If you were to ask people today if they believe in God (Higher Power, Allah, Jehovah), the vast majority would be quick to say ‘yes’ without a second thought. People usually have no difficulty in giving God credit for the beauty of the world and for the good things that happen to them. Their problem isn’t in accepting God, it’s in accepting Jesus as the Son of God. The truth is, God tells us in the Bible that Jesus is the only way to the Him—to God. Belief is essential to salvation.
Numerous things attribute to unbelief in Jesus. Some people see the belief in Him as God to be polytheism: worshiping the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They do not understand the concept that God is three, but still ONE. We call this tenet “the doctrine of the Trinity.” Skeptics are quick to point out that the word “Trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible, and they are correct. But the teaching is there, pointing out again and again that God is one god appearing to us in three persons.
Accepting the fact that everyone is a sinner is hard for some to swallow. As a people, we tend to weigh the good we do against the bad and if the good is greater than the bad, we consider ourselves “good.” The standard by which we measure Self is not God’s, then, but that of the people we have around us. When we measure ourselves against them, we appear to be basically good and therefore see no need for a Savior. Jesus becomes inconsequential in our lives.
Then, there is the Church itself. Somewhere along the way people outside the Church got the notion that people needed to be without “sin”—or good enough—in order to be a part of the Church. Sometimes even church members think the same way—quick to judge others and condemn them because they are not “good enough.” Seekers are thereby discouraged from going to church, even if only self-consciously. In essence they are prevented from hearing the Gospel that will transform their lives. They lose the opportunity to get to know who Jesus is in order that they might come to believe in Him.
Sometimes people with scientific backgrounds find it difficult to accept the myths they believe are contained in the Bible. They seek pragmatic explanations for everything from creation to the miracles of Jesus. They explain away the supernatural, claiming that Jesus was just a man, and no man could have done what people say Jesus did. Mere man is not capable of doing that kind of magic and it follows then, that Jesus didn’t do any of the things that are claimed. Unfortunately, if they do not believe the stories about Jesus, they cannot believe in the person Himself.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. So how do people overcome their obstacle to believing in Jesus as the Son of God? One way is to let them see Jesus alive and working in believers everywhere. Day by day, the believers’ goal is to become more and more like Him. To be a living testimony of the love Jesus has for all people, good and bad. This means we will treat people the way Jesus did no matter how heinous their misbehavior. We will look beyond the exterior and read the heart as Jesus does, to see the potential that God has already planted there.