Summary: Disbelief is born of the devil.
July 8, 2018
Believing Means Trusting
Today’s gospel reading is all about believing or maybe better said – disbelief. Before we get into that, please read with me Hebrews 3:12.
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”.
Paul isn’t mincing words here, is he? An EVIL HEART?
Paul also tells us:
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
Can we not see, right here and now that our disbelief is born of the devil? Think back with me to the time of the “Exodus” from the slavery of the Israelites to freedom. Moses believed God and led the Israelites toward that freedom. Was that an easy journey? Did it indeed require faith and belief? How did that go over as they encountered great hardships? Right! They murmured and whined and rebelled because they began to think that life as slaves was more comfortable and easier than life as believers and followers of God’s plan for them.
Now, Mark is relating New Testament DISBELIEF. Jesus returns to his hometown of Nazareth where He was rejected on his last visit.
“So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with [m]wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.” Luke 4:28-29
What happens on his return this time?
“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”’ Mark 6:4
“Then He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.”’ Luke 4:24
“For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.” John 4:44
Do you not feel a pang of discomfort deep within, as you read this?
I am reminded of a young man who was sent away to a boarding school by his parents. When Christmas vacation rolled around, he was anxious and excited to be with friends and family back “home”. The first thing that he did was to walk all the way to his father’s office to see him. It was a trek of several miles. As this lad entered his dad’s office expecting a hug and warm greeting, his father arose from behind his desk and walked right out of the office and drove away without any embrace or kind words. His parting words were: “I’ve got to go, I’ll see you later.” The young man walked all the way back home with stinging tears and a burning heart.
Rejection hurts! Rejection hurts even more, when it comes from a loved one. God loves us, and no one can convince me that when He is rejected that He doesn’t feel that same pang. Dedicated men and women in the pulpit experience some form of rejection regularly. On the surface, it appears that the rejection is born out of some form of personal prejudice. Perhaps the ministry style, the methodology or some sense of intellectual superiority, but beloved believe me when I say that Satan himself is the author of disbelief. Churches all across America are closing their doors and as they do, Satan is doing backflips of raucous celebration.
I feel very deeply that when anyone rejects the gospel truth of Christ and His gift of salvation, that rejection is born out of a personal choice. I also believe that the choice is derived from a desire to return to the slavery of sin, just as the murmuring Israelites began thinking as they trudged along in the hot desert. Our journey is not an easy one. Where our journey takes us, if we follow Jesus is the glorious reward that awaits us.
Do you ever have thoughts of a sinful past that brought you some form of comfort, joy, happiness?
If so, open your bible!
A pillar of salt! No matter how you look at it, Lot’s wife ‘died unto sin’. There may come a point in time when one looks back at a sinful life with any sense of returning, that pillar of salt awaits. Looking back in that manner is an absolute rejection of God’s truth and it does hurt Him deeply. It hurts God deeply because He knows that pillar of salt awaits.