplaces, etc. are filled to capacity. The lost hide from God because they are at odds with him. Apparently a lot of “Christians” are hiding from God also!
But the effect this has on the gospel is that when we think God merely wants us to make it to Heaven so we can have “eternal life” then we don’t have much of a call to repentance and we don't expect a completely different kind of life if one is truly saved, we merely tell them that God loves them just as they are and wants them to accept his love seen in the cross. In other words, "Just believe that Jesus died for you and then if you want to stay out and hide among the trees, that is okay". Never mind that it displeases and dishonors the Lord; he will let you live “carnally” as long as you “get saved”.
I don’t think so. Jesus said that anyone who is worthy of him must take up his cross and follow him; they will love him with all their heart. Mat 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Mat 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. I can’t see how one can hide out in the world on Sunday or any other day for that matter and still be described as a saint of God.