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The Marvel of Unbelief

May 18, 2017

The first act of worship recorded in the Bible was the offerings given by Cain and Abel. Abel believed God and offered an acceptable sacrifice. Cain did not. Though only a little while after creation and the curse of sin one-fourth of the human population already began to refuse to worship God as He commanded. Cain did not refuse to worship God because he lacked knowledge. Cain knew God was real. Cain knew God was the Creator and Ruler. Cain knew God required sacrifice and obedience. Cain knew God punished sin. Cain rejected all that knowledge to pursue his own way. When God spoke directly with Cain exhorting him to turn from sin Cain refused and turned further from God.

The people destroyed in the flood were not destroyed because they did not of God. Every generation up to and including that of Noah’s father Lamech would have been able to hear of the Garden of Eden, of sin and the curse of sin from Adam himself. Despite the opportunity for knowledge and despite the worship of God by Seth and his righteous descendants the world revelled in all manner of debauchery and violence. They refused God. They refused the message of salvation preached by Noah. They continued to rebel against God despite their knowledge of Him and His ways.

After the flood humanity banded together in direct violation of the commands of God. Man determined to build a tower lest they be spread across the world. Noah and his sons were still alive to teach the command of God and to warn of the consequences of disobedience. Humanity disregarded God and attempted to unite his strength against God. Humanity did not lack knowledge but faith.

God brought Israel out of Egypt by a series of horrible plagues. The plagues showed the futility of the gods of Egypt and the power of the God of Israel (Exodus 9:13-16). The Egyptians saw these mighty plagues. They knew the source of them. They did not repent and turn to God. They demanded to be eased of their suffering, but few believed God.

The Israelites saw the plagues of Egypt, the miracles, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna in the wilderness, the rivers of water from a rock and the glory of God visibly present before them day and night. They heard God speak to Moses and saw His glory on Mt. Sinai. They knew more about God than any other people at that time. They received the Word of God and the Law of God. Within days of leaving Egypt they began to rebel. They made idols. They grumbled. They complained. They threatened God’s chosen man. They refused to enter the promised land and then when God told them they couldn’t have it they decided to try to go in anyway. A generation of Israelites saw the power of God and refused to believe Him.

The book of Revelation is filled with terrible catastrophes. God’s holy wrath is poured out on a world that has once again united in rebellion against Him. Despite the obvious supernatural power at work mankind will refuse to repent. (Revelation 16:21) Even when the Son of God appears in His glory the world will continue to oppose him. Humanity will have the gall to attempt military opposition against the God of heaven. Clearly the problem is not insufficient information.

The problem of unbelief is never a lack of information. All creation declares the glory of God. Every person on the planet always sees vivid testimony of the powerful Creator God. Every person has enough knowledge to direct them towards God. Few believe. America is filled with churches. But millions of Americans drive past churches every day. Few stop to learn truth. America is filled with the Bible and the gospel witness. Few hear or obey.

Unbelief is a spiritual problem, not an intellectual one. Unbelieving man has rejected the available knowledge of God. Man’s hardened heart and blinded eyes darken the mind. Wisdom is rejected and folly revered. The solution to the problem of unbelief is the same it has always been. Unbelieving man does not need to hear the truth communicated in newer, more creative ways. Modern man does not need the message tailored to his desires. Men will never believe just because the gospel is presented to them in the right fashion. “There is none that understandeth, there none that seeketh after God.”

The solution to the problem is the same as it has been since man sinned. The gospel. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” The unbelieving world needs the Spirit empowered declaration of the gospel. Though many reject the gospel it must be given over and over again. None will believe unless “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

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