DANGER OF UNBELIEF
Thursday, 26 July 2018
Romans 1 : 18-32
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” -Romans 1:18-19
Apostle Paul commences this chapter by extolling the benefits of believing God and then goes on to expound on the dangers of unbelief.
Wrath of God and consequence: The unbelieving are not excused from His wrath because His eternal power and divine nature, are clearly seen and understood through creation. But, the unbelieving, through their wicked acts which they love in themselves and others, suppress this truth which they already know. This in turn makes God to give them up to corrupt minds that makes them exchange the worship of a glorious eternal God for idols of things on earth, followed by degrading and shameful acts to fulfill their desire for sin (Romans 1:18-32).
We read this passage and categorize all unbelieving people into one group, not keeping in mind that there are various reasons for unbelief. Unfortunately, all kind of unbelief will ultimately lead to eternal damnation. A few reasons for unbelief are given below:
Might have grown up in church but lost faith while in universities due to ridicule of others for believing, thus leaving them confused and wondering about the truth.
Unanswered questions about faith may lead them to believe in its inadequacy. Eg: “Why would a good God send people to hell? Or Why is there so much unfair suffering?” A person struggling with such questions can easily turn away from God in rebellion.
Some might have grown up in families where in spite of not acknowledging God, all things have gone well, so may not feel the need to have Him in their lives.
Gospel is given to them as the absolute truth without being given reasons as to why it is imperative that they believe, thus not prompting a positive response.
Emotional challenges due to hurt from church or hypocritical Christians. Never felt the love of God through Christians.
Doctrinal differences between denominations.
Wanting moral independence. As given in this passage, not willing to bow down to God and give Him moral authority over their lives. Prefer to keep doing what they are doing without intervention from God, and one can see God Himself giving them over to depravity.
But remember, God was willing to show mercy to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. So a few instructions below to encourage us to become more effective in witnessing to others as well as good discipling for ourselves:
1 Peter 3:15-16 – “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to answer everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
John 13:35 – “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
Titus 2:11-12 – “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.”
1 Corinthians 9:22 – “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”
Colossians 4:6- “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer everyone.”
If we live the way God wants us to, we can become effective in helping the unbelieving to believe in God, for there is no other name under which one can be saved other than Jesus: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Think On: “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 burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
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