We shall continue looking at those seriously evil things that are destroying our inner life, which, sometimes, we may not even be aware of. The word of God is like an x-ray machine or a scanning machine that shows us what our inside is really like.
Let us turn today to Mark 4:37 where we read, once when Jesus was traveling in a boat across the lake with His disciples, there was fierce gale of storm and the waves breaking into the boat. The boat was filling up and they were going to sink. The disciples were scared while Jesus was asleep in the boat. They woke Him up and Jesus rebuked the wind and the wind became still. They were afraid that they would perish. They asked Him, "Master, doth it not concern thee that we perish?" And He said to them, "Why are you fearful? have you not faith yet?" (Mark 4:40)? Whenever we look at Jesus rebuking His disciples, we find Him reserving His strongest rebukes for one sin and that was unbelief.
We have been looking at sins which Jesus hated the most; sins which are not considered sins by most people in the world - Hypocrisy, pride, selfishness, hatred, and to the list we can add unbelief. Now unbelief is definitely not considered a sin by anybody in the world. The sad thing is, I think, 99% of believers, born again believers, also do not consider unbelief as a sin. They think it as a weakness. 'Yeah, I don't have enough faith, brother.' It is like saying, 'Well, I am not able to lift so many kilos of weight. I am weak. My right hand is weak.' Now if it were a weakness, it is not serious. No, it is serious because it is a sin. Jesus rebuked it as a sin. In fact, it is such a serious sin that in the book of Hebrews we are given a warning: "Take heed, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you ( "you" being those who are believers) an evil heart of unbelief, to depart from the living God." (Hebrews 3:12). It is clear that the reference is to believers.
What is an unbelieving heart called? An EVIL unbelieving heart! Now for an adulteress heart, we can understand, it being called an evil adulteress heart. Jesus spoke about an evil and adulteress generation in Matthew 16. A murderer's heart, we can say, as an evil murderer's heart. Maybe even a selfish heart, we could be a little more sensitive, and say that a selfish heart is also an evil heart or a proud heart is an evil heart. Maybe, if we have that much light, we can say a hypocritical heart is also an evil heart. Again, if we have greater light, a heart full of hatred can also be said as an evil heart. But how many people, who have light on all these sins, would also say that an unbelieving heart is an evil heart? But that is exactly what it says here in Hebrews 3:12. In fact, it can make you fall away from the living God altogether.
That is how serious it is. An unbelieving heart can make you fall away from the living God. And so, we see this is another sin that we need to take seriously. Seven times Jesus rebuked His disciples for unbelief, including even after His resurrection. He was rebuking them only for unbelief. It is not that they had conquered their other sins in their life. I am sure they were defeated by hundreds of sins. All those disciples were still seeking who was to be the greatest among them and many, many such things. But Jesus rebuked them only for unbelief.
Now unbelief is a sin, because it is an insult to God. When God has said something and you don't believe it, it is an insult to God. Supposing you are a student in the college and your father sent you a letter saying, 'Son, I have deposited 1000 dollars in your bank account for you to pay your fees.' But you say, 'Well, I am not so sure whether dad really has put it in. He may be bluffing me.' Don't you think that is an insult to your father? It certainly is. How much more then when God has said something and you don't believe it? Either we must say, 'No I don't believe the Bible as the word of God.' Then you are okay. Then you are not insulting God because you don't know what God has said. Supposing you are one of those people who believe that that there is no book in the world which is the word of God. There are people like that you know. They don't believe the Bible is the word of God, and that the Bible is written by certain people who expressed their ideas. Such people are not insulting God because they don't have any understanding of what God has said. But you, who are a believer, on one hand you say the Bible is the word of God and on the other, you don't believe what God has written there. You are the one who has an evil heart of unbelief, that is insulting God by saying, 'God said, but I don't believe it.'
Do you believe when God says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb. 13:5-6), that He really means it, that he will never fail you, never forsake you? Do you believe when it says in Romans 8:28, that every single thing that happens in your life; every single thing, big or small, God makes it all work together for your good? All the evil other people do to you; God will make it work together for your good. Do you believe that? If you believed it, it would change your whole attitude towards your life. You wouldn't hate that man for doing something evil to you because that evil works for your good. Everything depends on faith. If you have faith, you find that you can overcome many other sins.
The Bible says, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." Why it is so many believers are afraid of the devil? I will tell you why. It is not because the devil is powerful. I know the devil is powerful; he has more powerful than any believer, any human being has. No, it is because we don't have faith that he was defeated on Calvary's cross. If we believe God's words that, when Jesus died on the cross, He made Satan powerless (Hebrews 2:14), you wouldn't be afraid of the devil. He didn't kill the devil, no. The Bible is very exact. It says here that He made the devil powerless. That means that he has no power over a child of God. If you believe that, you would never be afraid of the devil again. You would never be afraid of witchcraft. You would never be afraid of anything. It all depends on faith.
See faith and fear are opposites. You cannot have faith and fear living in the same heart. You can have one of the two. When faith comes in, fear goes out. It is like light. When you put on the light, the darkness goes out of the room. How can you have darkness and light co-existing anywhere? It is impossible. If you switch off the light, then the darkness takes over the room. In the same way, for fear to come in, faith has to go out. Why did the disciples get scared? They thought, 'Hey, we are dying, the boat is drowning now.' You may find yourself in situations where it looks as if you are really going to sink and it looks as if Jesus is asleep. And you wonder, 'Lord don't you care?' It is a question that can often come from the heart of many people. 'Lord don't you care for us? Don't you understand what we are going through?' I want to tell you, He certainly does.
In the book of Job, we read, "He knows the way that I take" (Job 23:10) or He knows the way it is with me. Or "God knows every detail of what is happening to me." He knows every detail of what is happening to me! Do you believe that? Do you believe that all the minute details of the problems you are facing in your life, God knows it? He certainly does. Jesus was trying to stir up faith in His own disciples and He said in Matthew 10, "Don't be afraid." He further said, "You are of more value than many sparrows, and not one sparrow falls to the ground, anywhere on the earth, without your Father knowing about it" (Mathew 10:31). He also said "The very hairs on your head are all numbered." No human being can ever count the number of hairs in his head. That is impossible, even if he has very little hair. It is impossible to count the number of hairs on your head. But the Bible says that your heavenly Father knows the exact number of the hairs on your head.
When you don't trust Him, He is insulted. That is why unbelief is such a terrible sin. When you think that God will harm you instead of caring for you and protecting you, that is an insult to God. Supposing you went to your little 4-year old son's room in the middle of the night, say at 2 AM, to see if he was sleeping soundly. But he is sitting up in the bed scared and you ask him, 'Son what is wrong with you?' And if he replies, 'Daddy, I was afraid that in the middle of the night you would come and kill me or something like that,' how would you feel as a father? My son thinks I will harm him when he is asleep. How does God feel, as a Father, when you think that He will harm you? That He won't protect you? That the son has such fear?
Unbelief is an insult to God. Faith honors God. The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." Unbelief is a sin. Jesus came to save us from sin. Let us remember these sins. From these sins come many other sins, but let us remember these five: Hypocrisy, pride, selfishness, hatred, and unbelief. Ask Jesus to save you from all the five.