Tag Archives: unbelief

“He Rebuked Their Unbelief and Hardness of Heart” #2180

14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:14–16, NKJV)

Eyewitnesses told the apostles they had seen the Lord; Jesus was alive from the dead. He appeared to Mary Magdalene, but they did not believe (Mk. 16:9-11; Matt. 28:9-10). Peter and John saw the empty tomb but did not understand (Jno. 20:1-10). Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but the apostles also refused their report (Mk. 16:12-13). Jesus did appear to His apostles, but He scolded them for their unbelief and hard hearts that prevented their faith (v. 14). Jesus commissioned the apostles to preach this good news to the world (v. 15). Jesus saved those who believed the gospel and were baptized (v. 16). He still does. But unbelievers remained lost in their sin, even to this day. No one living now has seen the resurrected Christ. We are dependent on the eyewitness reports of those who saw Him and interacted with Him after His resurrection to form the basis of our belief and obedience. Will you believe the apostles’ testimony that Jesus died, was buried and rose the third day (1 Cor. 15:1-5)? Or will you languish in unbelief? Will you soften your heart and be baptized to be saved? Or harden yourself against the Lord’s command to be baptized to be saved? Will the Lord rebuke your unbelief or bless you with salvation because you believe the apostles’ testimony and obey the Lord’s will (Jno. 20:29; 1 Pet. 1:8-9; 2 Thess. 1:10)?

April’s Fool, but not Life’s Fool #1904

Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, and the end of mirth may be grief. (Proverbs 14:13, NKJV)

Today is April Fool’s Day (April 1), the traditional day of playing light-hearted pranks on friends and even strangers. Laughter and good humor is good, but even as we laugh, our hearts may sorrow and grieve. As we seek out laughter and entertainment, we may be making decisions that will ultimately bring us sorrow and grief. These are the decisions that reveal foolishness instead of wisdom. We ought to pause and ask ourselves whether we are making choices that are heaping up for ourselves sorrow, grief, and eternal regrets (Rom. 2:5). The Bible says the real fool says, “There is no God” (Psa. 14:1). To ignore the truth of God’s presence and power is a fool’s errand (Rom. 1:18-23). The Bible says real fool chooses to be deceived by intoxicants. God says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov. 20:1). Broken lives, broken homes, and broken souls testify to the evil of this behavior (Prov. 23:29-35). The Bible says the real fool believes life is all about the things he possesses. Jesus explained that life is not about what we possess (Lk. 12:15). God said to the man who had laid up many goods for many years, “Fool!” because he had not been rich toward God (Lk. 12:20-21). An April’s Fool Day prank may fool us, but we must not fool ourselves by choosing foolish and sinful things and calling them good.

When did the Father forgive them? #1331

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots. (Luke 23:34, NKJV)

God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Question: Did God forgive the murderers of Jesus in their unbelief? No, for without faith in Jesus as the Son of God, they would die in their sins (John 8:24). Did God forgive the murderers of Jesus in their ignorance? No, they killed Jesus “in ignorance,” and their failure to know the truth prevented their salvation (Acts 3:17). You don’t have to know everything to be forgiven, but you do have to know some things. When did not forgive the murderers of Jesus? The answer is in Acts 2:36-41, where about 3,000 believed the gospel message “that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (v. 36). The murderers asked, “Brethren, what shall we do?” (v. 37), and were told to “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (v. 38). The sinners who received his word were baptized and added together to form the church (v. 41, 47). God’s desire to forgive sinners combines with repentant faith that is baptized. Then, sins are forgiven. If not, when were the murderers of Jesus forgiven?

Enduring Faith #1267

30 “Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” (John 16:30–32, NKJV)

This confession by the apostles, that Jesus came from God, was the last confession of faith they made before His death. However, within hours, they would act counter to the faith they confessed. Fearful unbelief would grip them and cause them to scatter, leaving Jesus alone and arrested in Gethsemane. We do well to take a lesson from this, as we confess our faith in Jesus. Like them, our faith can falter. When it does, we must return to the Lord like they did. Otherwise, our soul will be lost in unbelief. When Peter’s faith faltered, and he denied knowing Jesus three times, he returned to Christ (which he did, see Luke 22:32; John 21:15-19). A failing faith is not a saving faith. Yes, the sheep scattered when the Shepherd was struck, but they returned to Him after His resurrection (Matthew 26:31-32; Mark 16:9-14). Their faith grew. “Once believe, always believe” is just as dangerous and false as “once saved, always saved.” Faith unto the saving of the soul does not abandon the Lord; It endures with Him to the end (Hebrews 10:36-39).