The Great Sin of Unbelief

WHY IS UNBELIEF SUCH A SERIOUS SIN?

Jonathan Edwards, from his classic work THE HISTORY OF REDEMPTION:

“How greatly do these things reprove those who do not believe in, but reject, the Lord Jesus Christ! i.e. all those who do not heartily receive Him. Persons may receive Him in profession outwardly, and may wish that they had some of those benefits that Christ has purchased, and yet their hearts not receive Him. They may be hearty in nothing that they do towards Christ; they may have no high esteem of, nor any sincere respect to, Christ; they may never have opened the door of their heart to Him, but have kept Him shut out all their days, ever since the salvation has been offered to them. Though their hearts have been opened to others, their door flung wide open to them, with free admittance at all times; though they have been embraced, and the thrones of their hearts have been allowed them; yet Christ has always been shut out, and they have been deaf to all His calls. They never could find an inclination of heart to receive Him, nor would they ever trust in Him.

Let me now call upon such to consider, HOW GREAT IS THEIR SIN, in thus rejecting Jesus Christ. You slight the glorious person, for whose coming God made such great preparation in such a series of wonderful providences from the beginning of the world, and whom, after all things were made ready, God sent into the world, bringing to pass a thing before unknown, viz. the union of the divine nature with the human in one person. You have been guilty of slighting that great Savior, who, after such preparation, actually accomplished the purchase of redemption; and who, after he had spent three or four and thirty years in poverty, labor, and contempt, in purchasing redemption, at last finished the purchase by closing His life under such extreme sufferings as you have heard; and so by His death, and continuing for a time under the power of death, completed the whole. This is the person you reject and despise. You make light of all the glory of His person, and of all the glorious love of God the Father, in sending Him into the world, and all His wonderful love appearing in the whole of this affair. That precious stone which God hath laid in Zion for a foundation in such a manner, and by such wonderful works as you have heard, is a stone set at nought by you.

Sinners sometimes are ready to wonder why UNBELIEF should be looked upon as A GREAT SIN; but if you consider what you have heard, how can you wonder? If this Savior is so great, and this work so great, and such great things have been done in order to accomplish it; truly there is no cause of wonder that the rejection of this Savior is so provoking to God. It brings greater guilt than the sins of the worst of heathens, who never heard of those things, nor have had this Savior offered to them.”

HT: Chris Arnzen