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The Sin of Unbelief

February 19, 2018 Leave a comment

“And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shalt not eat thereof.”-2 Kings 7:19.

ONE wise man may deliver a whole city; one good man may be the means of safety to a thousand others. The holy ones are “the salt of the earth,” the means of the preservation of the wicked, Without the godly as a conserve, the race would be utterly destroyed. In the city of Samaria there was one righteous man-Elisha, the servant of the Lord. Piety was altogether extinct in the court. The king was a sinner of the blackest dye, his iniquity was glaring and infamous. Jehoram walked in the ways of his father Ahab, and made unto himself false gods. The people of Samaria were fallen like their monarch: they had gone astray from Jehovah; they had forsaken the God of Israel; they remembered not the watchword of Jacob, “The Lord thy God is one God;” and in wicked idolatry they bowed before the idols of the heathens, and therefore the Lord of Hosts suffered their enemies to oppress them until the curse of Ebal was fulfilled in the streets of Samaria, for “the tender and delicate woman who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness,” had an evil eye to her own children, and devoured her offspring by reason of fierce hunger. Deuteronomy 28:56-58. In this awful extremity the one Holy man was the medium of salvation. The one grain of salt preserved the entire city; the one warrior for God was the means of the deliverance of the whole beleaguered multitude. For Elisha’s sake the Lord sent the promise that the next day, food which could not be obtained at any price, should be had at the cheapest possible rate-at the very gates of Samaria. We may picture the joy of the multitude when first the seer uttered this prediction. They knew him to be a prophet of the Lord; he had divine credentials; all his past prophecies held been fulfilled. They knew that he was a man sent of God, and uttering Jehovah message. Surely the monarch’s eyes would glisten with delight, and the emaciated multitude would leap for joy at the prospects of so speedy a release from famine. “Tomorrow,” would they shout, “to-morrow our hunger shall be over, and we shall feast to the full.”

However, the lord on whom the king leaned expressed his disbelief. We hear not that any of the common people, the plebeians, ever did so; but an aristocrat did it. Strange it is, that God has seldom chosen the great men of this world. High places and faith in Christ do seldom well agree. This great man said “Impossible!” and, with an insult to the prophet, he added, “If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be.” His sin lay in the fact that after repeated seals of Elisha’s ministry, he yet disbelieved the assurances uttered by the prophet on God’s behalf. He had, doubtless, seen the marvellous defeat of Moab- he had been startled at tidings of the resurrection of the Shunamite’s son; he knew that Elisha had revealed Benhadad’s secrets and smitten his marauding hosts with blindness- he had seen the bands of Syria decoyed into the heart of Samaria; and he probably knew the story of the widow, whose oil filled all the vessels, and redeemed her sons; at all events the cure of Naaman was common conversation at court; and yet, in the face of all this accumulated evidence, in the teeth of all these credentials of the prophet’s mission, he yet doubted, and insultingly told him that heaven must become an open casement, ere the promise could be performed. Whereupon God pronounced his doom by the mouth of the man who had just now proclaimed the promise: “thou shalt see it with thine eyes but shalt not eat thereof.” And providence-which always fulfils prophecy, just as the paper takes the stamp of the type destroyed the man. Trodden down in the streets of Samaria, he perished at its gates, beholding the plenty, but tasting not of it. Perhaps his carriage was haughty, and insulting to the people; or he tried to restrain their eager rush; or, as we would say, it might have been by mere accident that he was crushed to death; so that he saw the prophecy fulfilled, but never lived to enjoy it. In his case, seeing was believing, but it was not enjoying.

I shall this morning invite your attention to two things-the man’s sin and his punishment. Perhaps I shall say but little of this man, since I have detailed the circumstances, but I shall discourse upon th sin of unbelief and the punishment thereof.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

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Studies in The Baptist Catechism: Section One – Authority, Revelation, and Scripture (Q.2)

William F. Leonhart III

Q.2: Ought everyone to believe there is a God?

A. Everyone ought to believe there is a God;1 and it is their great sin and folly who do not.2

1Hebrews 11:6

2Psalm 14:1

The world is full of art critics. Everywhere we go, we see people standing in awe of great art. They study it, they marvel at it, and they even try to duplicate it. What they will not do, however, is recognize the existence of the great Artist who gave it birth. This great art of which I speak is the art of creation, and the great Artist, of course, is the Creator. God is not merely an Artist, though. He wears many hats. Like the great Leonardo di Vinci, God assumes the titles of Artist, Engineer, Innovator, Inventor, and a great many others. However, unlike Leonardo, God is the Chief among all others in these fields. He far surpasses all His creatures, as we noted in the previous section.

One great difference between God and all others is that His art, His engineering, His innovation and inventiveness pervades all of His creation. Painters place their signatures in the corners of their paintings. The signature of the Divine is pervasive throughout the vast scope of creation and notable in every detail of every element and atom. God is at once immensely God and intimately God. He is both the God of the stars and the planets (Job 38:31-33; Ps. 8:3; 136:7-9) and the God of our grief and our joy (Mt. 6:25-34).

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage for proof

November 17, 2015 Leave a comment

Arthur Pink“He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them” (Mark 6:5). So determined are some Arminians to deny the almightiness of God and the invincibility of His will that they have appealed to this passage in proof that the power of His incarnate Son was limited, and that there were occasions when His merciful designs were thwarted by man. But a comparison of the parallel passage in Matthew 13:54-58, at once gives the lie to such a blasphemous assertion, for we are there told “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Thus it was not any limitation in Himself, but something in them, which restrained Him. In other words, He was actuated by a sense of propriety. The emphasis both in Mark 6:5, and Matthew 13:58, is on the word “there,” for, as the context shows, this occurred at Nazareth where He was lightly esteemed. To have performed prodigies of power before those who regarded Him with contempt had, in principle, been casting pearls before swine; as it had been unfitting to have wrought miracles to gratify the curiosity of Herod (Luke 23:8)— elsewhere He did many supernatural works. In Genesis 19:22, the Lord could not destroy Sodom until Lot had escaped from it, while in Jeremiah 44:22, He “could no longer bear” the evil doings of Israel — it was moral propriety, not physical inability.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Resting on God

September 23, 2015 Leave a comment

O God, most high, most glorious, the thought of Thine infinite serenity cheers me, for I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but Thou art for ever at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bond, Thy goodness no stint. Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are Thy victories: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

I come to Thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to Thee, every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood; revive deep spirituality in my heart; let me live near to the great Shepherd, hear His voice, know its tones, follow its calls. Keep me from deception by causing me to abide in the truth, from harm by helping me to walk in the power of the Spirit. Give me intenser faith in the eternal verities, burning into me by experience the things I know; Let me never be ashamed of the truth of the gospel, that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, know in it the power of the Spirit.

Lord, help me, for I am often lukewarm and chill; unbelief mars my confidence, sin makes me forget Thee. Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to Thee, that all else is trifling. Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. Abide in me, gracious God.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

One in 50 clergy don’t believe in God

November 10, 2014 2 comments

One in 50 Anglican clergy in the UK believes God is merely a human construct, according to a new survey today.

Just eight in ten believe there is a personal God and a further three in 100 believe there is some spirit or life force.

And in spite of two millennia of Church doctrine based on determining the mind of God through the Scriptures, nearly one in ten believes: “No-one can know what God is like.”

The YouGov survey of more than 1,500 Anglican clergy commissioned by the Westminster Faith Debates for the current series on the future of the Church of England shows growing acceptance for other faiths, with more than four in ten believing that while Christianity is the “best path” to God, other religions may offer paths as well.

 

 
Read the entire article here.

What Led You To Become An Atheist? Some Surprising Answers

November 4, 2014 3 comments

by David Murray

 

“What leads people away from religion and into atheism? That’s the question that fascinated Larry Taunton so much that he launched a nationwide series of interviews with hundreds of college-age atheists.

His question was simple: “What led you to become an atheist?”

The answers were surprising, creating a completely unexpected composite sketch of American college-aged atheists. Here’s a summary from his article, Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for A Stronger Christianity.”

 

 
Read the entire article here.

For Whom Did Christ Die?

August 25, 2014 1 comment

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

1. All the sins of all men.
2. All the sins of some men, or
3. Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:

1. That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.
2. That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
3. But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer, “Because of unbelief.”

I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!”

John Owen-For Whom Did Christ Die?

The non-elect were predestinated, not only to unbelief, but to infernal death hereafter

Chapter IV

OF REPROBATION OR PREDESTINATION AS IT RESPECTS THE UNGODLY.

FROM what has been said in the preceding chapter concerning the election of some, it would unavoidably follow, even supposing the Scriptures had been silent about it, that there must be a rejection of others, as every choice does, most evidently and necessarily, imply a refusal, for where there is no leaving out there can be no choice. But beside the testimony of reason, the Divine Word is full and express to our purpose; it frequently, and in terms too clear to be misunderstood, and too strong to be evaded by any who are not proof against the most cogent evidence, attests this tremendous truth, that some are “of old fore-ordained to condemnation.” I shall, in the discussion of this awful subject, follow the method hitherto observed, and throw what I have to say into several distinct positions supported by Scripture.

POSITION 3. -The non-elect were predestinated, not only to continue in final impenitency, sin and unbelief, but were likewise, for such their sins, righteously appointed to infernal death hereafter.

This position is also self-evident for it is certain that in the day of universal judgment all the human race will not be admitted into glory, but some of them transmitted to the place of torment. Now, God does and will do nothing but in consequence of His own decree (Psalms 135:6; Isa 4:11; Eph 1:9,11); therefore the condemnation of the unrighteous was decreed of God, and if decreed by Him, decreed from everlasting, for all His decrees are eternal. Besides, if God purposed to leave those persons under the guilt and the power of sin, their condemnation must of itself necessarily follow, since without justification and sanctification (neither of which blessings are in the power of man) none can enter heaven (John 13:8; Heb 12:14). Therefore, if God determined within Himself thus to leave some in their sins (and it is but too evident that this is really the case), He must also have determined within Himself to punish them for those sins (final guilt and final punishment being correlatives which necessarily infer each other), but God did determine both to leave and to punish the non-elect, therefore there was a reprobation of some from eternity. Thus, “Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mat 25.); for Satan and all his messengers, emissaries and imitators, whether apostate spirits or apostate men.

Now, if penal fire was, in decree from everlasting, prepared for them, they, by all the laws of argument in the world, must have been in the counsel of God prepared, i.e., designed for that fire, which is the point I undertook to prove. Hence we read “of vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, put together, made up, formed or fashioned, for perdition” (Rom 9:), who are and can be no other than the reprobate. To multiply Scriptures on this head would be almost endless; for a sample, consult Pro 16:4; 1 Peter 2; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 1:4; Rev 13:8.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

Confession and Petition

December 11, 2013 2 comments

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.

I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule. I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin. If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction. Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee. Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.

Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett. Reformatted by Eternal Life Ministries.

 

Christian Philosophy’s boldest apostle

August 13, 2013 4 comments

CraigWilliam Lane Craig has been proclaimed to be one of the greatest debaters of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Hands down he has debated quite a few individuals on the existence of God. Though I disagree with his molinism, I nevertheless respect his knowledge concerning the Kalam Cosmological argument and how to debate an opponent. This argument and various other knowledge concerning physics and science has allowed him to defeat every opponent he has ever debated. So much so, that atheists fear to debate him.

I ran across this link entitled “The New Theist-How William Lane Craig became Christian philosophy’s boldest apostle”

Here is a quote from the article:

 

“Several months later, in April 2011, Craig debated another New Atheist author, Sam Harris, in a large, sold-out auditorium at the University of Notre Dame. In a sequence of carefully timed speeches and rejoinders, the two men clashed over whether we need God for there to be moral laws. Harris delivered most of the better one-liners that night, while Craig, in suit and tie, fired off his volleys of argumentation with the father-knows-best composure of Mitt Romney, plus a dash of Schwarzenegger. Something Harris said during the debate might help explain how Dawkins reacted: He called Craig “the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists.””

 

Read the entire article here.