Unbelief Heb. 3 John 16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When we read the text and compare it with Jn 16:8-11, we get the idea that we are reading verses that are aimed solely at the lost. However, as Christians, we are prone to live practically in unbelief when we live our lives as if we do not believe the promises of God. You can tell when you are living in unbelief by the following, taken as excerpts from a lesson by Charles Finney on Principles of Christian Obedience.
Worldly-mindedness – in unbelief, we have a tendency to consume our thoughts with things down here rather than with the things revealed to us that are up in heaven – when we really believe the Bible, our conversations, thoughts and affections turn to heavenly matters [Phil 3:20, Col 3:1-2]. Also you sense the natural man trying to understand the revelations of God and becoming frustrated with his inability to grasp them [1 Cor 2:10-16].
Worry and Anxiety – the Bible tells us plainly that when we believe God and trust him, we live in peace [Is 26:3, Phil 4:6-7]. When we live in unbelief, we don’t live in peace. Likewise, in unbelief we do not enjoy the rest that is in Jesus [Matt 11:28-30] and we do not enjoy our Christian life to the fullest [Jn 10:10].
Apathy – a man who does not practically believe the words of God will be apathetic about the truth of God. He’ll be insensitive to spiritual matters and he’ll be insensitive to the gospel. If we truly believed all that God said about hell, wouldn’t we do more to warn others not to go there?
Neglect – the promises of God in the Bible would compel a man to read those words and depend upon them if he truly believed them. When he doesn’t believe them, then he is going to neglect them. Likewise, he will neglect his prayer life when he doesn’t believe the promises God made concerning answered prayer.
Doubt – a man who does not believe the scriptures will doubt the truth of the scriptures and the testimony of others concerning the truth of the scriptures in their lives. He will lack assurance in the promises of God even though God does not lie and he backs up all of his promises with performance.
Confidence in men – a man living in unbelief will rely more on the promises of men than he will on the promises of God. God will use men to perform many of his promises [like Lk 6:38] but it is still the Lord who fulfills those promises and not the men whom he uses to accomplish them.
Murmuring and Complaining – when we fail to believe all that God said, we have a tendency to murmur and complain about the circumstances in which we find ourselves. However, in Rom 8:28, God made a promise that if you love God and you are called according to his purpose he is going to work the things together that you are going through and the result is going to be good. A person who believes God won’t murmur while God is working out the details!