Unbelief is the default position for human beings.
People believe what they judge to be true. For every truth, there are many untruths set against it. As there is more falsehood than truth, there is more unbelief than belief in the world.
Fake news drowns out the truth, and when the truth is discovered it may not be believed because of the inbred scepticism in our ungodly society.
Children believe what their parents tell them, but as they grow up they become more sceptical until we find people saying: ‘I don’t know what to believe’. Some are happy to remain like this, often saying: ‘We will need to agree to differ.’ Public debates rarely result in any disputant changing their view, demonstrating that their minds are made up and their aim was to win the argument rather than to progress their understanding of the truth. To admit the truth in another person’s argument is wrongly interpreted as weakness in debate; rather, it demonstrates zugology in action. Many people do not like to have their views challenged and they are unsettled by it. Even academic debate rarely succeeds in changing everyone’s mind to agree on a settled truth. They ‘agree to differ’ rather than find settled truth.
During WWII people could not believe that the wickedness of man could produce the Nazi gas chambers and concentration camps. The world had a rude awakening, even many Germans. Holocaust denial is so real that it is a crime in Germany. People would rather believe the goodness of man than the Bible’s teaching about the native wickedness of man. You may hear interviewers asking rhetorically, when we hear heroic stories, “Did that restore your faith in human nature?” They want to be reassured in their mistaken belief that man is inherently good.
The secularist does not believe in God. He does not believe in life after death. He does not believe that he will give account of himself to God. They believe in evolution, overlooking its inherent racism which undergirded the concept of a ‘superior’ race, whereas there is only one human race. Racists do not believe this. They think that there are superior and inferior human races.
Many religious people do not believe in a lost eternity. Many religious people do not believe the miracles of Jesus, although the extraordinary nature of His teaching points to His being an extraordinary Person. Many religious people do not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the death, although the conversion and teaching of Saul of Tarsus ought to make them pause to consider the evidence – if they will allow the truth to unsettle their thinking. Many religious people do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
Unbelief is the default position for the human race. The ordinary person is usually unable to change another person’s beliefs. All one can do is present the truth with the hope and prayer that God will bless it to their understanding.
Salvation by and through faith
Belief and unbelief make the difference. “As a man thinks in his spirit, so is he” Proverbs 23:7. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Act 16:31. How near hearers of the Gospel are to salvation! Jesus said to one man in debate: “Thou art not far from the kingdom of God” Mark 12:34.
‘So near and yet so far’ is a reality worth pondering. Can you believe it?
By believing in the Lord Jesus Christ a person enters a pathway that will bring them all the way to heaven.
Yet many refuse to do so and they will blame God for it. Mat 25:44.
The difference – the change
How much people need the Holy Spirit of God! Jesus explained to His disciples: “when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth … when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin … because they believe not on Me” John 16:13,8-9.
Only God can convince us: “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” Eph 2:8. “Thy people are willing in the day of Thy power” Ps 110:3.
This is why we need to pray to God, to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
Jesus said: ‘If you continue in My word, then you are My true disciples and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’John 8:31-32.
2 Mar 2017: Holocaust denial.
4 Apr 2019: truth is no longer a defence in Canadian law and justice.