There is an increasing measure of unbelief in today's churches. Weak faith, little faith and no faith is at an all-time high. Strong faith, exceedingly great faith, and the kind of faith that causes Jesus to marvel (Matt. 8:10) is at an all-time low.
The first reason faith is now at an all-time low is because many believers don't read or hear the pure Word of God. There's a great mixture in our churches today. People put more faith in what the popular elevated teachers in the Christian culture say. They put more faith in man. They place their trust in logic, reasoning and the wisdom of men.
Not only do many Christians no longer read their Bibles frequently, but they don't bring their Bibles to church. Instead they use the Bible on their cell phones where they can be easily distracted and roam elsewhere.
For those Christians who do read their Bibles regularly many of them read diluted versions such as the NIV which has had over 64,576 words removed. That's equivalent to content from the book of Romans to Revelation. Other versions are common in modern Christendom such as The Message Bible and other such versions that have been greatly altered or are missing major original texts.
Additionally, there are many evangelical Christians who do not believe in some of the essential doctrines of the New Testament. For instance, the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues has been dumbed down by many. They don't believe it is essential for every believer to have. Unbeknownst to them, they have forsaken one of the principle doctrines of Christ called the doctrine of baptisms (Heb. 6:2), and what the early apostles considered essential to every believer (Acts 19:2; 11:15). You cannot build yourself up on your most holy faith without praying in the Holy Ghost, which for the most part is praying in other tongues (Jude 19-20). Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17), but praying in tongues stimulates your faith.
Divine healing is another important topic that many so called Bible believing Christians no longer believe. Oh, they believe in a general way that God heals, but He doesn't heal everyone, and not right now and not all the time. Granted, there are reasons some do not get healed, but one of the biggest reasons is due to unbelief.
Unbelief. It is one of the greatest sins of the church. Jesus rebuked His own disciples for being faithless (Matt. 17:17), unbelieving and hard of heart (Mark. 16:14), slow to believe (Luke. 24:25), and of little faith (Matt. 14:31). There is a blatant unbelief and a subtle unbelief in the church today. There is a mental ascent that some confuse with real heart faith. There are subtle suggestions made even by godly preachers that are based on experience instead of the Word of God that can erode and even ruin our faith.
One 28-year-old father was told by a minister that God allowed his 4-year-old son to die so that the man could be saved. When the man heard that he walked away from God saying, "the (expletive) with your God then." I'd hate to have what that minister said to that man on my conscience in the day of judgment.
As a subtler example, one popular preacher, in explaining why his daughter died of a terrible disease at an early age, said before a large audience that God told him that some believers are called to run a shorter race than others. That statement sounds good, but where can you find scriptural proof for that? In the Word of God you'll find quite the contrary—many scriptural references that promise health and long life.
Now I don't claim to have all the answers for reasons people die young or prematurely, and we certainly are to have compassion on the sick and on the families of those who have lost family members at a young age, especially children. But our experience cannot change what the Word of God explicitly establishes, and that is that health and long life are always the will of God. If we're not getting answers it's not because God needs to change, or His Word is not good. It means we need to change. Hindrances to our faith need to be removed.
People make choices and those choices can shorten or extend their lives or bring disease, destruction and death. I neither have time nor space to delve further into this most important subject. Perhaps another time.
When preachers, even godly ones, make erroneous statements based on experiences they've had that are not in line with the Word of God, it can steal faith from people's hearts and do them a great disservice.
Something as seemingly innocent as saying, "some Christians' races are shorter than others" to prove that an early or untimely death is the will of God in some cases, will leave many wondering and wavering about their own sick and diseased friends and loved ones. How can one exercise faith in God for healing, believing such things?
Faith begins where the will of God is known. How can we exercise our faith when we're not sure it's His will? And no, the old traditional church prayer that so many good-hearted but ignorant Christians have prayed for years such as, "Oh God, heal so-and-so, if it be Thy will," won't ever work. You can't pray the prayer of faith (James 5:14) with that kind of doubt and unbelief in your heart. The will of God to heal must be established first for you to pray with faith and confidence (1 John. 3:21).
You see, dear ones, it's not what you think the Bible says that matters. It's not what someone else told you the Bible says that matters. It's what you know for yourself that makes the difference in your life.
Don't listen to preachers who peddle doubt and unbelief. It will poison your spiritual life. It can keep you sick and even kill you. Watch your spiritual diet. You can listen to a holiness preacher who has no understanding of faith at all, and you will benefit from it, but don't listen to him when he feeds you with doubt and unbelief concerning other things in the Word of God that he may not understand at all. In matters of faith and holiness don't ever compromise.
As an example of holiness being compromised, I heard another very popular American television preacher say that homosexuality is not sin, but brokenness. Do you realize when you make a statement like that before a national television audience how it will release deception on multitudes? Because many respect that preacher they will believe him instead of what the Scriptures actually teach (Rom. 1:26-28, 32). It is very dangerous to place the word of a man above the Word of God. Homosexuality may result from brokenness but the Bible calls it a shameful and abominable practice. It is sin. We must minister deliverance with love and compassion to such who are under this bondage and want to be free.
Let's get back to the Bible and its doctrines and practices. If you're not in a habit of reading the Bible on a regular basis, I challenge you to read several chapters of the New Testament every day for just a month. Then gauge your faith level at the end of that month. If you're sick, go through the healing Scriptures in the Bible for a good amount of time until your faith rises up and takes hold of God's promises for healing and health.
Feed your faith on the word of God and from those who know something about faith, and starve your doubts to death. Praise God for His unchangeable Word!
Bert Farias' books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. Cleansing the Temple is his most recent release. You can follow him personally on Facebook, his Facebook ministry page, or Twitter.
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