Why Don’t People Believe?
If I look back at the last fifteen years, the questions teens (and the occasional parent!) ask have changed a lot in that time. But their inquiries have always been on two levels: the presenting question, and the underlying one. Kids used to ask about the historical reliability of the Bible (“Is God real? How can we know?”) and the personal nature of our Creator (“Does God care about me?”).
For a while in the middle there it was all about truth (“How can we know anything anyway?”) and their personal experience of pain (“Where is God when it hurts?”).
These days I get strange questions about the theory of evolution (“Do you REALLY believe what the Bible says?”) and about homosexuality (“Does God hate people?”).
I’ve come to realise that youth want to know essentially two things: that it’s real and that it makes a difference.
These are expressions of the only two real reasons people don’t believe: they feel they don’t need to (i.e. He’s not real), or they decide God is to blame for the evil/sadness/suffering of the world, or at least for not ending it (i.e. He doesn’t make a positive difference).
Happily (as I always point out), God’s word actually has quite a bit to say on both subjects! One example being:
“For God loved the world in this way, He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God is relevant because we are perishing. God has acted with finality to end human suffering. God is real, because he has come down to us, to suffer, die, and on the third day rise, which is also our evidence that he cares.
There really are no good reasons not to believe in God, but plenty of good reason to put your faith in his Son Jesus Christ.