Summary: Warnings about Disobedience Brought About by Faithlessness
The Dangers of Unbelief
April 17, 2005
Center Point Baptist Church
Present the following illustration on belief:
People refuse to believe that which they don’t want to believe, in spite of evidence. When explorers first went to Australia they found a mammal which laid eggs; spent some time in water, some on land; had a broad, flat tail, webbed feet, and a bill similar to a duck. Upon their return to England, they told the populace of this, and all felt it was a hoax. They returned to Australia and found a pelt from this animal and took it back to England, but the people still felt it was a hoax. In spite of the evidence, they disbelieved because they didn’t want to believe.
*Tonight, we study the dangers of disbelief – and find that our good faith leads to a life pleasing to God in all we do.
• Many times, we get things out of order – seeking proof so that we can be more comfortable to believe.
“Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.” – Augustine
Read Hebrews 3:7-13.
1.) Hearing God’s Voice
*Don’t ignore the opening phrase, “as the Holy Spirit says.”
• God is active even today, so that we may learn from Him.
• …and so that we may learn from our ancestors in the faith
How might we know how, where, and to what the Holy Spirit leads? – through His Word, the Bible!
2 Peter 1:21 – For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
– Holy Scriptures are the living Word of God!
*We are given two requirements from this passage of scripture:
1. hear His voice
2. don’t harden your heart
*A time of testing is remembered, when the children of Israel wandered in the desert for an entire generation – 40 years – because of their unbelief at Kadesh.
• They had reached the borders of the “Promised Land.”
• Their leadership – all but two – agreed that taking the land was impossible – impossible for them, but possible for God!
Luke 1:37 – For nothing is impossible with God.
• They were prohibited from reaching their goal – the promised blessing from God upon Israel.
*God has desired our attention since the very earliest moments in human history!
Psalm 81:13-14 – If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!
*He continues to plead for our attention to His Word –
Revelation 3:20-21 – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
2.) An Unbelieving Heart
*Our passage reminds us of the dangers of an unbelieving heart – How does this unbelief show itself?
• first of all, in the complete rejection of Jesus Christ and his gospel
• through a theoretical acceptance of Christian theology, but living a life devoid of Christianity in practice
*The effects of Christianity within must “come out” through a life of faith and good works!
James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
• through refusing to accept certain parts of the Word of God within your life – the parts that you find personally displeasing
• Another proof of this unbelief is seen in disliking spiritual and pure worship. Whenever unbelief begins to incrust itself in a man’s heart, he becomes less comfortable with true worship, and more ensnared by rite and tradition.
“This unbelief develops itself in pride. Wherever there is a proud man there is an unbelieving man. What is pride? It is just the passion that exudes from unbelief. Wherever there is pride there is a man at a distance from God; wherever there is deep humility, there is a man who feels that he is living near to God.” – Dr. J. Cumming
What are the causes of this unbelief?
1. ignorance – of the gospel message and of scriptures that are useful for our discipleship
a. Ignorance may show itself in the fact that many people believe they are saved based upon church membership or a religious heritage.
2. the love of sin
a. attachment to objects of sensual nature instead of attachment to Christ: beautiful churches, relics, forms of music, HVAC, etc.
b. love of the world – The pleasures, riches, and honors of this world swell so much in the sinner’s eye that he considers eternal goals of no consequence and unworthy of his pursuit.