Articles and Sermons


Taking Heed against Unbelief

Message Given June 1, 2008 - audio version

  • Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 
  • 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 
  • 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 
  • 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. 
  • 7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, 
  • 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 
  • 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 
  • 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 
  • 11 So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
  • 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 
  • 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 
  • 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

In the Old Testament stories of Israel and how God dealt with Israel we can learn from the experiences they went through. Through Israel we can learn what pleases God and what displeases God. The land of Israel was promised to Abraham years before he had any offspring to inherit what God promised him. We read of how God later reminded Isaac and Jacob who later became Israel of that same promise.

After years of bondage in Egypt, God sent Moses to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt and bring them into the land of promise. Egypt symbolizes the world or our bondage to sin. The promise land is symbolic of our inheritance of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life. 

The mistakes and short comings of Israel are similar to the mistakes and shortcomings of the church and of us as individuals. Although God makes many promises to the nation of Israel and those promises are still in effect, salvation through Jesus Christ is an individual thing. In order to inherit eternal life, each and every individual whether Jew or Gentile has to come to Christ on their own. There is not group salvation. It is a decision all of us have to make on our own. 

I wish the doctrine of eternal security of the believer was true. That is once we are born again by the spirit and have had our sins forgiven and cleansed by the blood of Jesus, we can never be lost. There are so many scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments however, that warn of backsliding and sin.

Salvation is promised to those that believe to the point of turning from sin and turning to Christ but along with that salvation is many take heeds, if's, and warnings from Jesus Himself to repent and do the first works if one has fallen away from their first love. 

Because of unbelief, the first generation of the children of Israel that came out of the land of Egypt with Moses, were forbidden to enter the Promised Land. Unbelief led to murmuring and complaining, fear and rebellion that followed and caused them to lose out on the promise. That can happen to us as believers today. 

Remember the verses I read previously:

  • Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 
  • 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 
  • 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

In Hebrews chapter 4:

  • Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 
  • 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

It is possible to start out great but allow unbelief to enter into us and that will be the first step back into sin and into the life we lived before we came to Christ. This is why we gather together to hear the word and worship. It strengthens our faith and helps guard against unbelief. Without faith itís impossible to please God.

Unbelief is the opposite of faith. When we forget that Christ has cleansed us from sin, that is the first step to returning to the sin we are cleansed from. Just as Israel was promised a land flowing with milk and honey if they would obey God, salvation is given to those that obey Jesus Christ. 

1. We hold fast our confidence and hope in Christ
2. We obey His words. 

Hebrews 5: 7-9 speaking of Jesus Christ:

  • Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 
  • 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 
  • 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 

There is ifs, and many take heeds all through the scriptures. Not only by the apostles but by our Lord Jesus Himself. 

We must press forward and not look back. We must continue in the doctrine that was once delivered to the saints. Do not take the word of any television preacher, the pastor or myself. Be as the Bereans and check out all we say by the written word.

We do not have time to stand and read the whole bible and can sometimes only quote a few verses to prove the points we try to make. It is a great idea to write down the verses and later look them up but study the chapters before and after the verses I give or anyone else gives. Even if I make a mistake and get it wrong you will be blessed and strengthened by the study alone. 

  • Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; 
  • 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 
  • 14 For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. 
  • 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 
  • 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 
  • 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 
  • 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 
  • 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 
  • 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 
  • 21 And having a high priest over the house of God; 
  • 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 
  • 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 
  • 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 
  • 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

We see from these scriptures that salvation is supposed to be eternal. We are to draw near to God with assurance after having been cleansed from sin. If I quoted only verses 16 and 17 and didnít read further, we could get an eternal security message but as we read further, we see warnings to hold fast our profession of faith without wavering and provoke unto love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together. 

  • Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 
  • 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 
  • 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 
  • 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 
  • 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 
  • 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 

Strive not to fall back into unbelief. When times are good and when times are bad, press on believing God will never forsake us.

  • Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 
    36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 
    37 For yet, a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 
    38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 
    39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. 

We must continue forward and not look back to Egypt like the early Israelites did. They began to lust after the food and the things they had in Egypt forgetting that they were in bondage.

If we look back into our past and desire the things Jesus saved us from, we too could forget how deep in bondage we were in and how Jesus paid a great price to free us from that bondage. The flesh desires to return to those old ways and still think eternal life is there for the taking just because we made a one time decision to accept Jesus Christ. Yet we know that it is not what happened years ago that matters it is what we are today. 

  • Hebrews 12:13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 
  • 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 

Remember the example of Esau. Esau was the firstborn and was to inherit the blessing handed down from his father Isaac. Esau was so hungry one time that he sold that birthright to Jacob just to satisfy his natural hunger for food. He cared more for the temporary things than for his inheritance. He lost the blessing. This is one reason that a fasting helps us overcome the flesh and walk in the spirit. Sometimes instead of eating to live, we live to eat. 

The message of salvation is easy to understand but we must continue in the word and abide in Christ. How would a marriage work if we had a beautiful wedding with all the trimmings but after we were married we spent very little time with our spouse and went our own way and did our own thing? Sooner or later any couple would drift apart and they would have no marriage. 

If we come to Christ, we then begin to walk with Christ, abide in Christ and obey His teachings. We begin to walk in the spirit and by doing that we overcome the desires of the flesh that are defeating us. 

In James 1:27

  • Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 

The world and God do not mix. The Holy Spirit dwells in a vessel that God has cleansed. 

  • 1Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 

Lusts of the flesh, the pride of life and lust of the eye wars against the things of the spirit. 

  • 2Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 
  • 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Again and again we see looking back and unbelief is caused by neglect and not staying in fellowship with the Lord.

  • 2Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 
    21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 
    11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 
    12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 
    13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 
    14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 

Remain steadfast, unmovable, not up one day and down the next.

  • 2Peter 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. 

The same bible that tells of the new birth, the living water and salvation by grace also warns us against losing that which we have by neglect and unbelief. 

  • 1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 

We are cleansed from sin as we continue to walk in the light. 

  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 
  • 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 
  • 6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 

Unbelievers in the wilderness didn't make it to the promised land.

  • Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
  • 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 

Remember Christís warning the church in Revelation that had gotten lukewarm. Unbelief also leads to apathy and lukewarm faith.

  • Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 

Once we've been made free from sin, we are to abide in Christ and bring forth the fruits of holiness.

  • Ephesians  5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: 
  • 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor. 
  • 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
  • 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 
  • 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 
  • 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 
  • 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 

We have been given a new and better way to live. We can overcome the flesh and walk in the spirit but it takes determination to hold out and not look back. Remember Lotís wife. 

There was a lady named Emma that sometimes sang a song called, ďI am determined to hold out til the end.Ē That is what we need to do. 

  • John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 
  • 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 
  • 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 
  • 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 
  • 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 
  • 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

God never left us without a way out. He sent Jesus as a way out of sin, He sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify us by the word and by the spirit. In other words we continue on with Christ by allowing the Holy Spirit to take away the old desires and give us new desires in its place.

God provided the written word so that we could know how to receive all these promises and then on top of all that He endues us with power by that which we call the baptism with the Holy Spirit which is promised to all that believe.

All these things is ours but like the seed that fell on both good and bad ground some of us just go so far and get our sins forgiven and get just enough to last from one meeting to the next and do not seek God for a deeper walk and overcoming power that will allow us to walk in the spirit.

When we follow God afar off, we are weak and will not be victorious. We do not have to follow Him afar off; we can have the living water flowing in and out bubbling over onto others. It is ours for the asking. 

  • Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Dorna J Chambers