"For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith (promise) of God without effect? God forbid." (Rom. 3:3)It should always be kept in mind, that a thing must be true before it is a subject of belief, and if so, belief of, or unbelieving, cannot effect the thing itself. For example, one might believe at night that the sun would never appear again -- nay, the whole world might believe it, and while this would have a very important influence upon the people themselves, it would in no wise prevent the sun's coming forth again in beauty and glory. So, in relation to God's promises relating to man's final destiny -- the belief or disbelief of them cannot affect the truth itself. God cannot deny himself -- He is faithful and true and the plain difference is while the believer enters into rest, rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory, the unbeliever is in darkness, doubt and gloom, shut out from the light and glory of the Gospel of peace and love.
Herein lies one great error of common religionists -- they suppose that if they believe that Christ is their Savior, he is their Savior -- otherwise that he is not so. Well, if he is not the Savior of unbelievers, the unbeliever is called upon to believe a lie in order to be saved. Jesus certainly died to save all before any believed on him, and all the promises of future redemption were given while almost the entire world was lying in wickedness. God is the Savior of all men in the sense of eternal salvation in the future world, whether they believe it or not, and those who heed the promise of his grace are privileged to look forward with fair prospects to the spirit land, and take hold of the joys of heaven by anticipation.
Says John, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son" -- 1 John 5:10-11. Now can any one suppose that if all had not eternal life in Christ the disbelief of the fact would make God a liar? If it were not then, any man who said it was not, would only tell the plain truth. But being true, by promise, independent of human belief, faith gives to each one the witness in himself that the gift will be received at the proper time. It belongs to us to believe with all the heart -- to stagger not at the promises of God, and to enter into that rest which can be found no where else.
S. J. M.
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