Series: Know God?
Sermon: Know God!
ICE BREAKER: Would you rather your favorite sports team win the championship once and have losing records for the rest of your life OR make the playoffs every year but never win the championship?
If you aren't into sports substitute your favorite actor and the oscars or something ;)
This week, we wrapped up our KNOW GOD series with an honest evaluation of WHY many people do not believe in God.
"I DO NOT BELIEVE" is quite a statement and implies a great deal of study across many areas to come to that determination. Most people have spent very little time studying both sides of the arguments for and against God. Studies show most atheists are not actually scientifically, historically, biologically, psychologically, and philosophically against the existence of God.
MOST atheists and agnostics start from a completely different standpoint - "I don't WANT TO believe in God."
There are even many rational atheists who admit this! They are biased against God - making the conclusions of their study suspect from the start.
What are some reasons people may not WANT TO believe in God?
Have you ever truly weighed where you land on your desire for God's existence?
Life can be so difficult, leading many to not WANT a God to exist if He isn't going to act to stop pain and suffering. Many people have decided they don't want to believe because of the horrendous behavior of so many religious people. Others have been taught that God is angry, violent, racist, and much more - we probably shouldn't believe in a God like that!
So what about the true God of the Bible? What would make people not WANT TO believe in that God? There are two primary issues standing in people's way:
IF THERE IS A GOD:
-I am guilty
-I am accountable
Our broken human nature does not like EITHER of these outcomes. If we ADMIT to God, we must SUBMIT to God, and submission is something we try desperately to avoid! We do not want some cosmic force to set a standard for how we are supposed to live. Humans are often rebels at heart and we THINK we would prefer a life guided by our own desires and seeking our own happiness.
Therefore, we DO NOT WANT to believe in God.
The truth is, living by our own selfish standards is an unsustainable path in life. It may be fun for a season, but if you live long enough it will land you in hell on earth! We don't actually believe there are no standards, no guilt, and no accountability - we just don't want those things for ourself! However, when someone wrongs US, then we certainly want guilt and accountability in the picture!
If God is real, then we are guilty AND we will be held accountable. However...
BECAUSE THERE IS GOD: -There is forgiveness
-There is relationship
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S APPLICATION QUESTION:
As followers of Jesus, are you living in a way that would cause people to WANT to know your God or NOT WANT TO BELIEVE in your God?
What is ONE CHANGE you can make this week that will make people want to know God?
Perhaps it is how you are/aren't treating people at work. It could be how you parent or love your spouse. Maybe it is a lack of optimism or confidence in your future that makes others wonder whether you really believe God holds the future or not.
Pray for those in your life who are opposed to the existence of God. Seek how you could live as a representative of Jesus to them. Ask the Holy Spirit to prompt you to actions that will make others curious about your faith.