Believers can’t make people trust in God

When it comes to those opposed to believing in him, God can’t seem to win.

When it comes to those opposed to believing in him, God can’t seem to win.

When Israel was led out of Egypt, God performed miraculous signs by destroying the land of Egypt and also drowning their army in the Red Sea. He guided them in the desert with a pillar of fire and protected them from the sun with a cloud that covered them throughout the heat of the day.

Yet, as they were poised to enter the land of Canaan and take it over, the people became fearful of the land’s inhabitants, and instead decided to elect a new leader and return to Egypt. This, of course, enraged Yahweh, who was prepared to strike the entire assembly with a plague and wipe them out.

Numbers 14:11 – Yahweh said to Moses, “How long will these people despise me? How long will they not trust in me despite all the signs I have performed among them?

See, when it comes to those who are hesitant or rebellious about exhibiting faith in God, God can’t seem to win. If he doesn’t do miraculous deeds, then people scoff and say that he either doesn’t exist or he doesn’t intervene in life situations. If he does miraculous deeds, the people continually doubt his ability to do the next miraculous thing.

The issue isn’t about God’s ability to do or not do miraculous things. It’s about a person’s heart condition and willingness to accept God’s authority in their life. For those who can accept the authority of a God of all the universe, there is plenty of evidence to corroborate his glory and majesty in both the created world and in his interventions throughout the history of his people. However, for those who cannot accept the authority of an all powerful God, all of the evidence in the world will not convince them it is so.

This is not a dilemma for believers to solve; it is simply the way it is. Our purpose is to share the truth of God’s Word with those who are willing to listen, and to be faithful in not compromising the Word with those who may not be accepting of its conclusions. Like the apostle Paul, we need to do our best to be “all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, so that I may share in the blessings,” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).

The Israelites simply had to learn the hard way to trust in Yahweh. Those who didn’t and chose instead to do things their own way ended up perishing in the desert; there was nothing else for Yahweh to do with their non-belief. In the same way, we need to have the maturity to allow people to make their own choices when it comes to trusting in Yahweh. All we can do is point the way, but they are the ones who need to step through the door. Let’s just do all we can to remove every hindrance possible and leave the rest in God’s capable hands.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.

Following Yeshua for the right reasons

The signs of God working in the life of a repentant believer reveal the true power of God.

The signs of God working in the life of a repentant believer reveal the true power of God.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

We have looked before at what it means to do something in the name of God, or in this case, in the name of Messiah. It means to conduct oneself with the character and reputation of the one whom one is claiming to be associated with. To take the name of God was to associate with everything that God represents as one of his people. To do something in the name of Messiah was to associate with everything Messiah taught and did as one of his disciples.

In this passage, Yeshua is warning against hypocrisy. There would be many who would claim him as their Lord and Master, only to falsely represent him with their actions. They would claim to be associated intimately with him by doing their works in his name.

To many believers today, prophesying, casting out of demons, and doing works of power are all things to be sought after. People continue looking for miraculous happenings as some sort of evidential truth that they are involved with the true work of God. And yet Yeshua condemns these types of individuals as being workers of iniquity who don’t really know him at all. If they are just seeking the miraculous events, they are no better than the thousands who followed Yeshua just because he miraculously had fed them all; they weren’t true followers, just miracle-chasers.

This is similar to the man Simon whom the disciples encountered in Samaria. He was known for amazing people with sorcery and magic, things that are forbidden by the word of God. The text says he became a believer when he heard the disciples’ message of the kingdom.

Acts 8:13 Even Simon himself believed. After being baptized, he stayed constantly with Philip and was amazed when he saw the signs and great miracles that took place.

Yet, there was hypocrisy in his heart. As it turns out, he was fascinated not with the repentant life of believer, but with the real power of God working through the disciples. This would suggest his own “magic” was more of a deceptive show than than the real thing.

Acts 8:18-21 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God.

Simon was focused on the ability to perform miraculous signs, not the repentant heart that allowed the sign to occur. Because of this hypocrisy, Peter rebukes him. Simon wanted to do the miraculous, but Yeshua was not truly his Lord, as evidenced by his actions.

This should stand as a witness to all who would seek only to be associated with miraculous happenings rather than simply and sincerely submitting their lives wholly to the life and teaching of Messiah as their Lord. The true repentant heart will seek to be faithful to God’s word and to serve others, yet remain vigilant in avoiding association with those who are only miracle-chasers.


If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.