Weekend, September 16, 2023
The Real Reason for Unbelief
“All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.” (John 3:20 NLT)
In this age of advancing technology, it seems as though people are more superstitious than ever. So many people today are interested in supernatural phenomena. From astrology to psychic hotlines, they grab at whatever is offered, wanting desperately to see something supernatural.
People want to believe there is a dimension of life other than their physical existence. And they have an interest in just about anything except the truth of the Word of God.
Wherever it comes from, it’s intriguing—as long as it doesn’t come from the Bible. If it comes from the pages of Scripture, then they don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to talk about it.
As Jesus pointed out, the reason people cannot come to the truth is because their deeds are evil, and they don’t want them to be exposed (see John 3:19-20). It isn’t because people are necessarily confused or because there are hypocrites in the church. Rather, it’s because they don’t want to change the way they’re living.
Matthew’s Gospel tells us that a group of religious leaders approached Jesus, looking for a miraculous sign.
Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The people of Nineveh will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent” (Matthew 12:39-41 NLT).
In the church today there’s a growing interest in and fascination with supernatural phenomena. Believers want an experience with God, and there is nothing wrong with that. But we must be careful. We cannot seek experience at any cost.
Experience must always be subservient to truth. It must always be ordered under what is right. We cannot say something is true because we experienced it. Rather, we should say we know something is true because we find it in Scripture, which verifies our experience.
However, some people seek experience for the sake of it, wanting to have what they think is a touch from God. Self-proclaimed prophets give out their messages and proclaim their visions, and they’re rarely held accountable for the outcome.
On one hand, we don’t want to limit God through unbelief, because we want Him to do His miracles in our lives. But on the other hand, we cannot simply believe every so-called prophet.
Interestingly, in the Book of Acts the apostles never announced miracles ahead of time. We don’t read of the early church distributing flyers for upcoming signs and wonders. That’s because their focus wasn’t on miracles. They left miracles up to the Holy Spirit. Rather, their focus was on proclaiming the Word of God.
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