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Just who or what is our greatest enemy


Do You Believe?

Mark 9:14-29

    The Scene - The mob - pushing and shoving The disciples - embarrassed, confused, and defensive over their inability to perform a miracle. The scribes - gleeful, pressing home the attack on the disciples. The boy - demon possessed (shows Satan's real intent - hatred, hurt, murder) the father believing yet unbelieving.

The cure - Jesus' words CAST it out. Jesus' words KEPT it out.

What are who is our greatest enemy? I submit to you that our greatest enemy is not Satan, but unbelief. Unbelief is “the” great enemy to the cause of Christ.

Now to fully understand this message we need to define unbelief? What is unbelief? It is the opposite of belief, which is defined as. The mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in another. Mental acceptance of and conviction in the truth, actuality, or validity of something. Something believed or accepted as true.

This passage presents three groups or individuals, which suffer from a form of unbelief. The scribes, the father, and the disciples. As we consider the passage today, the question we must answer is this, "Do we believe?"


I. A Callous Unbelief. (the scribes) (Verses 14-16)

    1. They simply did not believe that Christ was the Savior.

       A. Why are the lost lost??

           1. They will not cannot believe. (Heb 10:38-39)

           2. Do you believe? Your must be saved? Changed?

              Live for God? Hell?

    2. This unbelief shows itself in several ways in these scribes.

       A. Scorn, ridicule of Christ and His followers.

       B. An attempt to discredit Jesus.

       C. A hatred for the things of Christ.

    3. This unbelief is everywhere today.

        A. Denial of God in public areas, schools and government

        B. Taking prayer out of our schools. Taking down the ten

             commandments. Attempting to take one nation under

             God out of our pledge.

        C. Acceptance and protection of every imaginable religion,

             but not Christianity!

        D. People tend to accept ANYTHING, no matter how

             bizarre, but NOT CHRIST!

    4. This unbelief condemns itself.

        A. All men know there is a God, and are without excuse.


    5. This unbelief , can only be explained as a REJECTION of

         the truth.

        A. (They KNOW, but the REFUSE TO BELIEVE!)

    6. This unbelief leads to hell. (Rev 21:6-8)

II. Circumstantial Unbelief. (the father) (Verses 17-27)

    1. He had limited belief!

        A. His belief is commendable, but limited.

            1. Like Peter in (Mt. 14:25-30)

    2. He had unfounded belief. (founded in the disciples)

        (Mt. 7:24-27)

       A. When the disciples failed, his belief was shaken and he

            doubted Christ's power 

      B. Many today will go to hell, not because Christ can't save

          them, but because some Christian let them down!

     C. Many Christians will sit on the sidelines, never amounting

         to anything for Christ, because of the failure of some other

        Christian in their life.

      D. How we as Christians should strive to live right for the

           sake of others.

   3. He had belief that was inexcusable. Understandable, but

       yet inexcusable.

      A. His attitude should have been like that of Peter:

          (Luke 5:1-6)


III. Careless Unbelief. (The Disciples) (Verses 28-29)

    1. Consider their background.


             and EXPERIENCED

    2. Consider their Confidence OVERCONFIDENT

       A. They had begun to trust in themselves and in their own

            abilities, rather than God.

       B. When we begin to trust in ourselves we are destined for


    3. Consider their rebuke (Mt 17:19-21).

        A. Some tasks are more difficult than others and need

            greater faith and much prayer.

       B. Let's not get careless … Let's believe in Jesus Christ for

           the answers to all our difficulties and needs.


Dramatic and significant is the story of the Pilgrims. On December 21, 1620, the voyaging Mayflower dropped anchor in Plymouth Bay, with Captain Christopher Jones at her helm. It had been a grueling voyage, taking the one-hundred-twenty-ton-capacity ship sixty-six days to make the perilous crossing. There had been disease, anxiety, and childbirth among the 102 courageous passengers. Furthermore, they arrived on the black New England shore during a hard winter which ultimately claimed half of their number. However, when spring came and the captain of the Mayflower offered free passage to anyone desiring to return, not a single person accepted.

The fidelity of the forty-one men, who while still aboard the Mayflower had signed the famous Compact beginning with the words, "In ye name of God Amen," was taking on visible meaning, these chivalrous souls had dedicated themselves to the total causes of freedom. They had come to a wilderness to carve out a better way of life. Faith prompted the voyage; faith sustained the Pilgrims and their religious convictions constrained them to raise their voices in praise. Their hardship, sacrifice, devotion, concept of government, and vigorous religion all remind us of those who sought a country.

Do You Really Believe?