Our natural self – our sinful nature – wants to live like “Gentiles”, pagans: to live according to what our flesh and our lusts want; to live according to the various cultures “of the world”, but not by the culture of God’s Kingdom. (Eph 2:11-12; Gal 5:13-18) The Jewish people asked for a king like the Gentiles have. (1Sam 8:1-9) We don’t want a holy God who knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts to tell us to become like Him: holy. The prophets were sent to call them to repentance back to YHVH, the holy God of Israel. (Ezek 20:5-44) We who have been born-again by the Holy Spirit have been saved from sinful lives apart from God, and brought into a covenantal relationship with God the Father, who is intent on sanctifying and changing us into His image, because we are His sons and daughters in Christ/Messiah. Do we want to be holy/saints, or do we want to be pagan? Our eternal destiny is dependent, from our side, on that choice in our hearts!
Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. (2Tim 2:19; Rev 22:12-15) Pagans (the heathen) will forever be separated from the presence of God. The saints will enjoy life with Him forever. The saints will be His people — His sons and daughters — and YHVH will be their God. (2Cor 6:14-18)