Herald Journal Columns
May 9, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

The sin of unbelief will destroy the world

By Rev. Leland D. Bendix, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Annandale

Where have all my children gone? I wonder if this isn’t a question that God is asking. Not that He doesn’t know, but as a rhetorical question, with a little satire added.

I see a church of today that no longer holds to the truth of God’s word. More and more, it is being explained away with man’s desire to have things his way.

God, who does not change, has given His Word, which does not change, to us so that we would come to know Him and His will for our lives. “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31 NIV)

It is of this very thing that God warns us through Paul in his letter to Timothy, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NIV)

The truth is no longer sought after, but rather, people seek what makes them feel good and allows them to do what they want.

In it’s desire to be more accommodating to people, the majority of churches have toned down the indictment against the world and the way of all flesh that God has given in His Word. They have replaced it with a mixture of worldly love that has no real substance and is poisoned with untruths that finally bring about destruction and death.

It is the sin of unbelief that will destroy the world. John 3:16 is often quoted, but little regard is given to 3:18, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (NIV)

It is Jesus who said, “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:48 NIV)

And, again, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 NIV)

God, in love for us, sent His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to die in our place for our sins so that we, through faith in Him, would have life, eternal life.

He who does not believe remains in his sins and the wrath of God rests upon him for he has not believed in His Son. But, he who repents and believes in the Son of God has forgiveness of all his sins, and with that, eternal life.

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