Text:  Hebrews 3
     Let us follow in our imagination the path of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land.  As we journey like a Bedouin through its barren wastes it appears their route produced one giant cemetery. Much of the time there are isolated graves, but often there are mass burials where
…the people made the golden calf  (Deuteronomy 32:4)
…the people complained and God consumed them with fire (Numbers 11:1)
      …Israel accepted the report of the 10 spies at Kadesh Barnea (Numbers 14)
…Korah, Dathan, and Abiram with 250 princes raised opposition to Moses (Numbers 16). 

     By the time we reach the banks of the Jordan River just outside of the promised land we have passed the graves of over 600,000 fighting men besides the graves of the women.
     The reason:  Hebrews 3:19 "So we see they could not enter in because of their unbelief."  The same chapter contains the exhortation in verses 7-9.  "Today, if you will hear His voice Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years."


At The Heart of the Sin of Eve Was Unbelief  
     Satan asked, "Hath God said…?"  Satan raised a question of doubt about what God said then, "You shall not surely die."  Satan plainly denied what God said was true. When Eve believed Satan, she was guilty of unbelief towards God.

This Sin Brought Spiritual Death
     To Adam and Eve - Genesis 2:17 "...In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
To All their descendents - Romans 5:12; 1st Corinthians 15:22
            All descendants became:
               *Sinners by nature - Ephesians 2:1-3
              *Sinners by choice - John 3:19

Unbelief Is the Parent of All Others Sins

A man or woman who does not have faith in God is capable of any sin.  Trace any wickedness to its root and you will find a heart of unbelief.


Unbelief Was The Starting Point Of Heathen Darkness
     Romans 1:18-28  "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all...who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to they are without excuse..."

Nations Rise or Fall According to Faith or Unbelief 
     Israel's exaltation or humiliation among the nations can be charted according to their faith or unbelief.  Their military fall may have followed by a few years their spiritual fall, but it always came and vice versa.  
Follow the gospel trail and those nations that most widely received the gospel rose most in spiritual, material, moral, and military blessing.

     It is true that some godless nations have risen in power, but only as rods of punishment for nations that departed from faith.  That is what God said of Assyria.  (Isaiah 10:5).  "Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger..."   

     As America has progressively departed from God, so have powers capable of bringing down America.  Isaiah 10:6,  "I will send him against an ungodly nation, and against the people of My wrath...".


Unbelief Kept Israel out of the Promised Land      
     They believed the ten unbelieving spies Only two men believed God was able to give them the land and forty years later only these two men of that generation entered the land.

Unbelief Hindered Jesus at Nazareth  
     Matthew 13:53-58.  Jesus had as much love, compassion and willingness to perform miracles for those of His hometown as for those of any other place.  They had just as great needs as any other place, yet He did not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. 

Unbelief Hinders Believers From Courageous Action  
     Unbelief would have:
Ø       Kept Moses and Israel from crossing the Red Sea
Ø       Made David cower before Goliath
Ø       Caused the three Hebrew children to bow to Nebuchadnezzar's golden image
Cause Paul and Silas to despair while in the jail at Philippi.

Unbelief Hinders Churches 
From great soul-winning efforts
From moving ahead when God has revealed the direction to go and the people  get their eyes
         on the obstacles instead of God

     John 3:18-20:  "He who believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already..." 

It Did To Those in Noah's Day  
     Genesis 6:5:  "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually".  Evil left no room for faith in God.

It Did To Those in Christ's Day
      John 8:24:  "...You will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I Am, you shall die in your sins.".  Note that "He" following I am in most translations is in italics.  This means "He" was not in the original revelation, but supplied by the translators.

Unbelief Puts Mankind Under Condemnation In Any Day 
     Unbelief is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness.  Name any other sin and God has provided a means to forgive it, but God has no way to forgive the sin of unbelief.  John 3:18, 3:36.


Achieved only by "hearing the word of God
     Romans 10:17"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Will you truly "hear" the word of God to you?  John 1:11, 12.  "He came to His own and His own did not receive Him.  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:" 
     Believers should never forget that Jesus taught us, "...with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:6

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from the NKJV unless otherwise noted