Unjustified Unbelief

April 4, 2020

Unjustified Unbelief

By Russell George

Friend, I invite you to go with me in your mind to an imaginary scene that I’m going to describe to you that took place 500 years ago. A man, let’s say his name is Fred, arrives out of breath at a potluck supper at his church. He arrives late and the people are already eating their first plate of food. He quickly hangs up his coat and rushes to the fellowship hall. He is excited! He shouts, “Hey everybody, Hey everybody!” When he gets their attention he says, “You won’t believe this, but I just talked to my daughter down in Argentina. Here is how it happened. A friend came to my door and said ‘Hey, I want to show you something.’ In his hand he had a little box about the size of a writing tablet. It had a glass front on it. He said, ‘You can talk to your daughter in Argentina on this.’ He pushed a button on the top of it and it turned on. Then he started tapping on the screen. In about a minute he turned the screen to me and there was my daughter’s face on the screen. I couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘Go ahead and talk to her.’ I felt foolish but I said Hi!” What a surprise it was when she smiled and said, ‘Hi Dad.’ I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. I looked at my friend in astonishment. He looked at me and said, ‘Go ahead, keep talking.’ I did and we carried on a conversation for about 15 minutes.”

You can be sure that Fred had the attention of all his friends at the supper. Written across the face of all of them was unbelief. They started saying to one another, “What’s happened to Fred? He must be mentally deranged.” Some said, “Maybe we should talk to him and see if we can help him wipe this crazy dream out of his mind before he makes a fool of himself.”

If that happened 500 years ago we could understand their unbelief and excuse them for it. If it happened today people would ignore Fred and go on eating. It is so common with us that we think nothing of it. The unbelief of the people in Fred’s day was justified but it wouldn’t be today.

Most of us today are enjoying the convenience of electronic inventions. We say, “Seeing is believing.” We believe in these things because we have seen that they work. We can’t explain how they work. We could come up with a good argument about why they shouldn’t work, but they do so we have to accept the fact.

When I was a boy, I had to accept some new inventions that I couldn’t understand or explain. At school they started talking about radios. I was convinced that they couldn’t send messages through the air. Maybe on a wire by telephone, yes, but I couldn’t explain how it works. We had a telephone. Therefore I had to accept that it was possible.

A few months later one of our neighbors got a radio. He invited our family to come to their house one Sunday afternoon and listen to the radio. We all went and sat in their living room and listened to the radio. From my understanding, it wasn’t suppose to work, but it did. I had to accept it.

Then they started talking about television. I was convinced there was no way they could send pictures through the air. They said in the minute the television signal left the transmitter the message could be seen and heard by people all over the state. I said to myself, “I’ll have to see it to believe it.” A month or so later I went with my dad into a hardware store. There they had a television functioning. People were standing around watching a world series baseball game on it. Again I had to face the fact that my unbelief was unjustified.

At school our teacher told us that light travels faster than sound. A few weeks later we sat on our front steps one evening and watched a thunder storm coming up. I saw that my teacher was right. The crack of thunder and the flash of lightning didn’t both come at the same time. Therefor the television was contrary to the laws of nature, because the picture should arrive sooner than the sound.

When I was a young man, I was guilty of unjustified unbelief when some young people began talking to me about my need of having a relationship with God. I was convinced that there was no God and I thought, “I don’t have any time or place in my mind for thoughts about God.” That happened in my first months as a student at the University of Nebraska. I was a timid, lonely young man with very few friends. I appreciated the friendship of these young people, so I accepted their invitations to do things with them. They had weekly meetings at the Student Union Building. I started going to those meetings with them because it gave me a chance to meet other young people. The only problem I had was that they always had someone there with a message about our need for God. I said to myself, “They aren’t going to convince me of that.”

As time went on, I began to see that those young people had a joy in their life and a reason for living that I didn’t have. I wanted that for myself, but I didn’t want to accept the fact that it was their relationship with God that gave them what they had. It wasn’t until the spring of my second year at the university that I finally accepted the fact that I too needed to recognize the fact that I was a sinner and needed to accept Christ as my Savior. I’m glad I did. It gave me a new life and I have never had any desire to turn back.

Many people struggle with unjustified unbelief. They are convinced in their mind that they don’t need God. My advice to them is what Paul said in Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” If you do that, you will be amazed at the change that takes place in your life. It won’t answer all the questions you have about God. I still can’t understand how God made this universe out of nothing, but I still believe in him. Neither have I gone through life without watching television because I don’t understand how it works. I just say, “Logically it shouldn’t work, but it does.”

We would miss all the advantages electronic devices offer us if we refused to use them because we can’t understand how they work. Don’t let unjustified unbelief keep you from enjoying all God offers you if you will only believe in him. Psalm 73:16-17 says, When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.” You need to start going to a good church and expose yourself to the truth. Then you will understand that God is real and that he can make a tremendous difference in your life.

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