I find it interesting that often we know more about what we DON’T believe than what we DO believe. I also find it interesting that no matter what I do or do not believe…….God remains the same. God is who He is and who He reveals Himself to be and who has revealed Himself to be, not what I make Him, want Him to be or even wish Him to be. He simply is. Moses asked Go who he was, what His name was and, “God said to Moses, “I-AM-WHO-I-AM.” (Exodus 3:14). So maybe we should concentrate on active belief…..rather than concentrating on active unbelief!
Mark 12:18 (TNIV)
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
The Sadducees were a group of conservative religious leaders that were diametrically opposed in belief, in many ways, to the Pharisees. The biggest theological difference is that they did not believe in a resurrection (afterlife), angels and spirits. They were generally more aggressive with their unbelief, often angrily compared to the Pharisees and most of this comes from the fact that they accepted only the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, the Books of Moses) and rejected the rest of the Old Testament. While the Pharisees BELIEVED in the coming Messiah (though they did not believe Jesus was that Messiah), the Sadducees believed more in cooperation with political powers and the pursuit of earthly prosperity.
Again, we have the religious elite in Jerusalem trying to trick Jesus. One way or another they were determined to eliminate Him! In the coming days we will look closer at this, however, today I want to focus on the phenomena of “active unbelief”
Active unbelief is as active and widespread today as it was in ancient days.
Active unbelief is rationalizing away our faith. Today, many of our moral opinions are based on consensus while faith in God is often seen as arrogant. Many people see death as the end, no afterlife. God is often seen as human psychological need for an authority figure in their life. Creation was just a by-product of atomic forces and a loving God, who is divine and sovereign, is often seen as simply a human invention that is sparked by religious imagination.
There was a time in my life when I was very active in my unbelief. But something happened…….I realized that I needed to stand for something because I had been falling for everything! As I embraced faith rather than looked for every reason to …….. I began to see the real living God, the real living Jesus. So, I am either a raving lunatic or I know what I am talking about. Few people (there than my wife, lol) would consider me a raving lunatic.
As I began embracing the truth, Jesus, I have come to see that active unbelief is simply a tool of Satan. To ward off His attacks on my faith, I simply concentrate on learning more, I concentrate on not only my testimony (what Jesus does in my life), I also embrace the testimony of those around me. I commune with God every day in prayer and I apply His wisdom and revel in the outcome.
Active unbelief is to rationalize lying, rationalize sexual promiscuity, rationalize anger, unforgiveness, killing, stealing……you name it….we can rationalize it can’t we? What I see is that when our faith is rationalized by active unbelief, it is often followed by wondering why life is so hard and why things don’t turn out the way we want them too. Some people start to believe they are simply victims.
I would point out that the Sadducees were believers in God. Active unbelief is just as prevalent among believers as unbelievers. The key is surrender, surrender your heart, accept God’s majesty and mystery, and most of all……build that relationship with Jesus, each and every day!
John 3:21 (TNIV)
But those who live by the truth come into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Why is it called “active unbelief”? I believe that it is because we allow Satan to be active in our belief……..we allow him to actively turn it into unbelief.