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Unbelief and Doubt


God’s Attitude Toward Unbelief


What warning is given in the Bible concerning unbelief?


“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12.


In whom does the Lord have no pleasure?


“But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” Hebrews 10:38.


Against what are we warned when rebuked of God?


“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you like sons: “My son do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you.” Hebrews 12:5.


Whom does the Lord chasten?


Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Verse 6.


Examples of, and Lessons from, Unbelief


What kind of report did the ten spies bring back concerning the Promised Land?


“And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. Al the people we saw are of great size.” Numbers 13:32.


What did Caleb say of the ability of Israel to take it?


“The Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Verse 30.  


What did the ten spies say?


“But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” Verse 31.


Why did many fail to enter into God’s rest anciently?


“And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who have disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.”

Hebrews 3:18,19.


How does the Apostle Paul speak of the unbelieving ones who failed to enter Canaan?


“And with whom was angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert?” Verse 17.


What practical lesson should we learn from their perverse course?


“Therefore, since the promised of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.” Hebrews 4:1.


Note – God does not change. If He was grieved at the unbelief of the Israelites, and refused them admittance to Canaan in consequence, He cannot permit us to enter the heavenly rest as long as we indulge in unbelief.


What should all labor to do?


“Let us therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” Verse 11.  


When told of the disciples’ failure to heal an afflicted son, what did Christ say of that generation?


O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Mark 9:19.


What did Christ say to Thomas because he did not believe the testimony of his brethren concerning His resurrection?


“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop doubting and believe.” John 20:27.  


Note – The Lord rebuked Thomas for his unbelief, because he would not accept the testimony of so many credible witnesses who had seen Him. How much more reprehensible is the unbelief which holds out against the present “cloud of witnesses” of prophecy fulfilled and fulfilling!


Faith and Justification


Without faith, what is impossible?


“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11:6.


How only can we be justified?


‘Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we can have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1.


By what do the just live?


“But my righteous one will live by faith.” Hebrews 10:38.



Faith, Righteousness, and Victory


Why did not Israel attain to the standard of righteousness?


“But Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” Romans 9:31,32.


When God made a promise to Abraham that seemed impossible of fulfillment, how did the patriarch receive it?


“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.” Romans 4:20.


For what was Abraham’s faith counted?


“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Verse 3.


When troubled with doubts, how should we pray?


“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Mark 9:24.


What is promised those who believe when they pray?


“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24.


After speaking of the numerous examples of faith presented in Hebrews 11, what does Paul warn us to do?


“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1.


Note – The “every weight,” here spoken of includes those traits of character and habits of life that retard or hinder our running successfully the Christian race. These are to be laid aside. But there is one thing referred to here that is more than a weight; it is a sin, and one that easily besets us all – the sin of unbelief. To be unbelieving, therefore is sinful.    

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