Belief in god more than knowing there is a god
presented by steven schiller
"THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE"
They Did Not Believe In Him
Despite evidence to substantiate the claims of Jesus, such as...
The testimony of the Father through signs
The testimony of the Father through Scripture
-- John records that many did not believe in Jesus - Jn 12:37
In all fairness, those to whom John refers did not have the fullness of evidence presented in the gospel itself...
They may have seen some of the signs, but not all
Some may have been ignorant of the Scriptures and their testimony concerning Jesus
They had yet to be given the witness of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead
But even with the fullness of evidence provided in the gospel of John...
Many still did not believe in Jesus in those days
Many do not believe in Jesus today
Why? The reasons are many and varied...
John mentions several in the course of his gospel
Which may help us understand why many people do not believe today
For example, one reason many failed to believe in Jesus was ...
A LACK OF SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION
THEIR FOCUS WAS ON MATERIAL THINGS...
They were impressed by His feeding of the 5000 - Jn 6:14-15
They wanted to make Him their king
They saw in Him someone who could meet their material needs
For He told them to work for the food which endures to everlasting life - Jn 6:27
For He spoke of Himself as the true Bread of Life
MANY LACK SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION TODAY...
They are looking for material things
They want the church to provide for their physical needs
They want the church to entertain them or their children
If a church offers only the Word of God, to make them disciples...
They look elsewhere, seeking to find "the church of their choice"
-- Yet Jesus taught His disciples were to place their focus - Mt 6:33
Not content with the spiritual nature of the kingdom ( Ro 14:17), they are unwilling to accept the true demands of faith in Jesus. We also read that many refused to confess Jesus because of ...
FEAR AND MORAL COWARDICE
THEY WERE AFRAID OF WHAT OTHERS MIGHT THINK...
The multitude was afraid of what the Jews might think - Jn 7:13
Some of the rulers were afraid of the Pharisees - Jn 12:42-43
Pilate was fearful of what Caesar might hear - Jn 19:12-13
MANY FEAR WHAT OTHERS MIGHT THINK TODAY...
Afraid that their peers at school might ridicule them
Afraid that their coworkers might ostracize them
Afraid of persecution for being "politically incorrect" or "religiously intolerant"
-- Yet Jesus taught His disciples whom they should fear - Mt 10:28
Fearful of losing acceptance, and being outcast, has made many unwilling to believe in Jesus. Then there were those who had...
A MISPLACED LOVE
THEIR LOVE WAS FOR THE WRONG THINGS...
They did not have a love for God - Jn 5:42-43
Instead, their love was in such things as:
The things of darkness (evil), which they did not want to give up - Jn 3:19-20
The glory of men, wanting to be praised by them - Jn 12:42-43
Self and material things, as in the case of Judas - Jn 12:6
MANY HAVE A MISPLACED LOVE TODAY...
A love for family, popularity among friends
A love for wealth, hobbies
A love for immoral lifestyles which they do want to give up
Misplaced love often blinds one to the evidence that is capable of producing faith. There is also the problem of...
THE HARDENED AND PREJUDICED HEART
MANY WERE BLINDED BY PREJUDICE...
So hardened by their prejudices...
MANY ARE HARDENED BY THEIR PREJUDICE TODAY...
Their prejudice for their traditions, creeds, denominations, etc.
Their prejudice for their beliefs (e.g., evolution, humanism) which justify their lifestyles
Making them unwilling to study the Bible, to see whether their cherished beliefs are true
-- Yet Jesus warned about the dangers of hard hearts and blind eyes - Mt 13:15
Perhaps contributing to such prejudice and hardening of the heart is another reason why many did not believe...
SOME WERE AFRAID OF BEING THOUGHT FOOLISH...
Thus an appeal was made to the "wisdom" of the rulers
MANY ARE HINDERED BY INTELLECTUAL PRIDE TODAY...
They don't want to be thought foolish by their professors in school
They are impressed by the many "wise" and "mighty" people who do not believe in Jesus
[Many of the same people who reject Jesus out of intellectual pride are often guilty of rejecting Him for a reason that many people do...]
SOME REJECTED CHRIST BECAUSE OF IGNORANCE...
They thought Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem
MANY REJECT CHRIST OUT OF IGNORANCE TODAY..
They have not read the New Testament
They have not consider evidences for the resurrection of Jesus Christ
They have rejected misconceptions or caricatures of Jesus Christ and His church
-- Unlike the noble Bereans, they make little effort to get all the facts - Ac 17:11
Do you believe in Jesus? If not, why not...
Could it be a lack of spiritual perception?
Could it be out of fear or moral cowardice?
Could it be a misplaced love?
Could it be a prejudiced or hardened heart?
Could it be out of intellectual pride?
Could it be simply out of ignorance?
Don't you want to believe in Jesus? Remember what He offers you...
Fellowship with God ("No one comes to the Father except through Me.")
Salvation from sin ("If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.")
Guidance throughout life ("He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness.")
Spiritual sustenance ("He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.")
The abundant life ("I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.")
Immortality ("I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.")
Let the Word of God, in particular the Gospel of John, give you the evidence necessary to believe in Jesus, that you might have life through His name!
So then faith [comes] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. - Ro 10:17
And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. - Jn 20:30-31