I’m no psychiatrist (although my going to one has been suggested) but I think I know, from personal experience, why so many people just refuse to accept the truth about salvation.
I think it’s from fear of loss. And what they fear losing is their freedom to sin.
No one will say that they want to sin. Well, maybe there are some who will admit it, but most people won’t say they want to sin, and being “saved” means they can’t, so they would rather reject God.
But I think that’s the real reason why they reject God.
I know when I was rejecting (and ridiculing) God and all who accepted Him and the truth that Yeshua is the Messiah He promised, I was afraid of having to become “holy”, meaning that I couldn’t joke around, drink, have sex without marriage, make dirty jokes, curse a blue streak when angry, etc. And yet, when I thought about it, I realized that these things aren’t the best parts of my humanity, but I still didn’t want to be ‘transformed’ into the image of Messiah.
Also, as a Jew, I was told that this Jesus guy was a Jew who started a new religion, and history can support the teaching I received, which was that Christianity hates Jews. I will talk about why Jews reject Jesus in my Monday, 8/3 blog.
Yet, deep down, I did want to change. I didn’t like the cynical comments I made all the time, I didn’t like it when I hurt people (although I blamed them for being hurt) and I didn’t like embarrassing myself. I didn’t like some things about me and I did like other things about me, but being a “saved again Believer” seemed to require giving up everything.
Man, oh Manischevitz, am I glad I was wrong! I finally got sick and tired of not making a choice and when I did I found out that what I really wanted was to have God’s spirit in me to help me get rid of the dreck and improve what was left. I didn’t become a different me, just a better me. There is still plenty of “wrong” stuff to work on so that I am still the “me” I was before, but just with a lot less of the stuff I didn’t want.
I think most people don’t want to review their thoughts and beliefs about God and Messiah because they are comfortable where they are, even though they have a first class seat to Hell. They are enjoying the ride without any thoughts about the destination. That’s a shame, and it’s what the enemy can use to win souls to him, even when those souls have no idea what is happening.
What really frustrates me is when you meet that person who was raised a Gentile and has heard about Jesus all their life, and is comfortable with what their religious leader told them. Most are told either you are going to hell if you are a bad person and heaven if you are good, or that Jesus died for your sins so you are OK, don’t worry about that “Jewish” stuff in the Old Covenant and just be a good person. It’s all OK.
That teaching is a one-way ticket to the hottest spot in creation, and I’m not talking about a night club.
Do you know someone who says they believe in God, pretty much, and they know about Jesus (Yeshua is His real name, and the only name that has a meaning to it) but they don’t want to talk about the bible or God? They just want to go to church on Easter and Christmas and be left alone. If so, try to reach them by reassuring them that whatever changes they may have to make to live a more Godly life will be welcomed changes. Tell them that you changed and you now can look back and realize how much more blessed your life has been, how much happier you are and more calm and peaceful, even when you are in the midst of terrible times. Let them know that they will have to change some of their behavior, take time and make the effort to read the bible and get to know God’s word (which is the best and fastest way to get to know Him) but that with the Ruach HaKodesh helping and guiding them, this work will feel more like enjoyment. Basically, they can still have a really fun ride while also going to the right destination.
I know people, close to me, whom I love, who refuse to accept that they need to make a decision on their own and to face up to accept or reject. God is binomial- either you are with Him or you are against Him; there is no other choice. And yet, these people just want to stay where they are, lean on the broken stick that their religion taught them about salvation (just be a good person) and refuse, adamantly, to save themselves. It really hurts to watch people run to destruction.
If you are reading this and seeing yourself, please don’t be afraid of the change. You will be more peaceful and able to find that “calm in the midst of the storm” as you go through life when God is your pilot. Life is a storm, we get tossed about like leaves in a tornado sometimes, and there are things we can’t control. But God is in control of everything, and when you choose to be on His side, He will keep you safe. The changes you make will be at your speed because God won’t put on you more than you can take (Yeshua told us His yoke is easy and His burden is light) but you do have to work at it. You will need to live more and more in accordance with the Torah, which is God’s commandments to everyone who worships Him (God has no religion, remember?), but it isn’t hard.
Face up to the reality that you are on a trip to eternity, like it or not. You can choose what you do while traveling, and you can choose who you want to travel with, but the destination is coming and you never know when you will reach it. It may be years from now, it may be today. But you will reach it, it is going to come, and it will be where you remain for all eternity.
The trip is short, as James says, it is a mist that is here and then gone; think about how long it takes for something you really, really want to arrive, and when you look back how quickly the time seems to have passed. Stop thinking you have all the time in the universe, because you don’t. Your destination will be here before you know it, and when you have to get off the ride you will not have any choice.
Enjoy the ride, sure, but make sure that you are going to the right place first.