Unbelief…and what we lose by it.
The Hebrew Christians in Jerusalem had suffered many things for Christ.
They had been cast out of the Temple worship;….often they had been betrayed by family, and deserted by them. Yet, they had rejoiced…
Hebrews 10:34 “For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.”
……but after years of waiting for Christ’s return (for they thought it would be in a few years)…..they became weary in well doing. (Galatians 6:9)
Doubts came in…..and many had either settled down in misery….or had gone back.
Instead of going on in Christ…..growing in grace…..they stayed the same.
Because of this, they needed someone to teach them again the first principles of God.
Hebrews 5:11-12 “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.”
Milk is for babies…..but meat is for adults.
Hebrews 5:13-14 “For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
They had not continued to follow close to the Lord….or His Word…
If they had, they would have continued in the joy and peace they once had,….even among the tribulations.
And they would have grown in more grace,……which sustains us in the midst of terrible days,…..as well as good days.
But they became stagnant…..and really went backwards.
The great sin of unbelief is the problem:
So let us look at unbelief.
We think unbelief is just not believing something said…..a mental thing.
(But the Lord showed me once, when I was struggling with promises which I thought should be fulfilled….and were not, yet….that unbelief is a thing of the will.
That scared me…..no, no, no, Lord…I would never will to not believe You.
But I was.
How could I do that?
First I want to explain that the will is our powerhouse.
And when our will unites with the Lord’s Will, the Holy Spirit gives us amazing grace for the situation now.
I was not getting that grace….and the grace that I was getting I was not using….
….and the Lord showed me why.
I wanted Him to do this promise….to get it done. I got convinced that I had waited long enough….had done my part….
….so now it was time for Him to do His.
Wow! Sometimes when I look back at how stupid and willful I have been, I wonder at the love of God!
And, of course, when the Lord showed me this…..I confessed it….and stopped it. “Lord, You can do what You will…..when You will”.
And fresh grace was applied to me….grace I used to believe my Lord and Savior.)
Hebrews 4:1 “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.”
“His rest”. When He said, “It is finished”, on the cross….it was.
Our salvation was full and complete….we need to “enter into” it…..fully.
When we get born again….often with joy and love…our hearts are so full, we think that we can not love the Lord Jesus any more.
So did the Hebrew Christians.
As we grow in knowledge of the Lord,….and are called (each is called to witness, if nothing else)….we are led into the “if any man will” stage of our spiritual growth…
…as long as we will to “deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Christ”, we continue to grow…and enter into new promises, new experiences with Him, and (this is really wonderful) new attainments in grace (the unmerited favor of power).
Here, some of the Hebrew Christians began to fail….by unbelief.
As we go along in our spiritual journey, we are given trials of faith,…
…we are given joy and peace….
…we are given corrections for our falls…
…we are given people to help us…..and to help.
This is growing up into maturity….”entering into His rest”….the rest of mind, heart, and will…He has for us.
This, the Hebrew Christians were missing out on….they had gone through trials….but became miserable,…
….because they let unbelief come into their lives.
Hebrews 6:9 “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”
Come, now, Christians…..Paul says,….we know that those who have held on, though they are miserable….have that life of Christ within them….
….therefore take hold on Him with both faith and love, again….and let us enter into all that His salvation gives us.
Hebrews 10:35-36 “Cast not therefore away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”
What about us?
Where are we in our walk with the Lord?
Are we following along….in trials and joys….in believing obedience?
Or have we, too, stopped short of entering into all that the Lord has for us?
Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect (complete) in every good work to do His Will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
With that same power that He raised the Lord Jesus from the dead….He will
make us complete in Him,…
….if we will follow on….and continue in His Word (John 8:31-32).