According to Google, unbelief means “lack of religious belief; an absence of faith.” Without much discussion, we can already tell what the danger of unbelief is. From our study last week, we were made to understand that without faith, no man can please God (Heb. 11:6). If we are then living in unbelief, it means we are living in the absence of faith. Christians are often called “believers”. In essence, unbelief is contradictory to our lifestyle.
The Israelites lost their access to enter the rest of God because of their unbelief. Hebrews chapter 3 warns of this danger. Unbelief leads us to rebellion. It causes us to depart from God and also prevents us from partaking of Christ. (Heb. 3:7-19)
Unbelief doesn’t start when we say we longer believe in the existence of God or in the deity of Jesus. It starts from not trusting His word or His ability to bring it to pass. When we do not believe in God’s word, we insult Him. In fact, it is belittling. (Psalm 78:19-22; Mark 16:14)
When Jesus was on earth, He performed many miracles in several locations. But there was one region where He couldn’t do much. Not because of a varying level of power, but because of their unbelief. Only a few of their sick were healed because the unbelief in that city was great (Matt. 13:58). Unbelief hinders God’s work in and through our lives. When the disciples were confronted with the challenge of healing an epileptic child that was brought to them, they couldn’t. There was something God wanted to do for that child. But He couldn’t do it through the disciples. Jesus told them that though such type of demon doesn’t go out except by prayer and fasting, they were unable to cast it out because of their unbelief (Matt. 17:17-21). God wants to do marvelous things in and through you but until you do away with unbelief, you would not be able to enjoy that benefit.
We also risk having unanswered prayers when we live in unbelief. A major factor that plays in the answering of our prayers is whether we believe or not. Remember, all things are possible to they that believe (Mark 9:23). (Mark 11:24; James 1:6)
Our eternal salvation is dependent on our choice to believe or not. John 3:16 says for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shouldn’t perish but have everlasting life. Unbelief in Jesus Christ leads us to perish, but to believe is to have eternal life. We put ourselves at risk of condemnation when we do not believe in Jesus Christ.
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”John 3:18
However, if we’re being factual, it can be hard to believe sometimes. Sarah had a hard time believing that she could bear a child at her age (Gen. 18:10-14). The father of the mute child who was healed by Jesus cried out “I believe, Lord help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). It can be hard to do away with unbelief sometimes but this is what we can learn from God’s word. The scripture lets us know that Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). We are also made to know that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1; 14). Therefore, we can safely infer that our faith becomes perfected, leaving no room for unbelief, when we remain rooted in the word. That is, when we stay close to the word, studying it.
We stay on guard against unbelief when we exhort one another daily (Heb. 3:12-13). As much as you do your personal study of the bible, belong to a Christ-centred fellowship. The church is an institution ordained by God to foster the growth of believers, as well as strengthen our faith. “I believe in God but I don’t do church” is not a principle ordained by God. The tongue is useless without the teeth. We need one another to function as we ought to. Again, remember that as iron sharpens iron, so does the countenance of a brother sharpens the other (Prov. 27:17).