March 24, 2022 — The Mistake of Unbelief

“I was reading in the Book of Acts earlier this morning,” Stan said, “and I saw something about a really big mistake some people made, a mistake that at one point in my life I was in danger of making.”

“What kind of mistake?” I asked.

“Well,” Stan said, “on the first missionary journey taken by Paul and Barnabas, they were talking to a lot of people about Jesus.”

“Was that a mistake?” I asked.

“Absolutely not,” Stan replied. “That’s what they were supposed to do! They talked to a lot of Jews who responded positively to the truth of Christ, but some of the Jewish leaders were upset that so many people were paying attention to what Paul and Barnabas were saying about Jesus.”

“Same thing today,” I commented. “Some people get upset when others are talking about Jesus.”

“You’re right,” Stay replied. “And with some of the Jewish leaders that Paul and Barnabas were dealing with, they were contradicting and repudiating what Paul and Barnabas had said. And those leaders let being upset lead to their big mistake.”

“And what was that?” I asked. “And does anything that happened that long ago have anything to do with you today?”

“It sure does,” Stan replied. “At one point, Paul and Barnabas said something to the Jewish leaders that should have awakened them, but it didn’t. Same thing with me, except I was able to avoid their mistake.”

“How so?”

“They told the Jewish leaders that it was necessary that the word of God be spoken to them first, but since they repudiated it, they had judged themselves unworthy of eternal life.”

“Unworthy of eternal life!” I exclaimed. “Wow. That was a big blast at pointing out a mistake.”

“You’re right, my friend,” Stan replied, and then added, “I was right there with them at one point in my life in that I had repudiated the word of God. I had not accepted His free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when my time here is finished. As well, I had repudiated the eternal life of knowing Him and Jesus before then.”

“Big mistakes you avoided,” I replied. “I would guess there are a lot of people wandering around not even knowing they are making similar mistakes.”

“Right again,” Stan said. “And how are they going to know unless someone tells them? Someone went out of her way to point out I was making a mistake. Can I do anything less?”

“But what if they don’t want to hear about it?” I asked.

“That’s between them and God,” Stan replied. “I can’t force anyone to believe, but I sure can tell them about how I was able to avoid the mistake of unbelief.”

“Like a personal testimony?” I asked.

“That’s it!” Stan replied with a smile.

_________________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

And Barnabas and Paul spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.”  Acts of the Apostles 13:46.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. John 17:3.

For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And shall they hear without the preacher? Romans 10:13-14.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for those people you brought into my life to tell me the truth of your free and gracious provision of life eternally with you, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus before then. I confess that too often I do not tell others so they can avoid the same mistake I was on the path to making—the mistake of spending eternity apart from you. Please help me in following every step of your lead in bringing the truth to others, as well as bringing others to the truth, so they will avoid a mistake they will regret for all of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring all of these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this: Not being in God’s eternal presence when your time here is done is a mistake that can be avoided. Have you done so by accepting His free and gracious provision so you will not spend eternity regretting your mistake? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in avoiding the mistake of not pursuing the eternal life of knowing God and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship on this side of eternity? If you are not pursuing the eternal life of knowing God, do you see that as a mistake? Why or why not? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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