On occasions we have all wondered why so few people respond to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The glorious message of divine love and mercy so often falls on deaf ears. Invitations to come learn about God, who loves us all and wants to bring us to heaven when we die, are stoutly rejected. One would think that people would be zealous in their desire to know such a loving God, but the opposite is the case. This is because of the nature of man.

We Are All Flawed

The descendants of Adam are spiritually flawed. (If there is any doubt about that just look around at the state of our world today, or read history, and the evidence of man's sinfulness is plain to see). Not only are we born into a sinful world, we are born with a fallen nature that leans in the direction of sin. For example, God inspected the heart of man in the days of Noah and commented upon his condition: "The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5). After the flood, the Lord confirmed his statement about man's evil heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood." (Genesis 8:21) The heart of man is exceedingly sinful.

Since we have a fallen nature that desires to sin, the pursuit of God is not a priority. We don't naturally gravitate towards things spiritual. Yet, in spite of our fallen nature, God has remained near "so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." (Acts 17:27)

Choices to Make

Since God "is not far from each of us," unbelief is inexcusable. God can be found by those who seek him. He is not hiding, nor does he make it difficult for any to find him. Through the natural world (Romans 1:20) and displays of his divine power, God has provided evidence to help seekers find him. For example, when Israel went to occupy the Promised Land they sent men "to spy out the land." They came to the city of Jericho where the prostitute Rahab provided them with protection in exchange for the protection of her family when the army of Israel came against Jericho. Rahab had heard what the God of the Israelites had done in Egypt and she believed. Those who died when Jericho fell had access to the same information as Rahab. The difference is that she chose to do something about what she had heard.

Seeking God

God has not been silent in declaring his desire to be found by those who seek him:

  • "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
  • "But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them." (2 Chronicles 15:4)
  • "But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)
  • "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

    Unbelief cannot be attributed to a lack of convincing evidence. "Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him." (John 12:37) Why? Were the miracles not sufficiently spectacular? The apostle John explains one aspect of the struggle with coming to faith in Jesus: "Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God." (John 12:42-43) These Pharisees saw the weight of the evidence and the direction in which the evidence pointed – to the Lord Jesus Christ. But something was more important to them than belief, namely their own pride; they found the compliments of men more satisfying than the praises of God.