Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Unbelief for Dummies

18 And Zacharias said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years." 19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time."

In this passage of the Bible we see what’s behind atheism. It is what the Bible calls the sin of "unbelief." An atheist is someone who has no belief in God or in any gods. So what's wrong with that? Can they help it if they doubt?

Imagine a father tells his beloved son that he was going to buy him a bike for Christmas. The father carefully explains that it would be a red bike, with gears, high tech wheels, and that it would be extremely light-weight. He explains to the boy that it’s completely paid for and says that he will get it as a gift first thing on Christmas morning. What would you think if the son says, "How do I know this will happen?" Such a question would be an insult to his father's integrity. It means that he doesn’t trust his own father.

Even the most sinful of us is offended when a person doesn’t believe something we tell them. When we don’t believe someone it means that we think that they are a liar. They are devious, and they are therefore not worth trusting.

However, this insult is greatly magnified if we don’t believe something God says. He is without sin. He is absolutely trustworthy, and He is even incapable of lying (the Bible says that it is "impossible" for God to lie). This is why "unbelief" is a great sin. It grossly insults the integrity of a holy God, and this is why Gabriel is greatly offended.

When Zacharias insulted him with his unbelief, he stated that he was Gabriel "who stands in the presence of God." This was a five star general among the angelic hosts. Sinners cannot stand in the presence of God, but this perfectly sinless angel did, and so he struck Zacharias dumb for being so dumb.

Never insult God with your unbelief. The Scriptures say "He that believes not God has made Him a liar." and "Let none of you depart from the Living God through an evil heart of unbelief." Those who don't believe are like Zacharias, after the angel struck him.