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2 Kings 1:15-16 • When Believing Is Not Enough

The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king. Then he said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?—therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die.’ ”
    —2 Kings 1:15-16 (NASB)

The sequence of events is that King Ahaziah becomes ill and sends someone on his behalf to inquitre of Baal-zebub as to whether he will recover. God speaks through Elijah to intercept that messenger challenging Ahaziah’s decision to seek counsel from another god and to convey the fact that the illness will result in death. Ahaziah then seeks to have Elijah brought to him so he can hear the message firsthand. One of the glaring points of this story is how Ahaziah believes that Elijah is a true messenger from God, believes that the message is from God, but fails to ultimately return to faith in the One True God.

I have repeatedly met people who sincerely believe in the One True God, yet they do not live a changed life based on that belief. It is the source of most frustration for me to have someone sincerely agree with what I am saying to them on God’s behalf and yet they do not seem to even lift a finger to actually put that knowledge into action. Like Ahaziah they believe the message comes from God, they believe the messenger is a legitimate representative of God, but they fail to take the final step of repenting and living exclusively to God.

But a characteristic of such people I’ve repeatedly noticed is that because their faith is flawed, they almost always believe equally in spiritual things which are not of God. They accept as fact the introduction of practices from false religions and/or subscription to false doctrines. They have essentially formed their own customized “faith” which allows them to sincerely believe a lot of truth while at the same time embracing significant error. In the final analysis what they never actually allow is the formation of a personal relationship with Christ.

I think this is what is most dangerous about false movements which have permeated the church today, especially the Purpose Driven agenda. That movement’s author categorically states that Christians are not supposed to confront anyone with their sin, but simply encourage them to believe in Jesus and Jesus will take care of the rest. Without repentace of sin, without the willfull decision to follow Christ’s Word and ways exclusively, there is no salvation. Belief without following through from the heart is no salvation at all.