1. In John 3:16 Jesus emphasized the importance of "belief." a. Belief in the Lord is a response to God's love and His gift. b. Belief in the Lord is a requirement for receiving God's blessing of everlasting life. 2. The Bible contains many other passages that teach us what we need to know about "belief." 3. The Bible also has much to say about "unbelief." 4. In our lesson we are covering a number of passages that explain the seriousness of "unbelief." 5. Let us first point out how . . .
I. THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD CAN BE GUILTY OF UNBELIEF
A. Those who are familiar with Moses know that he believed in God. B. However, in Numbers 20 we read about an occasion when God said that Moses did not believe Him. 1. (vs.7-8) God told Moses to speak to the rock, and He would give water. 2. (vs.9-11) Moses struck the rock with his rod. 3. (vs.12a) God said that Moses did not believe Him. 4. (vs.12b) God did not allow Moses to enter the Promised Land. C. Later we will read several verses in Hebrews that show how Christians can become guilty of unbelief.
II. THE LORD'S WORK WAS HINDERED BY UNBELIEF
A. Jesus was raised in Nazareth, a city in Galilee. B. In Mark 6:1-6 we read about an occasion when Jesus visited this area. 1. (vs.1) Jesus and His disciples traveled to "His own country." 2. Note the reaction of the people when Jesus taught in the synagogue (vs.2-4). 3. According to vs.5-6,: a. Jesus only healed a few sick people b. Jesus "marveled because of their unbelief" c. Jesus went to other areas where He taught. C. The Lord will bless those who have faith.
III. THE DISCIPLES' POWER WAS LIMITED BY THEIR UNBELIEF
A. (Matthew 10:1) Jesus gave miraculous power to the apostles. B. In Matthew 17 we read about an occasion when they could not heal someone. 1. (vs.14-16) A man asked Jesus to heal his son -- the disciples could not. 2. (vs.17-18) Jesus healed the child. 3. (vs.19-20) Jesus explained that the disciples could not heal him because of their unbelief. C. Let us remember: "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).
IV. SERIOUS WARNINGS CONCERNING UNBELIEF ARE GIVEN TO CHRISTIANS
A. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16) We must guard against the influence of unbelievers. B. Much is said in Hebrews about unbelief. 1. (3:12) Unbelief will lead to a departure from God. 2. (3:17-19) To illustrate, unbelief kept many of the Israelites out of Canaan. 3. (4:11) We must avoid the mistake of the Israelites. C. Unbelievers will lose their souls (Revelation 21:8).
V. THE BIBLE REVEALS SOME GOOD NEWS ABOUT UNBELIEF
A. (Mark 9:24) The man who asked Jesus to heal his son also asked Jesus to help him with his unbelief -- unbelief can be overcome. B. (1 Timothy 1:12-15) The Lord forgave Paul [Saul] of his unbelief (Acts 22:16).
1. When Jesus gave the Great Commission He dealt with belief and unbelief. 2. In Mark 16:16 Jesus: a. connected belief and baptism with salvation b. stated that unbelief results in condemnation (John 8:24).