Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":
Why is unbelief a downright sin, and not merely a weakness of the flesh or a little fault?
It’s extremely serious, for (a) the world is condemned for it (John 3:18). (b) was kept out of the Promised Land because of it (Heb. 3:19). (c) It is sin itself (vs. 12). (d) It keeps people away from salvation (Luke 8:12). (e) It makes one a fool (Luke 24:25). (f) God has concluded everyone in unbelief—it’s the sin of sins, the one universal sin (Rom. 11:32). (g) It is the ultimate rejection of Christ (John 5:38). (h) Unbelief is the actual love of darkness (John 3:19). (i) Unbelief brings the loss of souls (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
Unbelief is the preeminent sin that we should pray to be delivered from (Mark 9:24).
It’s hard-heartedness. I have had men confess to me with anguish that their hearts are just plain hard, they find it impossible to shed even a tear, anytime. Even the story of the cross leaves them cold.
I tell them Thank God! You sense your need. That’s tremendous progress. Ask Him and He will “restore unto [you] the joy of [His] salvation (Psalm 51:12). But don’t let your heart resent the fact that you have become hard-hearted; it’s true of many people. Often unwise parents kill the little plant of tenderness in the heart of a child; fathers sometimes want to make Johnny become “hard,” like they think a “man” should be, forgetting that we read of the greatest Man who ever walked this earth, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
I knew a man once whose pastime in childhood was pulling wings off of flies; when he became a man, it was hard for him to feel compassion for people in need.
Even the “cream” of the Twelve apostles, Peter, James, and John, went sound asleep rather than sit up with Jesus and empathize with Him in His awful hour of Gethsemane anguish (Matt. 26:37-45). They missed an opportunity of the ages!
How can a hard-hearted person become tender-hearted? By learning to feel for Jesus, to sympathize with Him. (That’s another word for “faith”).
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