I deeply believe that the sin of unbelief is among the most devastating in modern Christianity. Unbelief spiritually puts us to sleep and binds us little by little, inexorably, year after year, until we accept the unacceptable.
The Kingdom of God worldwide is presently experiencing the greatest spiritual revival in the history of mankind. However, during the same period of time, more than 90 percent of evangelical churches throughout North America and Europe have shown no significant growth. They are reduced to recalling their past awakenings, or desperately clinging to the latest fad promising some breathtaking and instantaneous breakthrough. Please understand me. The revivals in Africa, China, Korea, Latin America, and in countries formally behind the Iron Curtain fill us with joy and praise. I thank God for what He has done yesterday—but I am here today! I must repent (change direction) for the dullness in my faith that has caused me to tolerate the intolerable. It is inconceivable to live in such spiritual drought and accept this dreadful routine while new pages of the greatest soul-winning revival in history are being written before our very eyes around the world.
Unbelief is more serious and devastating than we can understand or fathom. Surrounded by a world filled with immorality, decadence, idolatry and demonic religious rituals, Jesus stood firm and stayed strong. But He wept at unbelief; it literally tore Him up. In the gospels, when dealing with Lazarus’ loved ones, Jesus wept because of their hardness of heart and refusal to trust Him (John 11:33-35). He wept as they refused to believe in His promises of power and resurrection—and He weeps over us today as we sit comfortably in spiritual apathy, as we build up rationalizations and embarrassing pseudo-religious “doctrines,” rituals, and sophisticated explanations that allow us to justify our lives so void of true power and supernatural fruit.
My friends, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and there is no favoritism with our God (see Hebrews 13:8 and Acts 10:34-35). He is immutable (He never changes), omnipotent (there is nothing He cannot do), absolutely just and totally committed and desirous of doing in your life, your city, your church what He is so majestically and so supernaturally doing all over the world. Between us and the limitless greatness of His power stands the gulf of unbelief. That is why we cannot live another day without crying out: Lord, increase our faith!
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.