Why People Refuse to Believe

By Josh McDowell and Don Stewart

 

    Christians are now and have always been in the minority. Most of the people presently living have not trusted Christ as their Savior. This however is exactly as Jesus said it would be. “Straight is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14 KJV). This has been the case throughout all of history. There are several reasons why a large part of humanity has rejected Jesus as their Savior.

 

Ignorance

    One reason people do not become Christians is out of ignorance. This is not ignorance that there is a God or a person named Jesus Christ, but rather ignorance to the facts validating Christian faith. Many times this ignorance is self-imposed. Some people are not even bothering to consider the claims of Christ, while others are actively refusing to believe.

    Many people claim they have intellectual problems with the Christian faith, when usually what they have are intellectual or emotional excuses. We are aware of many people who, after having been presented the facts of Christianity, have readily admitted that they know Christianity is true, yet they still refuse to become Christians.

    This, therefore, is not a problem of the mind, but of the will. It is not that they cannot become Christians; it is more of a matter that they will not become Christians. The Bible teaches that humanity is attempting to suppress the truth of God “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” (Romans 1:18, KJV). People are ignorant of the credentials of Jesus, by and large, because they want to be.

 

The Simplicity of the Gospel

    Another reason is the simplicity of the gospel. It is so simple to become a Christian that even a child can do it. In fact, to enter the kingdom of heaven, Jesus taught that we must become as children, “…And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3, KJV) In simple faith, we must place our trust in Christ whether we be college professors or people who have never finished grammar school.

    The Apostle Paul said concerning the simplicity of the gospel, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty…that no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:26, 2, 29, KJV).

    Paul taught, as did Jesus, that Christians would never be in the majority, and that not many prominent people would believe in Jesus. Although there have not been many great men and women in history who have trusted Jesus, there have been some.

 

Life Will Be Boring

    Further, people don’t become Christians because of the mistaken idea of what really is a Christian. Many think Christianity is a religion with a set of negative commandments saying, “Don’t do this and don’t do that.” They get the idea that when you believe in Jesus, you resign yourself to a life of unhappiness, restrictions, and boredom.

    Since no one wants to live that way, they write off Christianity as something to which they don’t want to commit their lives. It is a sad fact that some Christians give the impression to the world that their faith consists only of a group of negative commandments. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    When a person trusts Jesus as Savior, he becomes truly free. Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36, KJV). Jesus Christ is in the business of setting men and women free from things that have them in bondage so that they can be the type of people they were meant to be.

    As believers we are free to do what we want to do and not do what we don’t want to do. The Christian life is anything but boring, because there is the daily joy and excitement of knowing the living God and experiencing all the good things He has in store for us. “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4, KJV).

 

Guilt

    Some people don’t become Christians because of guilt feelings. They have lived lives in which they’ve committed many ugly acts and crimes, and they don’t believe they can be forgiven by God and that a decent life can be given to them. However, the Bible clearly teaches that anyone without exception, who seeks God and desires to be forgiven of his sins will be forgiven. There is no sin that’s too great to stop someone from going to heaven except the sin of unbelief. If a person refuses to believe in God’s provision for his sin -- the person of Jesus Christ -- then there is no hope for him. Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37 KJV).

    The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV). You and I are included in that “whosoever.”

    If you will come to Jesus, He has promised to forgive you of your sins, and He will allow you to start over again with a clean slate, no matter how corrupt you have been.

 

Love of Sin
    Another reason some refuse to accept Jesus is because of some specific sin in their life. They realize that, if they become a believer, they will have to stop committing that certain sin, and they do not want to stop. Jesus said, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19, KJV).

    Many people love their sin to the point that they will miss getting into heaven. To become a Christian, a person must repent (change his heart and mind) of his sins, and this many people are not willing to do even though Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, KJV).

 

Self-Centeredness

    In addition, people refuse to believe in Jesus because of self-centeredness. Someone has said correctly, we believe -- that Christianity is the EASIEST religion in the world to believe, and it is also the most DIFFICULT religion in the world to believe.

    It is the easiest because God has done everything for us that needs to be done, and it is impossible to add to the work of Christ. It is the most difficult because we have to admit to ourselves and to God that we cannot do anything to save ourselves. Our pride does not like that, since we want to work out our own salvation our way. Human nature desires that we dictate our own terms, but God will accept us only on His terms, and this fact keeps many people out of the kingdom.

    There are many reasons why people reject Christ, but there are no good reasons. 


 

    Josh McDowell and Don Stewart are co-authors of the best-selling books Answers to Tough Questions and Reasons Skeptics Should Consider Christianity.