Today is part six in our series I’m Too [Blank] For Faith. Each week, we’re filling in the blank with the reasons and evasions people use to shove God out of their lives.
- I’m too successful for faith.
- I’m too open-minded for faith.
- I’m too guilty for faith.
- I’m too put-together for faith.
- I’m too fun for faith.
There’s a verse in the Bible that cuts across all of these reasons and evasions:
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; (Romans 1:28)
Moreover, since they considered themselves too high and mighty to acknowledge God, he allowed them to become the slaves of their degenerate minds, and to perform unmentionable deeds. (Romans 1:28, Phil).
This is the bottom line of everything. Any version of I’m Too [Blank] for Faith happens because of this.
They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.
They considered themselves too high and mighty to acknowledge God.
If you really want to understand the human position, you can’t just stop with what a person says. You have to dig in. You have to go deep.
So, when Richard Dawkins, a professor at Oxford, and a very popular author and speaker — when he preaches his gospel of evolution, and when he declares that human nature is nothing but the interaction of atoms and molecules and energy, and when Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins suggests that human life was seeded here on earth by aliens… and when he wraps it all up in a tidy little intellectual framework… you have to dig in and go deep with all of that.
Because there is an ugly little truth hiding behind the curtain of Richard Dawkins and his God-denying intellectual arguments.
The argument against God claims to be motivated by a logical position, but is really motivated by moral position: they did not like to retain God in their knowledge — because he makes their moral desires inconvenient.
I actually had a person say this to me. He was Chicago area cop. Nice guy. Single. Wild life. Not interested in God. He came to my church somehow, and we started hanging out. Over time, he said the real reason he didn’t want to deal with God was because God would wreck his life. And by wreck, he meant deliver him from his sexual addiction.
For all intellectual and logical objections he threw up were smoke screens for the real reason: don’t cramp my style.
I think that’s way more common than we think.
Let me lay out two words: Secular and Sacred.
SECULAR means having no religious or spiritual basis.
To be secular is to be unreligious. Every day you are hanging out with secular people. No thought of God. No knowledge of Scripture. No concept of God’s laws.
What does the message of Jesus have to say to a secular mind?
SACRED means connected with God and devoted to him.
I have a goal for this message today. I want to help you flip the switch that governs your life from secular to sacred. I want to help you step into a new spiritual life and a connection with God you never had before.
My prayer is that you would be saved.
Today, would you please think with me about what would Jesus say to a friend, a family member, a neighbor who says:
I’m Too [Not Interested] for Faith
What about life’s big questions?
What is ultimate reality? What is humankind? What happens to us at death? How can I tell right from wrong? What is the meaning of human existence?
Any person who says, “I’m not interested in faith…” has basically blown off all of life’s big questions.
Jesus invented a parable about this:
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’
So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21)
This is pretty much the biggest “oops” a person can have in their life. Oops I forgot to do my homework. Oops I didn’t close the garage. Oops I didn’t set the alarm.
That’s the stuff you can recover from. But, oops I didn’t prepare for eternity. There’s no coming back from that one.
These are decent people. They get up every day. Go to work. Pay their bills. Raise their kids. Play some sports. Hit the gym. Stay busy. And in all of it give only marginal reference to God. Decent people, but for all practical purposes, godless people. They are in denial. Specifically, they are in denial about life’s biggest questions.
What is ultimate reality? You can either join the atheists and say the material universe — making chemistry and physics the ultimate reality AND the ultimate accident, or you can, like Christians, point to a supreme creator and say He is the ultimate reality.
What is humankind? To this we might answer either a highly complicated electro-chemical machine, or a personal being created by God, in his image, and for his glory.
These are life’s biggest questions. I submit that no life has true depth or meaning without wrestling with these questions.
What happens to us at death? Here we might reply something like extinction, or transformation to a higher state, or reincarnation, or the arrival at mankind’s ultimate destiny in heaven with God forever.
How can we tell right from wrong? It’s either going to be the survival of the fittest, or group consensus… OR we are going to say that since we all come from the hand of God, it is his character, and his essence that defines right and wrong.
Either you wrestle with these big questions, or you forfeit a meaningful and ultimately satisfying life.
What is the meaning of human existence? For the evolutionist, human existence is a meaningless blip on the radar screen of a timeless material universe, but for the Christian, the meaning of human existence is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
To deal with faith and with God is to come to grips with these big questions. But to not care about them, to not dig in, and wrestle, and debate, and study these questions is to lock yourself into a very shallow, truly narcissistic and hedonistic life.
Where is the satisfaction? Why care about anybody else? Why strive for the common good? But if we place faith and God and Jesus and the Bible at the center of our existence, we discover our truest dignity and worth.
- You are a sacred being, created in the image of God.
- You are more than matter and energy, for the breath of God is within you, and you are sacred to him.
- You have a status that seems lower than the angels, but your destiny is a glory that will make the angels scratch their heads in wonder, and raise up a cheer that will rattle the cosmos.
- You are part of a global mission to alleviate suffering, and alter the enteral destiny of every man, woman, and child on earth through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That is who you are. That is whose you are. That is what you are. That is where you are going. As a Christian, you have settled the mystery of life’s greatest secrets.
Compare that to: Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.
Well, what if tomorrow’s death isn’t the end? The great thing is that when you receive Jesus by faith, death isn’t the end for you. Because Jesus brings a gift package called salvation, and one of the most awesome gifts salvation includes is eternal life… which, in my opinion, is an awesome reason to be very interested faith.
This is the second thing Jesus would say to a person who claims, I’m too not interested for faith.
Jesus would ask: What about tomorrow?
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
- It seems… It is…
- It seems to be one way, but it is another way.
- It seems to be right… but it is, in the end, a way of death.
What if what seems right to our culture, is actually heartbreaking and destructive in the end?
We’re talking about your lifestyle, or your worldview, or your total approach to life taken as a whole.
That’s the word “way” in this verse. There is a way, a bunch of puzzle pieces you have fit together a certain way.
And it feels right. It looks right. The logic is right. It makes all the sense in the world. You’re convinced it’s right. Most normal people agree with you.
Sexual values. Financial management. Rules for marriage and for life. Education. Values. Children. Community. Giving back. All of it.
There is a way — a lifestyle, a worldview, a personal philosophy of life — that seems right — so you can’t argue with it.
And you throw away faith, and Jesus, and God, and the Bible, and church and everything, because you have this other way, and it just seems right. And besides, everybody else agrees with you.
God is asking you one of those big, life-changing questions.
What if, for a whole lifetime, you’ve been climbing a ladder — years and years of climbing — and when you get to the top, you realize that it’s leaning against the wrong wall?
When you got to the top…
- You expected love — you found heartbreak.
- You expected joy — you found weariness.
- You expected peace — you found chaos.
After years of climbing, and sweating, and straining, and investing — for all your labor, and what you have just doesn’t satisfy.
The way of death. Death of dreams. Death of relationship. Death of hope. Death of love.
This is the end of a secular path.
And all you can say is, “It seemed like such a good idea at the time.”
If a man came to Jesus and said, “I’m just not interested. My life is pretty good. Things are going well. I’ve got money in the bank, and just got a new bass boat, and I’m getting married… I have it all planned out.”
Jesus would say, “I’m happy for you. I’m glad it’s going well. But what about tomorrow?”
Because the simple fact is that nobody knows tomorrow. We can’t see the future.
But God does. God knows.
Google maps gives you turn by turn directions. But what if you’ve entered the wrong destination? You’ll be very efficient at arriving in the wrong place.
Only God can tell you the right place. And that is what he has done. God’s Word, the Bible, lights our way.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5, 6, NKJV).
You can see only see to the next turn. But God sees it all.
Let him guide you.
And he wants to guide you into this awesome thing called salvation and eternal life.
You’ll stop climbing the wrong ladder.
In fact, a better image would be that Jesus climbs the ladder, reaches heaven, throws the ladder away, and comes back to take your hand, guide your steps, and carry you up to heaven all the way home.
No ladders to climb. No sweat, strain, performance, or works…Just an absolutely free gift.
I talked to a young guy named Chris, a while back, and explained that life with God wasn’t a reward, it was a gift.
The guy got a little mad. He was very well dressed, and very successful, and he worked hard to get where he was. Chris was religious, and a very good person. The idea of grace didn’t sit well with him.
He said, “It’s too easy.”
And I said, “Yes.”
He said, “Why?”
I said, “Because somebody else did all the hard stuff, and his name is Jesus.”
I went on to explain how Jesus died on the cross. And how on the Cross God transferred all our imperfections and guilt onto him. And how God punished Christ for our sins instead of punishing us. And I showed in the Bible where Jesus, hanging on the cross, cried out, “It is finished.”
And it is finished for you too.
Bottom line: any lifestyle or worldview that ignores Jesus might seem right for a while, but it’s going to be a disappointment in the long run. Everybody needs the Savior.
I think the third thing Jesus would say is: What do you have to lose?
In the 1600s, there was a philosopher and scientist named Blaise Pascal. In his writings, he developed an idea that came to be called Pascal’s Wager.
He argued that there are only two options:
- Option one: God exists.
- Option two: God does not exist.
We can’t prove either option. But we have to pick one. No choice in that.
So how do we make the choice? If we can’t prove that God exists, or if were can’t prove that God doesn’t exist, how do we make the choice?
So he said, it’s basically a gamble, or a wager.
And then he said, what’s the best bet?
The best bet, said Pascal, is to wager that God exists, since, “if you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing.”
If you are weighing whether or not to believe in Jesus, I would say the same thing. What do you have to lose? If you wager that God doesn’t exist, then you have everything to lose, and only maybe some temporary pleasures to gain.
But if you wager that God does exist, you have everything to gain — new life, new identity, new purpose, heaven, the presence of God, wholeness, wisdom, power — you have everything to gain, and nothing of consequence to lose.
The book of James says it this way:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
Your life on earth is a vapor. You are here for just a little while. Then you are gone forever.
We are vulnerable creatures. No armor, just soft skin. We’re not designed to last. Just a vapor, a breath, dust in the wind. The only way to win the bet is to bet on the side of God.
It could be that you have heard me speak every week in this series. I’m too successful for faith. I’m too open-minded for faith. I’m too guilty for faith. I’m too put-together for faith. I’m too fun for faith. I’m too not interested for faith.
And today God is tugging at your heart. You know there’s something there. You know an unexamined life is not worth living.
And you know that being not interested in faith is a default gamble against God. It’s a gamble with deadly consequences if you’re wrong. And it doesn’t make sense.
Won’t you come to Jesus? Won’t you believe in him?
You have before you the way of life and the way of death. It’s your choice.
I think the last thing Jesus would say to a person who just wasn’t interested is this:
What about me (Jesus)?
Set aside all the philosophical arguments, all the rational arguments, all the scientific arguments, all the theological arguments.
You still have one giant question to answer: What do you say about Jesus? You can’t argue that he didn’t exist. No credible historian denies that.
- So who was he?
- How did this untrained carpenter from a no account town turn the world upside down?
- What did he say and what did he do that two thousand years later, and he’s still making a difference?
- What about his birth, and his death, and his empty tomb?
- What will you do with Jesus?
- Where else in history do you find a man who could look at people, call out the evil in their hearts, and make no confession of evil in his own heart?
- Where else do you find a leader who was so comfortable with horrible, famous sinners, yet able to ask the people who knew him best, “Which of you can convict me of sin?” And get silence for an answer?
- Where else could you find a man of complete humility, with no desires for office, or status, or fame, yet he could allow people to fall at his feet and worship him as God?
- And what other religious leader of any place or any time has an empty tomb, like Jesus?
You can’t be intellectually honest and not deal with the problem of Jesus.
People who met Jesus were electrified by him.
His teachings had a psychological health to them that is unmatched by the brightest studies of human behavior today.
Where can you find a leader who lived as a man, yet said, “The Father and I are one”?
There was a time in his ministry when crowds began to leave him. Jesus looked at his disciples and they talked:
Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you going to leave, too?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. (John 6:67, 68, NLT).
Jesus is the one person a relativist can’t relativize. He is starkly different; in a league of his own. His claims to be God. His claims to be holy. His claims to be the way to heaven.
It’s not so much that Jesus pointed at his teachings, though he did that.
He pointed at himself.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NKJV).
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (John 7:37, NKJV).
Come to me, the person, the God-man, the Savior, and world’s only hope.
You might not be interested in philosophy. That’s okay. You might not be interested in theology. Your loss, but so be it. You might not care about religion or faith or anything.
What about the five hundred pound gorilla in humanity’s room?
What about Jesus?
Who do you say that he is?
Because to give him even a moment’s thought, and decide NOT to be interested in him… proves that a person is more interested in convenience than truth.
But you have a different choice, and I would like to guide you through that choice right now:
Pray this with me…
- ADMIT: God, I admit I have gone astray. I admit I need you in my life. I have broken your laws. I have sinned. I can never climb high enough to reach you. I am a sinner, and I need a Savior.
- BELIEVE: God, I believe that Jesus died on the cross fro me. I believe he paid my debt in full. He died for me. He rose for me. He’s my only hope. God, I don’t get how it all works, but I’m telling you as best as I can that I believe in Jesus.
- CHOOSE: God, right now I choose to trust in Jesus Christ as my only hope. I choose to receive him. And I’m asking you, as best as I can, right now, please save me, please forgive me, and please make me your child, just because of Jesus.