“If You Believe Not”

By Frank Vondracek

Jesus said, “...if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). The importance of FAITH in Jesus Christ as the Son of God cannot be overstated or stressed too much. The apostle John wrote his gospel account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Seven of the miracles, which Jesus worked during His public ministry, are recorded by John. To explain the purpose for spending so much of his biography of Jesus on His miracles, John wrote, “...these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name” (John 20:31).

The Bible says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6).

We are given many examples in the Bible of people who had FAITH that pleased God. Perhaps the most prominent, besides Jesus Himself, is Abraham. God dealt with this man in such a way that FAITH was all Abraham had to give to God. For instance, God told Abraham to leave his father’s house and go to a strange country. Abraham did exactly that, not knowing what to expect. God then made three promises to Abraham which were fulfilled in the generations of his descendents, the children of Israel. Abraham BELIEVED that God would keep His word. Perhaps the most familiar and startling demonstration of Abraham’s FAITH came whenever God required him to offer his only son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. We remember that although Abraham has another son, Ishmael, it was Isaac whom God declared to be the son through whom the promises would be fulfilled. Abraham was willing to TRUST God to such an extent that he placed the boy on the wood of the altar he had built on Mount Moriah and raised the knife to slay Isaac. God stayed his hand when Abraham’s FAITH had been shown. The Hebrews writer informs us that Abraham believed so much in God and His word, and knowing that the promises would have to be accomplished through Isaac and his family, that he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead in order to keep His word (Heb 11:19). It is time to ask yourself - “Just how deeply do I trust God at His word?” With Abraham, when God spoke, that was sufficient. Abraham’s FAITH in God caused him to OBEY with TRUST. The apostle Paul said of Abraham’s FAITH, “Abraham believed God, and it [BELIEF—fv] was counted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

God asks no man today to offer his children as a sacrifice. But He does require each one of us to BELIEVE in Him as the Almighty One and to believe in Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, whom God gave to us as the sacrifice for our sins. The price has been paid for our iniquities. We must BELIEVE this. The promise of God is that if we BELIEVE in Jesus unconditionally according to His revealed word, and submit ourselves to His will in following Him wherever He leads us, we will be saved (Matt7:24-25).

Let me ask you, fellow Christian: Do you BELIEVE God? And to what extent are you willing to OBEY Jesus as Lord? In all things, as He directs?

You see, there were those in the Bible who were said to BELIEVE in Jesus (John 12:42), but it is also pointed out that they would not confess Him, nor would they obey Him, for fear of what men might do to them. Jesus cautioned His own hand-selected apostles of the coming persecution and dangers they would face as His disciples. But Jesus told them not “to fear what men can do to you,” because at most they could only harm and kill the physical body (Matt 10:28). Fear can be a helpful emotion because it can rescue us from surrounding and oncoming dangers. But fear to the extent that we fail to maintain FAITH and TRUST in Jesus Christ, but rather give in to the demands, dictates and pressures of sinful men who would harm or even kill us, is NOT faith which pleases God. Cowards will be dealt with at the Judgment Throne of Christ (Rev 21:8). But people of God, who will remain faithful to Jesus, even through dangers and death, will be relieved from the hardships of this life at that same Judgment Throne (Matt 25:334).

Abraham is an important fellow to God, and by showing us his FAITH in his God, we are given an example of a man whom we would do well to emulate. Remember, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” Now repeat the same sentence, only this time put your name in the place of that sterling man of God. How does it sound? What epitaph would be better suited for the faithful child of God when this life is over? THINK ABOUT IT, DEAR READER.

Frank Vondracek is a former engineer who started preaching full time in mid-1983. He has preached with churches in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Kentucky. He served as one of the elders with the Kimberly Road church in Davenport, Iowa. He presently preaches for the church in Tompkinsville, KY. He also has been involved in preaching the gospel in Kenya, East Africa since 1996. He can be contacted at frankv832@alltel.net.

Return To Front Page