Is a Disbelief in God Reasonable?
Roy Blizzard III © 2014
They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
John 15:23-25, “The one hating Me (my enemy) also hates My Father (is an enemy of My Father).” 24 “Unless I did in the very midst of them the works which no man did except Me, sin (error) was not in them (they could make an excuse by saying they didn’t know), but now they saw and have hated both Me and My Father.” [Psalms 155:5, Jeremiah 5:12&21] 25 “However, to confirm the word written in their Torah, “They have hated Me without a cause.” [Psalms 69:4] “However, to confirm the word written in their Torah, “They have hated Me without a cause.”
These words were spoken by Jesus in his farewell discourse to his disciples. If a person who hated the United States and its people should undertake to describe our institutions or the intelligence of our people or even their motives, would such a person be qualified for a work of this nature? We know well that the testimony of a prejudiced witness is not to be heard on the same basis as a disinterested witness. While there may be some truth in what a prejudiced witness may say, nevertheless he is disqualified as a valid witness because of the attitude of his mind. Such is the precise position of those who have never been believers, those who have “tasted the Good Word of God.” Hebrews 6:5 We read that unbelievers in the days of Jesus hated him and his cause, and were unreasonable in their demands. My belief today is that the same unreasonable nature exists among unbelievers today.
Have you ever considered how unreasonable infidelity is, in its idea or concept of God? Unbelievers hate and ignore God without reason. In various parts of the world today it would not be hard to find people who would love to get rid of God in just a few minutes. Some time ago a leader of unbelievers who have no time for the concept of God declared, “ I worship no God, I rather believe in Law —law— the almighty maker of heaven and earth.” This was his idea of who God is. But the question for him should be is Law almighty? Has Law got a heart? Is Law merciful and full of pity? What has Law ever done that we should worship it? Has it ever suffered or sorrowed? If not, how can it meet my deepest needs, or give me redemption?
On the other hand, Christians believe that God is, for the reason that something is here! Where did matter come from? Can a dead thing create its own self? Both science and the Bible agree perfectly that, “out of nothing, nothing comes.” When Moses challenged Aaron with the burning words for helping the people go back into Egyptian worship, Aaron muttered this reply, “the people brought out their gold, I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.” Here certainly Aaron did not make an excuse, but threw something into the fire and something came out. Someone can’t get something different in return for what is invested. The fire gave what the fire got.
If there is a thought, there certainly is a thinker; and there is not love without a lover. There is no Law without a Law giver; no design without a designer. Furthermore, it is impossible to think of love and law and pity and mercy apart from personality; so that the man who does not believe in a personal God is lost before he gets started. Manifestly, what we see about us and what we know of that which has transpired, as well as our own reason, compels us to believe in a living, personal, saving God.
Again, let me suggest that in its idea of personal future, unbelief is unreasonable. Unbelievers say that man never falls down, that he falls upward, and therefore does not need a savior. Said one man, “I will never accept a religion that comes from the suffering of others.” But that man accepts this nation upon the very same ground…why not accept a religious faith? Indeed, some of the best things in this life come to us through suffering. The books that live and move the world are heart books, books that touch our hearts because of the suffering of others. Truths that live are truths that are suffered out. Books and pictures that mean something to the race are born and written and painted in our own personal Gethsemenes and “the anguish of the singer makes the sweetness of the song.”
It will not be until we ourselves go through the furnace and have our faith tested in the crucible that we will ever be able to reach our brothers and sisters and save them with the Gospel of the Good News of Jesus. In truth, “Nobody is richer, until someone is poorer.” Astronomers tell us that the Sun ripens our harvest by burning itself up; each golden sheaf, each orange bough, every tree of ripened fruit and every beautiful flower costs the sun thousands of tons of carbon and millions of BTUs of heat. Truly, in all things, a price is required in order that fruits may be gained. And such is especially true of our faith. Only because I have a personal Savior who has tasted death for me, do I turn in faith and obedience to his will.
And that leads me to suggest next that in its notion of faith, unbelief is unreasonable. One who knows nothing of faith has said, “Faith is the child of ignorance and intellectual fallacy.” But hear me, there is nothing more common “in the life that now is” than Faith! You see, Faith is the foundation of the home. Take Faith out of the home and the home falls apart. The government knows all about Faith. Take Faith out of government and you have anarchy. Take Faith out of the commercial world and you have financial panic. Even society is involved with Faith as well. If you are invited to a home for dinner, you must sit down at the table believing something! You can’t say to your host or hostess, “Are you sure you haven’t poisoned the meat”, or “Have you been careful that no arsenic has reached the bread?” No, the sweetest friendships of life come to us by Faith: we trust and so we live.
Again let us observe that in its demands disbelief in God is unreasonable. It first demands that God shall reveal Himself, to its understanding and its comprehension before it believes. Furthermore, disbelief demands that we substitute vain philosophy for the Bible and the grave for immortal joys. But we must remember, disbelief never won a victory, never destroyed a sin, never healed a heartache, never produced a ray of sunshine and never saved a soul from hell. Disbelief is destructive and not constructive. Anyone can cut down all the flowers in a garden with a rusty hoe, but it takes a divine being to construct and produce those flowers again. When disbelief invites me to leave the paradise of a belief in Jesus and camp out on the barren wasteland of unbelieving infidelity, as long as I have a grain of sense, even as of the size of a mustard seed, I shall decline the invitation.
In the next place, let me affirm that disbelief in God is unreasonable in it criticisms. Here is a criticism that we’ve all heard, “The world has outgrown a belief in God and Jesus. We want a new Gospel and a new religion for this time.” We might as well say that the world has outgrown life, or love, or light or rest. Life is old and love is old as well as light; there is nothing new about them. And yet when we see the sun slip up in the morning behind those eastern hills, it seems like we had never even seen its light before; so radiant and marvelous is its warming glow. And so it is of Truth, all real truth is old. There is not an item of real truth in the Christian faith that is not over 2,000 years old at least and that real truth in Jesus shines brighter the more it is handled.
But, if the world is outgrowing Jesus then what will it grow into tomorrow? Man is a religious Spirit being and all the teachings that unbelievers have given the world have never universally untaught the idea that man thirsts for God. So great is the smallest man that nothing else or anyone else other than God can satisfy those needs within him. Everything else is less than adequate to meet our needs. Into what, I ask, will we grow? Is there anything beyond the fatherhood of God? You can’t think of anything beyond Him I am sure! Whoever extended mercy to the lost and suffered ruin as he did? Who but the Savior can give liberty to the captives and bring peace to the soul? Whose hand is so tender as to soothe the trusting in death as the hand of the Savior? Well might any earthling alive today say, “If even the stars are inhabited, they have no religion beyond the religion of Jesus?”
Finally, let me say that unbelief is unreasonable in its concept of a future life. It has been said that, “No one knows (in himself) enough to know that man will survive the grave, or that he has a future of life.” So then what is more welcome and more reasonable than such a life of Faith in the future with God? By the fragmentary character of life, by the longings of our nature, by the intuitions of Justice, by the spiritual attractions which beckon us onward and upward one can successfully hold his own against the doctrines of unbelief.
So my friends; do not become faint-hearted or low spirited for there is a God and He is living and He is here with us today. The great hope of the Bible is not the dream of the dreamer, for the things it promises are reality. And when the journey of this life is over, half the pleasure will be in looking back over it. We forget the usually hard places and remember only the pleasant ones. One day soon we will take possession of our everlasting dwelling and when we shall reach that home our redeemed spirit will rejoice with eternal joy. What a wonderful passage that is in the revelation written by John where the elder asks; “Who are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence come they?” And I said to him, “Sir thou knowest.” And he said to me, “These are they which have come out of great tribulations, and have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”
Those of you outside of Jesus ought to think on these things. Don’t let an unreasonable disbelief cause you to hate Jesus, God and the world. The world is full of liars who would love to steal your joy, your possessions and your life. Begin to listen to the one who is the embodiment of the Truth, and would love nothing better than to live with you for eternity.
May you be persuaded to acknowledge Jesus, he who will make you an heir to the universe if you simply will surrender to him. Obey Jesus today in faithfulness and repentance and in baptism and eternal life will begin for you. Such is the hope of faithfulness or Faith. Such is the confidence of a perfect Trust and such is the peace of a reasonable belief.by