The common notion held by many when it comes to belief in God is "seeing is believing". The cry goes forth, "show me and I will believe". Many hold faith to be simply a leap in the dark; but the Bible rejects this idea and rather teaches that faith is a firm persuasion based upon an encounter with the living God!! Faith is a conscious decision to place ones trust and confidence in One who is trustworthy; to place one's faith in One who is faithful!!
This message seeks to bring out the root of the sin of unbelief. The children of Israel beheld the terror and glory of God firsthand; they heard His voice as thunder and beheld His gory as a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night!! They saw the manifest power of His might as He parted the Red Sea and they saw His tender kindness as He fed them with Manna from heaven!! Yet in spite of this, they refused to be persuaded of God's goodness and faithfulness and refused to be convinced of God's trustworthiness. Through their hardened hearts, they tempted the Lord again and again, charging Him with evil and saying, is the LORD among us, or not? A solemn warning goes forth in this message; "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God"
As Christians, we are duty bound and under solemn command by the King to keep the records clean when it comes to our debtors. We are called by the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive those who have sinned against us and the Bible makes no allowances and no apologies. Yet, there are many professing Christians who Sunday after Sunday, pour into Churches shouting hallelujah's with hands raised and yet are harbouring unforgiveness in their hearts towards others. The Lord tells us plainly that our horizontal relationships with men affect our vertical relationship with God and that if things are amiss with our brother, things are amiss with God and we need first to sort things out with our Brother before offering worship to God!!
This sermon brings a challenge to the Body of Christ and seeks to bring out the nature of true forgiveness, and the wickedness of unforgiveness. May God grant us grace to ponder this message and to be not hearers only but doers of His Word!!
The Bible speaks of a particular member of our body, so small and yet so powerful; "a little member, and boasteth great things...a fire, a world of iniquity...setteth on fire the course of nature; and is set on fire of hell...an unruly evil, full of deadly poison" (Jms. 3). Which member is this the Bible alludes to? The tongue!!
We are exhorted, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain" (Jms. 1:26). As believers bound to the royal law of love, the word of God charges us strictly that we should not give ourselves to gossip and slander but rather we should love our fellow man!! This message cuts to the very heart of the matter and exposes the malicious spirit behind gossip and slander. The challenge goes forward with conviction calling believers to abstain from such talk. May God give us grace to heed!!