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Don Stewart :: What Keeps People from Believing in God?

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Don Stewart

The Bible makes it clear that it is not lack of evidence that keeps people from believing in God. The evidence is available for all to see but most people do not bother to investigate the evidence.

The reasons people do not believe in God are many, but they can be broken down into two basic categories: pride and ignorance.

1. Pride Keeps People From Believing In God

The sin of pride keeps people from believing in God. Humanity does not want to admit that there is something or someone greater than human beings in the universe. People want to be the master of their own fate, captain of their own salvation. The Bible speaks of the pride of man.

These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him: a proud look (Proverbs 6:16,17).

Pride is the first sin mentioned in a list of things that God hates. It was the sin of pride that caused Lucifer to rebel against God and be cast out of heaven. It was pride that caused Cain to bring an offering of his own works to the Lord instead of the one God had commanded. From the beginning of time, pride has kept people from coming to God.

Jesus' Warning About Pride

James warned about the foolishness of pride:

Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;' whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that (James 4:13-15).

Though people may boast that they do not need God the fact is that they cannot exist without Him. People make plans as though they will live forever, but as James reminds us no one is guaranteed that he will be alive tomorrow.

2. Ignorance Keeps People From Believing In God

Another reason the Bible gives for lack of trust in God is ignorance. Jesus pointed out that "not knowing" is a source of error when it comes to believing in God.

You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29).

The two things that characterize unbelief are ignorance of both the Scripture and the power of God. People do not know what the Bible says because they have not taken the time to carefully study it.

Furthermore, they do not understand the nature and greatness of God's power.

Humanity Is Deliberately Ignorant Of God

The Bible says that humanity is deliberately ignorant of God.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of humankind, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18).

Paul wrote.

There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God (Romans 3:10,11).

These verses teach that people are not seeking after God but are actually running away from Him. They are suppressing, or "holding down," God's truth in unrighteousness. They are ignorant of God because they want to be ignorant.

Summary

There are many reasons people do not believe in God but it is not because of lack of evidence. People do not believe because of pride or an ignorance of God's Word and His power. Those who are ignorant of God want to be ignorant. They do not want to know Him.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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