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Summary: Some people choose to live in unbelief. Given empirical evidence of a gracious God, they refuse to accept His free gift of grace.

And He sent them away, immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha. Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him.

But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.

Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat. Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.” “Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?” And they said, “Seven.” So He said to them, “How is it you do not understand?”

Mark 8:10-21

Living in Unbelief

Intro - Unbelief

A promotion by H. R. Block Inc. in 2001, offered walk-in customers a chance to win a drawing for a million dollars. Glen and Gloria Sims of Sewell, New Jersey, won the drawing, but they refused to believe it when an H. R. Block representative phoned them with the good news.

After several additional contacts by both mail and phone, the Sims still thought it was all just a scam, and usually hung up the phone or trashed the special notices.

Some weeks later, H. R. Block called one more time to let the Sims know the deadline for accepting the million-dollar prize was nearing and that the story of their refusal to accept the prize would appear on an upcoming NBC "Today Show."

At that point, Mr. Sims decided to investigate further. A few days later he appeared on the "Today Show" to tell America that he and his wife had finally gone to H. R. Block to claim the million-dollar prize.

Mr. Sims' final words were: "From the time this has been going on, H. R. Block explained to us they really wanted a happy ending to all this, and they were ecstatic that we finally accepted the prize."

God wants a similar ending as he offers salvation to every unbeliever.

The Rejection of Jesus 10-11

Their Manner

Pharisees – Traditionalism (legalistic – added to scripture)

Believed all the right things but their motives were wrong!

Sadducees – Skepticism (liberal – took away from scripture)

Herodians – Secularism (political & worldly)

Quote – “An atheist can't find God for the same reason a thief can't find a policeman.”

Dr. Adrian Rogers

Their Mandate

Give us a miracle from heaven!

Show us Moses, Joshua, Elijah

Their Motives

Unbelief – not could not but would not!

Illustration – Fraud

Andy Fastow was a brilliant kid in high school graduating class in New Providence New Jersey. He was one of the really good kids. In fact he was the student body president of his senior class. He went on to get a great education and a fantastic job. He climbed his way up the ladder until he became the Chief Financial Officer of his corporation. In fact he became one of the most powerful businessmen in America. But in order to climb that ladder he had to cheat. I’m sure he didn’t start out his career thinking he’d cheat his way to the top, but somewhere along the way he decided to negotiate his sin rather than eradicate it. Eventually he spun one of the greatest webs of sin corporate America has ever seen. You may have heard of Andy Fastow, because the corporation he was CFO of was Enron. He was indicted on 78 counts of fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. When you try to negotiate sin, you just continue to weave the web that will eventually ensnare you.

People are always looking for spectacular miracles or answers.

They are looking at the temporal and forgetting the eternal.

The Response of Jesus 12-13

His Anguish

Sighed deeply

His Anger

Former miracles; their rejection

His Abandonment

Illustration – What’s important in Life

When I was 13, my dad owned his own business—a tiny shack where he sold chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. One day the oil that the chicken was fried in caught fire. In a few minutes the whole place exploded in flames. My dad bolted from the store before the flames could engulf him.

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