"THE TRAGEDY OF UNBELIEF"
I. THE CAUSE OF UNBELIEF.
A. Some just have a hard time believing anything that is supernatural.
1. Unless it can be reduced to a mathematical equation or some formula they just do not believe.
2. You have heard the phrase, "Seeing is believing." and there are many who adhere to that.
B. There may be good cause for not believing many things that we are told.
1. I am always leery of an offer for a free lunch.
a. You know that they are going to try to sell you something.
b. They are going to try to solicit your funds for their program.
2. Sometimes the offers that are being made on T.V. seem to be too good to be true, and they are.
C. Having been burned a few times makes one skeptical.
D. You must admit that the gospel seems to be too good to be true.
1. To think that Jesus Christ took my sin upon Himself, and gave me His righteousness is almost too good to be true.
2. To think that though He was rich, yet for my sake He became poor, that I through His poverty might know the riches of God, is mind boggling.
3. The concepts of eternal life; the glory of the kingdom of God; the beauty of heaven; all seem to challenge our intellects.
E. To these disciples who were mourning and weeping, the word of Mary, that she had seen and talked to the risen Jesus seemed just too preposterous for them to believe.
1. They knew that it was impossible for man to rise from the dead.
a. Yet did they not remember the son of the widow of Nain?
b. Did they not remember the daughter of Jairus?
c. Had they forgotten Lazarus?
d. If Jesus could raise them from the dead, why should they think that His rising from the dead was impossible?
2. Jesus had claimed to be more than man, He claimed to be the only begotten Son of God.
a. Paul asked Herod Agrippa, "Why do you think it a thing incredible that God should raise the dead?"
b. Difficulty must always be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work, and when God is that agent, any talk of difficulty is manifestly absurd.
3. Because they did not believe that He was risen from the dead what did they do?
a. They went on mourning and weeping.
b. In the afternoon, as two of them were walking to Emmaus they were still sorrowing and hopeless.
c. As Jesus joined them He asked them why they looked so sad.
d. They spoke to him of their dashed hopes that the Messiah had come.
e. They even mentioned that some of the women had reported that they had seen Him alive.
II. NOTE WHAT THEIR UNBELIEF COST THEM.
A. When they should be rejoicing, they were crying.
1. This should have been the happiest day of their lives.
2. This should be a day of great rejoicing and praise, instead it is a day spent in deep sorrow.
B. There was absolutely no cause for them to be weeping.
1. The stone is rolled away, the tomb is empty, Jesus is risen.
2. These are the facts, Jesus has triumphed over death and hell. He has risen from the dead, and He lives forevermore.
3. Think of the joy and elation that they could have at this very moment if they only believed.
C. It is their doubt and unbelief that keeps them in tears.
D. Through history we see the terrible cost of unbelief.
1. Adam did not believe God concerning the consequences of eating of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden.
2. The men of Noah's day did not believe that God would destroy the earth with a flood.
3. The children of Israel did not believe that God would drive their enemies out of the land, and it cost them 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.
4. The children of Israel did not believe that God would give them over into the hands of their enemies if they did not turn their hearts back to Him.
E. We see the terrible price that they paid.
1. Adam brought death into the world.
2. The men of Noah's day were destroyed by the flood.
3. The children of Israel went into captivity.
III. LOOK WHAT UNBELIEF IS COSTING SOME OF YOU.
A. In the extreme case, it is costing some of you your eternal salvation.
1. Jesus Christ is God's only answer for man's sin.
a. The gospel is that Christ died for our sins according to the scripture.
b. That He was buried but rose on the third day according to the scriptures.
c. And if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
d. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
2. Note the place of believing.
a. Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.
b. Whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish.
3. Note the place of the unbelieving
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
B. Unbelief is costing many of you peace of mind today.
1. Many of you are worried about the circumstances of your life, even though the scripture commands you not to.
a. Don't worry about tomorrow, what you are going to eat, what you will drink, or what you will wear. Consider
1. The lilies of the field. How they grow, toil not neither do they spin, yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these.
2. The birds of the air. They do not sow the seed or gather the harvest into barns, yet your Father feeds them.
3. Your worry comes from a lack of trust in your Father.
b. In Philippians 4:3
Paul said to not worry about anything, but just take everything to God in prayer.
2. Many of you are fretting because you feel that your life is out of control. You somehow forget or maybe just do not believe that all things are working together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
a. The short term may be looking bad, but the long term results will be glorious.
b. Many of the success stories begin with the trials and hardships, the sacrifices that were made in the beginning.
c. God is still on the throne, you are still His child, He is just working out some of the kinks in your life, to get you in harmony with Him and His purposes, so that He might begin to pour out on you blessings more than you can imagine.
C. When we declare our faith in God, many times He allows that faith to be tested.
1. God put Abraham's faith to the test.
2. Surely David's faith was tested in the early years as he fled for his life from Saul.
3. The faith of the three Hebrew children was tested when they faced the burning fiery furnace.
4. Daniel's faith was tested in the lions den.
5. Our faith will be tested, but we learn to rejoice in the fiery trials, for we realize that God has purposed them to strengthen our faith.