“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief
make the faith of God without effect?” Romans 3:3. Although Paul was
questioning rhetorically, and his focus was on the Jews, we can reflect on his
question and apply it to today’s unbelieving world. What if some refuse to
believe in God? Does their unbelief nullify the believer’s faith in God? Paul
goes on to say “Certainly not” God is truth, men are liars.
As Christians, we will undoubtedly encounter unbelief
unless we are living with our heads in the sand or under
a rock somewhere.The work place
for instance can be a harbinger of unbelief. Our fellow employees,our
owners of companies,and even the suppliers of goods to those companies can all
give battle against your faith in Christ.
“I have to say, with Paul, ‘What if some did not
believe?’ It is no new thing; for there have always been some who have rejected
the revelation of God. What then? You and I had better go on believing, and
testing for ourselves, and proving the faithfulness of God, and living upon
Christ our Lord, even though we see another set of doubters, and another, and
yet another ad infinitum. The gospel is no failure, as many of us know.”
What Spurgeon is saying is that no matter how many times
we’re confronted with unbelief we have tomake
a stand. We are to focus on God’s word and hold firm to our faith. We are to go
forward acknowledging our strength is in Jesus and we trust Him to get us
through. Whether or notthese doubters
be offensive and blasphemous, Jesus fights those battles for us.
Those people who are caught up
in the deception of unbelief and who actually belittle and mock
actuality are our mission field. The thief on the cross hanging next to Jesus,who
at first ridiculed Jesus as did many others who were present at Christ’s
crucifixion, eventually had a change of heart.
“Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your
kingdom.” Luke 23:42.
Jesus recognized that change and as soon as the man asked Jesus to remember
him Jesus responded affirmatively. “And
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in
Paradise.” Luke 23:43. That one time mocker of our Lord is now in
Heaven serving God. Jesus encountered much unbelief, people with their eyes
closed and their hearts cold as ice. But what a great example He gives us in
this story of the thief on the cross, a man who moments earlier was destined for
Jesus tells us over and over again that many will reject
Him and His message, take the wide
road that leads to destruction. “Enter by
the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to
destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”
All those walking dead and completely deceived individuals
living a life offull
us seem to be steadfast in their rebellion against God. They can have a change
of heart, though; anyone can change. Only God knows who
will accept the prodding of the Holy Spirit. That change of heart might even
come from one word spoken from someone like you or me out of a love filled heart
for the lost.
Unbelief needs to
be confronted no matter what the circumstances. Charles Spurgeon wrote the
following example “An army chaplain once said to the Duke of Wellington, ‘Do you
think that it is of any use our taking the gospel to the hill tribes in India? Will they
ever receive it?’The duke replied,
‘What are your marching orders?’” The Duke of Wellington was a military man who
knew the necessity of following commands, and his response to that chaplain must
give us all pause to remember our Saviors final command. “Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost:”
In the Gospel of
Matthew chapter 13 we’re told Jesus went into His own country and while
preaching there was confronted with much unbelief. This unbelief was painfully
obvious to Him. “And they were offended in
him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own
country, and in his own house.”
Jesus’ very own countrymen were offended
in Him. The Greek word for offended actually means “to cause a person to
begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey”. Because of
their unbelief His countrymen lost out on much. “And he did not many mighty
works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:58. Unbelief
hinders and even impedes God’s wonderful blessings.
the same set of circumstances in his Gospel,says
Jesus marveled at their unbelief. Indeed it must be amazing to God to watch our
unbelief. With all the evidence of His creation confronting us daily I can see
God standing by our side as we wallow in unbelief,shaking
His head and muttering the word“Morons”.
Certainly God’s exasperation with the unbelief in this world must be hurtful to
Besides all the
unbelief Jesus confronted, Paul, Peter, John and the rest all had their mockers
and revilers as they attempted to spread the Gospel. The Old Testament prophets
as well had their doubters. There will come a time when we will need to shake
the dust off our shoes so to speak,and
move on. We should never get discouraged with spreading the Gospel,because
as we move on,the
Holy Spirit stays behind and does a work on that individual that we can’t see.
We may never witness the fruit of our labors as we endeavor to confront
unbelief. That doesn’t mean fruit doesn’t appear.
always be on guard against unbelief. There are many who are steeped in unbelief
and as such they have buried themselves in sin. And they don’t want their sin
exposed, or even spoken about as sin. We get bombarded
almost daily with doubt about what we believe. Doubt is a lead-in to unbelief
even among believers. Doubt is expressed by many, even evangelical Christians.
There are those
who teach the word, spreading their own unbelief over the airwaves as they
proclaim many falsehoods that should actually be shunned. There are still those
professing Christians who are opposed to me writing these commentaries and
through some very articulate speech actually condemn me for my interpretation of
scripture. I’m continually confronted with scripture verses taken out of context
to promote someone else’s agenda. This also is a form of unbelief.
Many Christians teach there won’t be a rapture of
Christ’s Church,or that we are living
in Christ’s millennialreign
now. Some say the millennium is only an allegory and that it’s not something
that is going to happen in the future. They say Jesus isn’t coming to earth to
rule and reign for 1000 years because He is ruling and reigning now in our
hearts. There are many foolish people spreading this type ofnonsense
perhaps thinking they are being a light,but
in all actuality their minds are deceived and they are deceiving the minds of
their listeners. A little seed of doubt instilled in a person’smind
and voila, before you know it full blown unbelief.
Unbelief can lead
to a denial of the truth of the scriptures and ultimately even to the denial of
the deity of Jesus Christ. God hates unbelief because we are given the truth
through the obviousness of His creation and through reading and hearing His word
which is truth. God’s word is disparaged continually which is no different than
calling God a liar.
So how should
believers continue in the face of such unbelief? With steadfastness, and through
the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. “I can do all things through Christ
which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. It’s never our strength
that leads us to witness,or
is it even our idea. It’s always the Holy Spirit’s prodding to get us into a
position to confront unbelief. As believers,witnessing/evangelism
is our responsibilityand
there should come a time when we look at the task Jesus has set before us with
Unbelief is sin,there’s
no question about that,and
it’s an inexcusable sin if that person dies in that state of rebellion. This
rebellion is spreading like wildfire around the world and at times there seems
to be little or no reason for it. If we allow the doubt and unbelief that’s
permeating this world to creep into our Christian witness,sooner
we’ll begin to look at this godless generation as being so far gone that there
is no possibility of turning it around. We will convince ourselves that the Holy
Spirit is done and there’s nothing else for us to do but wait on the Lord’s up
and unbelief can be a daunting task, especially if one is unprepared. I’ve
learned that when you’re least expecting it, a question will be hurled at you,
and it usually comes from someone who is purposely trying to trip you up, make
you stumble, and if possible get you to doubt God’s word. More
often than not,the
questioner isn’t even concerned with the answer. But if the correct answer is
given that person might just walk away with a different outlook about God.
So how do we become prepared to give the correct answer?
All the answers God wants us to use
in these situations are in the Bible. A systematic study of His word will supply
us with a plethora of knowledge above and beyond what any unsuspecting doubter
will be able to contend with. Remember, to study the verses in context and with
understanding of who is being addressed (i.e. a Pharisee or a forgiven sinner)
and with a good concordance to see the meaning from the original languages.
Doubters/unbelievers many times take delight in presenting us with a question
which can make a Christians cringe and squirm in their seats.
A question that almost always arises from these
doubters, out of ignorance as well as unbelief, is
this, “Where did Cain get his wife”? Diligent studying brings about God’s
response to questions like these. The answer to that question is in your Bible.
The first book of the Bible, the book of Genesis,will
enlighten you if you’re still searching for the answer.
In these last days before Jesus’ return, unbelief will
increase substantially (it’s quite pervasive now). Unbelievers and doubters will
continually present us with questions, some seriously searching for the truth
but others who just delight in confrontation. To the unprepared some of these
questions will seem to be impossible to answer, but that’s only because of a
lack of knowledge of God’s word. There are many wonderful truths in the Bible
just waiting to be discovered.
confrontation. Get out your Bibles, a confrontation with unbelief is headed your
God bless you all,
All scripture verses are
from the KJV