Have you ever wondered how many people love fairy tales, or maybe believe in extra-terrestrial aliens? Similarly, how many people believe that humans were planted here by aliens long, long ago?
Although it may not surprise you that almost no one is offended by fairy tales, it might surprise you that a lot of people on our planet do believe in aliens, and many of them believe that our supposed “progenitors” are coming back, yet virtually no one is offended by what these people believe.
Why do I start out in this direction, especially when you probably know that I believe in the biblical account of creation, and that God is the one who created us, not creatures from Vulcan or Romulus (no offense, Spock)?
I bring this up because as I have shared, hundreds of millions, maybe billions of people believe in extra-terrestrials, and many believe they will come back to retrieve us, or visit us. There are even clubs and organizations that focus on these beliefs. Nonetheless, those people are not persecuted or attacked; if anything they are laughed at.
I mention fairy tales and belief in extra-terrestrials because many, many people believe that the accounts in the Bible are no truer than fairy tales or “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” So my question is, if you believe that the Bible and the need for Jesus for salvation are completely untrue, in fact ridiculous, then why is the message of Christianity so hated, and Christ’s followers the most persecuted religion on earth?
What is so horrible about the gospel anyway? Jesus said that when He returns He will give everyone according to their deeds. So if people are good, as virtually all people claim to be, then Jesus will give them good things – rewards, as it were. Of course, if a person is not good then Jesus said they will receive what is “not good.” So what is the problem?
The only valid conclusion is that people know they are not good, thus they do not want to receive from Christ what would be in line for their attitudes, actions, and lifestyles.
If Christianity is based on fairy tales and whimsical dreams, unbelievers should be content in letting us share our “tales,” or go our own way, at worst laughing at us for being so ridiculous. But that is not what is going on. Throughout the world hundreds of millions of Christians are persecuted for their beliefs about Christ and the Bible. In 50 nations of the world that persecution can be severe, sometimes government sanctioned, and almost always government ignored.
What is amazing is that such discrimination and persecution is also going on in this nation, and it is on the rise. What may be surprising is that according to an in-depth and fairly large survey by author George Yancey, the majority of those in America who strongly oppose Christians are white, male, wealthy, highly educated, politically progressive, and irreligious. That is a lot of influential people in this nation.
How sad. If they truly believe that our tenets are garbage, and amount to no more truth than “Star Wars,” then why such strong opposition, even open discrimination?
The only logical conclusion is that people know that they are not good; they know that they are selfish, and that the moral and ethical directions they are headed in are not good, in fact that they are downright wrong. And yet they continue down the evil and unsustainable road they are on. Why would they do that?
The Bible is clear as to why. The Gospel of John says in chapter 3 verse 19 that “the Light (Jesus) has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
Speaking of such people, God says in Romans 1:32 that “although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
I often wonder what goes on in the mind of those who intentionally oppose God, and even encourage others to do the same. Somehow they must think that if there are enough of them that oppose God that He will feel He was wrong, or that He was too harsh, and that He will change His mind; sort of like a protest that eventually gets a government to alter its plans.
The truth is, God’s Word is true, and Jesus is God the Son. He did choose to be born as one of us, and then live a holy and righteous life for our benefit, and then He chose to take the punishment for our sin, and allowed Himself to be crucified so that He might taste death on our behalf. Then He rose from the dead three days later, offering forgiveness and eternal life to any and all who will repent and trust in Him as the Promised Savior of the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
People can continue to say they don’t believe the Bible speaks the truth, but their actions against the Bible and Christians seem to say something else.
What people need to do is stop embracing darkness and sin, and turn to the Light of the world, Jesus the Savior. Then, as He promised, He will give them the gifts beyond all gifts – forgiveness and eternal life.
Jon McCartney is pastor of First Baptist Church of Tooele.