Vengeance

 VENGEANCE

 

(Retribution And Revenge)

DEFINITION:  Vengeance–retribution or revenge–is the infliction of injury, harm, humiliation or punishment in return for an injury or offence.

FACTS ABOUT VENGEANCE:

God forbids revenge.  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).

 Vengeance is God’s responsibility.  It is a function that God alone is to execute (Romans 12:19).  When you take matters into your own hands and seek retribution, you are trying to assume God’s authority.

Revenge does not bring closure.  It does not help you forget the wrong you suffered and it does not help you heal emotionally or spiritually.  True healing from wrongs suffered cannot be attained when you are violating God’s Word by seeking or executing revenge.

You are to love your enemies.  God’s strategy for dealing with someone who wrongs you is to show them love and compassion (Luke 6:27) and seek to resolve offences (Matthew 18:15-16).

DEALING WITH  VENGEANCE:

Ask God for forgiveness.  If you have had vengeful thoughts, sought, or taken revenge, ask God to forgive you because you have violated His Word.

Ask God to give you love for the offender.  This is not something you can generate on your own.  It comes through God’s power and the Holy Spirit being manifested in your life.

If you have taken revenge, seek forgiveness.  Ask the one upon whom you took revenge to forgive you.  Follow the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-16.

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT VENGEANCE:

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.  (Leviticus 19:18)

Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice. (Proverbs 24:17)

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you. (Proverbs 25:21-22)

You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39)

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17)

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. (Luke 6:27)

Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)

When they hurled their insults at him (Jesus), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

 

 

 

 

Unpardonable Sin

UNPARDONABLE SIN

 

DEFINITION:  The phrase “unpardonable sin” is not actually used in the Bible, but the term is based on Matthew 12:30-31 where Jesus mentions a sin that cannot be forgiven, a transgression that is deemed “unpardonable.”

FACTS ABOUT  THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:

The unpardonable sin is a scriptural concept. Although the actual phrase is not used, it is drawn from an event recorded in Matthew 12:22-31.  When Jesus cast a demon out of a blind and mute man, the Pharisees claimed He had cast it out by the power of Bellzebub, the prince of demons.  From this reference comes the concept of the unpardonable sin.  The Pharisees were attributing the work of God to Satan and Jesus said this was an unpardonable sin.

The unpardonable sin is attributing the work of God to Satan. This results in a reprobate mind that does not desire or seek repentance:  “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28).

Satan often uses this to torment those seeking forgiveness from sin.  They think their case is hopeless because they have committed the unpardonable sin.  When a person truly has committed this sin, he will not have any interest in spiritual things, nor will he have any desire to repent because he believes that the work of God is actually that of Satan.

 DEALING WITH THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:

Distinguish between other sins and the unpardonable sin.  People who have murdered or abused a child, etc., may believe they have committed the unpardonable sin.  Their guilt and shame may make them think their transgression is unpardonable. Do not minimize the seriousness of sin–whatever it is–but know that even such vile things as these are not unpardonable.

 Recognize that because you are concerned, this indicates that you have not committed the unpardonable sin.  It is God that draws men to repentance (John 6:44).  You would not be concerned about repenting and being forgiven, nor would you desire absolution for sin if you had committed the unpardonable sin.

 Realize that God is willing to forgive all other sins.  He forgives all your sins (Psalm 103:3).  Aside from the “unpardonable sin”, the only other sin that cannot be pardoned is sin which is not confessed:  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:9-10)

Pray a prayer of repentance.  Confess your sin to God, ask forgiveness, and  He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Bind the torment of Satan.  If Satan returns with thoughts that you have committed the unpardonable sin, bind these thought sin the name of Jesus.  Command them to go!

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT THE UNPARDONABLE SIN:

 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.  All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”  But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”  Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.  If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?  And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.  But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

(Matthew 12:22-32)

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him… (John 6:44)

 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:28).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10)

(See also the topics of “Assurance” and “Doubt” in this database.)

 

Unfaithfulness

UNFAITHFULNESS

 

DEFINITION Unfaithfulness means to be untrue to a duty, obligation, or promise.  It means being untrustworthy or acting as a traitor.  The Bible speaks of several types of unfaithfulness:  Unfaithfulness to God and His work, to friends and family, and to a spouse.

FACTS ABOUT  UNFAITHFULNESS:

Unfaithfulness to God.  When you accept Jesus as Savior, you are promising to make Him the Lord of your life.  When you violate your promise and do things your own way or turn your back on God or His Word, you are being unfaithful.   Without faith, it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).  The parable of the talents in Matthew 5 confirms the importance of faithfulness.

An unfaithful spouse.  Unfaithfulness to a mate–adultery–is biblical grounds for divorce  (Matthew 19:9), but you are not required to divorce an unfaithful mate.  The alternative is to seek to restore the relationship if both parties are willing.  The erring party must be forgiven, both by God and their spouse.  The unfaithful person must be absolutely discreet and honest about any dealings with the opposite sex in the future in order to rebuild trust. (See also the topics of “Divorce”  and “Adultery” in this database.)

An unfaithful friend.    An unfaithful friend can be a source of great disappointment.  Perhaps they reject you or expose your confidences.   The Bible says “Like a bad tooth or a lame foot  is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble” (Proverbs 25:29).

DEALING WITH UNFAITHFULNESS:

Acknowledge unfaithfulness as sin.  Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  Acts of unfaithfulness, unbelief, iniquity, etc.–anything that is not of faith is sin and must be acknowledged as such.

Confess your unfaithfulness to God.  Confess and ask forgiveness:  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives” (1 John 1:9-10).

Confess unfaithfulness to your spouse and seek forgiveness. Ask forgiveness from your mate, seek reconciliation, and break the adulterous relationship.   If reconciliation with your spouse is the goal, then the incident must be forgiven and never again brought up. When Satan tries to bring up the past, these thoughts must be rejected.

Confess unfaithfulness to friends and family.  Ask those affected by your unfaithfulness to forgive you.

Forgive an unfaithful friend.  Forgive your friend, then go to them according to the pattern described in Matthew 18:15-17.  If he rejects you, then let him remain an acquaintance instead of a close friend.  If he accepts you, pray together for restoration of the friendship.  If a friend is abusive or leads you into sin, addictions, or violence,  do not attempt to reconcile. (See also the topic of “Friends” in this database.)

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT UNFAITHFULNESS:

A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. (Proverbs 11:13)

Like a bad tooth or a lame foot  is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble. (Proverbs 25:29)

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.  (Matthew 18:15-17)

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10, KJV)

…everything that does not come from faith is sin.  (Romans 14:23)

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2, KJV)

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

(Hebrews 10:23, KJV)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:9-10)

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)

Read the parable of the faithful servant in Matthew chapter 25.

(See also the topic of “Adultery” in this database.)

 

Unbelief

UNBELIEF

 

DEFINITION:  The biblical meaning of unbelief is refusing to believe in God and His Word. Unbelief is a lack of faith.

FACTS ABOUT UNBELIEF:

The Bible says you are a fool if you do not believe in God.  “The fool says in his heart, “‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1).

Some people refuse to be convinced.  Jesus said that if people would not listen to the Moses and the prophets, then they would not believe even if someone rose from the dead to confirm the reality of God and His Word (Luke 16:31).  Even supernatural miracles will not convince someone who refuses to be convinced (John 4:48).

If you do not believe in God, you are condemned.  Jesus said,  “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).

 Unbelief hinders you from receiving God’s promises.  You may believe in God, but if you are filled with unbelief regarding the promises in His Word you will miss many great spiritual blessings.  God promised Israel their land, but their unbelief kept them from claiming it for forty years!  They could not enter in because of their unbelief  (Hebrews 3:19) .

Unbelief hinders the work of God.  Jesus did not do miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58).

If you deny Christ, He will deny you.  “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

DEALING WITH  UNBELIEF:

Examine reasons for unbelief.  What caused you to reject God and His Word?  Perhaps it was  disappointment  because of unanswered prayer or a great tragedy you experienced.  Perhaps you received false teaching.  Go to the root cause of your unbelief.

Recognize the vital importance of believing in God and His Word.  Your eternal destiny is at stake:  “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).  Revelation 21:8 says those who refuse to believe will be separated from God for eternity.

Confess unbelief as sin.  Whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  Confess your unbelief to God and ask forgiveness.

Ask God to help you believe.  As the father who brought his ailing child to Jesus, cry out  by faith: “Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!”  (Mark 9:24).

Study the Word, pray, and fellowship with believers.  These three basics will strengthen your core beliefs in God and His Word.  Faith comes by the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers strengthens it (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 3:12-13).

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT UNBELIEF:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13)

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58)

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ” (Matthew 17:19-21, NKJV)

“Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!”  (Mark 9:24).

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. (Mark 15:14, NKJV)

If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.  (Luke 16:31)

If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. (Luke 22:67-68)

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  (John 1:12-13)

Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18)

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:36)

Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, Jesus told him, you will never believe. (John 4:48)

You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39-40)

The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe. (John 6:63)

For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (John 7:5)

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.  (John 8:24)

Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? (John 8:46)

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. (John 12:37)

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”  (Acts 16:31)

Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20-21)

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.   (Romans 10:9-10)

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.  (Romans 10:17)

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.  (Hebrews 3:19)

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.   (Hebrews 11:6)

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:23)

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.   (Revelation 21:8)

(See also the topics of “Doubt” and “Faith” in this database.)

 

 

Trust Issues

TRUST ISSUES 

 

DEFINITION Trust is believing  in the integrity of someone, that they are who they say they are and will do what they said they will do.  It is believing with confident expectation.  Biblically, trust is a firm reliance, assurance, and belief on God and His Word.  When someone has “trust issues”, it means they lack trust in a person, a relationship, or God.

FACTS ABOUT TRUST:

Trust can be misplaced.  When dealing with others, your trust can be misplaced and you can be disappointed.  This can result in what is termed “trust issues”, where you have difficulty trusting someone because of disappointments in the past.

Trust in God is never misplaced.  The Psalmist said:  “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7).

Trust is actually an expression of your faith in God.   By trusting God, you are showing that you have assurance that He is who He says He is and that His Word is true.  Trust also provides assurance of your salvation and eternal destiny.

DEALING WITH  TRUST:

Ask God to heal your trust issues.  If you have difficulty trusting God or others because of past experiences, ask the Lord to heal these emotions.

Ask forgiveness if you have been untrustworthy. Ask God to forgive you and ask the person you failed to forgive you.

Do not rely on man. This is not to say you should not trust people, but your main trust should be in the Lord.  Do not place your trust in untrustworthy people (Proverbs 25:19). 

Place your trust in God.  Rely on the Lord because He will never fail you (Romans 10:11).

 

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT  TRUST:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  (Deuteronomy 31:8)

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. (Psalm 9:10, NKJV)

Help, Lord for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. (Psalms 12:1)

Some trust in chariots and some in horses., but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Psalm 20:7)

For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken. (Psalm 21:7)

To you, 0 Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, 0 my God.  O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalm 25:1-2)

In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness. (Psalm 31:1,NKJV)

I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.”  (Psalm 31:14)

Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. (Psalm 32:10)

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. (Psalm 33:21)

Trust in the Lord and do good. (Psalm 37:3)

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.  (Psalm 40:4)

I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. (Psalm 52:8)

But as for me, I trust in you. (Psalm 55:23)

When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?  (Psalm 56:3-4)

Trust in him at all times, 0 people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:8)

You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. (Psalm 86:2)

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”  (Psalm 91:2)

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.  (Psalm 118:8-9)

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. (Psalm 125:1)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. (Psalm 143:8)

Do not put your trust in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.  (Psalm 146:3, NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and, he will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Like a bad tooth or a lame foot  is reliance on the unfaithful in times of trouble.  (Proverbs 25:19)

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.  (Proverbs 29:25)

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)

Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. (Isaiah 50:10)

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength  and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”  (Jeremiah 17:5)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. (Jeremiah 17:7)

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?  And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?   (Luke 16:10-12)

Anyone who trusts in him (God) will never be put to shame.  (Romans 10:11)

I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (John 14:1)