Unbelief, As Taught in John

Bill Brinkworth

Many boast of their unbelief in the things of God. According to the Word of God, that unbelief is not a good thing. Unbelief in spiritual things is a weakness and not a strength in God’s eyes. Here is what the book of John says about unbelief.

Unbelief questions how.
“Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be?” John 3:9
Here is a religious man, educated in the finest schools about the things of God, who did not understand what the Son of God was trying to teach him. He did not believe what he heard. Spiritual unbelief often blinds the eyes and deafens the ears of one to the point that they never see or hear what God so patiently is trying to show them.

Unbelief does not want the things of God.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hated the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:19-20
The natural, unsaved man does not want to know about the things of God. It is natural for him to want the things that are only pleasing to the flesh. It is also natural for him to hate the things of God.

Unbelief needs miracles.
” And said Jesus and to him, except ye see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
John 4:48
This verse is from a story where a nobleman approached Jesus about healing his son. Jesus, knowing the heart of the man, knew that he would not believe unless he had some visual proof. Too many people today will not believe until they have proof; and they are still waiting for it. Today, God commands us to live by faith and not by sight.

Unbelief will not be changed by proof.
“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:” John 12:36
Many today claim they would believe in God, if they could only see a miracle. All through the Bible people witnessed what God had done, but rarely did it make them believe. Again, God wants us to live by faith.

Unbelief believes only man, not God.
I am come in my father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” John 5:43-44
People will believe what they see on Oprah, Jerry Springer, what they read in the newspaper, or what they see on the television, but will not believe what God’s Word or what the man of God says. They just will not trust God.

Unbelief will send a person to Hell.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins
.” John 8:24
Many scoff and are proud of their unbelief. God clearly says that if you do not believe in the one that He sent to pay for your sins, you will go to hell.

Unbelief does not fool Jesus.
"But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." John 6:64
One of Jesus’ own followers, Judas, betrayed Him and pointed Him out to be sent to the torture of the cross. Judas looked like, talked like, and acted like the other men of God. Jesus knew, however, that He was not one of His. We have many that talk the talk, but are not saved themselves. Jesus knows!

Unbelief can prove that one is not a child of God.
"But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:" John 10:2
A true Christian believes! He believes what he reads in the scriptures, and believes what the Holy Spirit speaks to his heart about.

Unbelief keeps one from learning the Bible.
"Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." John 8:43-45
Unbelief, not trusting what God has recorded for us, will keep us from ever learning the truth .

"Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” — Bacon

This lesson was fetured in The Bible View #151.

  The Fundamental Top 500