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Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Sep 17, 2008.
What is it? Who can commit it? Where is my Scriptural support for the way I answered the questions?
It's pretty self-explanatory. Unbelief is not believing. One can go from unbelief to belief but many don't.
HP: Not believing what? If God says thou shalt not, and one does in spite of God’s Word, is that unbelief? If not why not?
Did not many Israelites exhibit unbelief? How did they do it? Did they have to reject salvation's offer to commit unbelief? Can one exhibit or commit unbelief in more than one way?
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
The object of our belief is Christ.
The greatest sin one can commit is to reject Christ as Saviour; it is the only sin that will send one to Hell--it is the sin of unbelief--unbelief that Christ is the one that can save.
"If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
I think the best example of unbelief is when the Disciples panicked in the storm and Jesus was sleep or when the disciples couldn't heal the boy who foamed at the mouth. We know they had faith, but they also had some unbelief. We like to say for the Christian unbelief is NO faith but Jesus told us repeatedly it is LITTLE faith or faith mixed with doubt. We all have some (I call it fair weather faith) but is your faith absolute unto death (think Hebrew boys)?
It's easy to say we have faith when things go well but life brings us tests some being in the form of storms. The question is what is the first thing you cling to in the storm? If it isnt the rock named Jesus then it's unbelief.
I recently had a member trying to rationalize stealing a piece of meat if you were starving. That to me is one form of unbelief. We sit in Church and say God feeds us when we're hungry then when we get hungry we resort to stealing? How about when we put our faith in the surgeon instead of He who guides the hand of the surgeon or can heal with no surgery? There are many situations where our faith weakens when the road gets rough and lean on our own understanding to feel safe or secure.
Lk 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
I think money or the love thereof is the worst temptation. Money gets low and the first thing we do is panic and say things like, "I won't be able to pay my rent". "O Ye of little faith"! God wants us to have a faith that will give us peace in the midst of the storm.
LeBuick, you have given us much food for thought. Is all unbelief sin? Is the opposite of unbelief always belief? What I am asking surrounds the question of the heathen. They often have not heard anything about salvation, so of necessity they have not believed. Never the less, is their unbelief the rejection of Jesus Christ seeing they know nothing concerning Him? Will their damning sin be the rejection of a Christ they never even heard of? Can one reject that which they know nothing about? Would not their sin be something other than the rejection of a Savior they have not heard about? If it can be said that they have unbelief, would not that unbelief be divorced from any rejection of a gospel, and rather be founded in their willing rejection of the light of conscience they possessed?
By posing this question (which you have many times before) you are simply questioning the integrity of God, and the veracity of His promises. Are you the one with the unbelief--unbelief in the promises of God to reach those that He has promised to reach. He never promised to save them, but to give them the opportunity to be saved.
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
The opposite of unbelief is faith for the Christian.
You are mixing ideologies. Their damnation is from not being forgiven for their sins by accepting Christ as their Saviour. Their sin is the sin unforgiven. You can't reject something you know nothing about however I find no exception in scripture to account for one who has not head the Gospel.
Sin is transgression against God and salvation is a gift he offers those who believe. It is His world so He can set what ever rules He wants.
Lets say you're having a party and only wanted family to attend. Are you mean or cruel for not inviting non-family? Of course not, it's your party and you can invite who you want. So in that light yes, there is a difference between rejecting the Gospel and never hearing the Gospel just as it's one thing not to be invited to your party and being invited but not coming. The outcome is the same, you didn't attend the party.
HP: Sorry but I do not follow your statement. How am I mixing ideologies? Can you word it in a different way?
If God says thou shalt not and one does anyway, that's disobedience and/or rebellion.
God says in Hebrews (I think chapter 4 -- too late to look it up now) that they did not enter the promised land because of their unbelief. They did not trust God when he said he would give them land. 10 spies saw the giants in the land and they decided, "no way will we go there, even though God said he would give it to us." That was unbelief.
Unbelief is not believing what God says. The ultimate unbelief is not believing in God or Jesus.
HP is perfectly correct in what he says above.
Read it again. He never stated anything; but only posed a series of questions.
God has not given all people everywhere and at all times the opportunity to be saved.The Lord has decided to withhold the light of the Gospel from many.
The passage from Numbers has nothing to do with the fact that God has determined not to allow some people to hear of Christ.
You are stating something that you cannot prove to be true.
Can you give evidence to the veracity of your statement.
I believe the Bible gives evidence to the contrary even if it goes contrary to your reason. What am I to believe: the Bible--my authority; or you and your rationalization?
I prefer to put the question: (or statement) God has given every man the opportunity to be saved, if he desires it. God in his foreknowledge knows which ones will refuse. He knew that Pharaoh would harden his heart. He knew that Judas would betray him.
Yet, even in the deepest jungles of Africa if there is an individual that the Lord knows will receive him, the Lord will see fit that he hears the gospel message and is saved.
"For the grace of God that brings salvation hath appeared to all men."
Most of the known world at the time of Christ and centuries afterward had not heard the Gospel.That's a simple fact.There are still many people groups who have not heard the Gospel.
God has not given everyone the opportunity to be saved.Even your qualifying words "if he desires it" is weak and can't be substantiated scripturally.
You have the age-old Arminian view of foreknowledge.It's a weakened view of the Almighty God.
The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart first.See Exodus 4:21 for proof.
Yes Christ knew that Judas would betray Him.However God had determined the same.See Acts 2:23 and 4:28.
The Lord saves the ones He desires to save and no one else."I have many people in this city"the Bible says.All of them at that point were not saved -- but they were shortly regenerated.It is due to God's sovereign will that He save some in the most dire circumstances.When it looks hopeless to human esyes that someone could possibly be saved -- the Lord steps in and does something wonderful.
You make an absolute statement without qualification. Can you substantiate it.
I fell off the couch laughing...
The "known world" at the time of Christ was very small. I believe that the Apostles and the early believers did reach the known world at that time from my understanding of the Scriptures.
1 Thessalonians 1:7-8 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
The faith of the Thessalonica church was spread abroad everywhere throughout the known world. I don't doubt God's Word. I recognize the conditions under which the early believers were under and see how these things were possible, and look at our conditions and understand why people are so skeptical of the historical facts of the Bible.
Acts 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
--The Word of God was spread abroad primarily through persecution. People went everywhere, or were scattered preaching the Word. Even Thomas went as far as India.
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
--People are without excuse. They are without excuse to know the triune Godhead, and if that be true, then they are without excuse to know Jesus Christ.
Romans 2:14-15 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another
--God has put his law (moral law) within the hearts of every man. They instinctively know the difference between right and wrong, and instinctively know that there is a God. However they make excuses. And they accuse others. Their consciences bother them. They know about God.
They know about Intelligent Design:
Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
There is no reason, not only to believe in a god, but to believe in The God, and to believe in Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
--There is no verse in the NT that is any more specific than this. God's grace that brings salvation (the death of Christ) has appeared to all men. I may not understand the full impact of this verse but the Holy Spirit inspired it.
Now look at some common facts that people tend to overlook.
--The largest religion in the world today is Islam, and is also the fastest growing religion. Islam is a religion of the rejection of Jesus Christ. The Koran speaks more of Jesus Christ than it does of Mohammed.
The Koran speaks of the virgin birth of Christ.
It speaks much about Mary and with high regard.
It speaks of the miracles of Christ.
It refers to Christ as the Word.
It teaches that Christ is coming again.
It teaches about the trinity--albeit that they should reject the trinity, however the knowledge is still there.
There is much reference to Christ being the Son of God, albeit a denial of the fact--but the knowledge is still there.
One cannot say that Muslims have never heard of Christ. If they want to hear about Christ they can. They have the opportunity. They know where to go. The Koran even teaches: "And thou (Mohammed) if thou art in doubt of any of these things ask them that are of the Scriptures (Christians or Jews)."
The Koran commands Muhammed (and thus others) to ask Christians if they are in doubt of the meaning of the Koran. The Islamic religion is anti-Christ. But in being anti-Christ, it knows about Christ. They have a knowledge, and are able to find more. There is no excuse for them not to be saved. Their entire religion is a rejection of Jesus Christ.
God has promised that "the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men." God gives to all the opportunity to be saved.
He first laid-down two statements -- a premise. Then he asked three questions with the only possible logical answer being 'No'.The last two questions could only elicit a response of 'Yes' as the answer.
LeBuick,I hope you didn't hurt yourself in your fall.