Heart of Unbelief
Passover is just around the corner and it is that time when we should be diligently examining ourselves to ascertain to what degree we are living up to our baptismal covenant. A hundred times or more we’ve seen statements like, “Passover is a memorial of the New Covenant sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.” We need to be careful not to read right over statements like that too quickly. We are to take them to heart. The purpose of this “Countdown to the Return of Jesus Christ,” is to show that covenants are real serious things – whether it is a covenant that God makes or a covenant that we enter into.
“Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:28)
Our own personal baptism was similar to Christ’s Passover wherein all our previous sins were covered by the blood of Jesus. At baptism we entered into a covenant with God the Father and Jesus Christ to sin no more – and to walk in the Spirit. That covenant was necessary to obtain forgiveness of our transgressions. At baptism we shared Christ’s death by burying the old man of sin—and we share in His resurrection and new life by emerging from the watery grave (Romans 6:4-5). That is the covenant that we must abide by.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)
Are we unwittingly breaking our covenant with God? Could we be breaking our baptismal Covenant? Could our conduct show that we are not true believers after all? Over and over we are given these reminders to be faithful believers.
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” (Jude :5)
Like us today, the children of Israel thought that they had it made – but they fell in the wilderness through unbelief – short of the Promised Land. This is an indication that it is possible for us to miss out on the Kingdom of God.
“Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea… But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (1 Corinthians 10:1, 5)
“With many of them” is an understatement! Only Joshua and Caleb made it into the Promised Land – along with those who were not old enough to exhibit their faith. Why are we being warned of this? It is because it is a very real possibility that this example applies directly to us. (1 Corinthians 10:6) Paul says that we should take note and not make the same mistakes that they made. What was it that the Israelites did not believe? They did not believe Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:9).
Of course, every last person in God’s Church thinks to himself that he would not stoop so low as to reject God as the Israelites did. Why did those Israelites have to go through so much trouble in the wilderness for forty years? That seems like a very long time. These Scriptures were written and preserved especially for us in these last days.
“All these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12)
I think that I stand – don’t you? God’s word says to you and me that we are to take heed.
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God… So we see that they could not enter in [to the Promised Land] because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:12, 19)
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