Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Why Do So Few Believe in Jesus Today?


Recently, as we were waiting in our car to go into a business, we watched as an employee bowed down repeatedly before a statue of Buddha that was surrounded by candy and candles. About a week before that, my wife Tammy had a conversation with a family friend who admitted that she had absolutely no interest in God, and never has. These two situations made me think about why so few believe in Jesus today. Here are some random and somewhat rambling thoughts about that.
We live in an increasingly secular culture today. As I was growing up, few businesses were open on Sunday. Now, it is the rare (Chick fil-A, Hobby Lobby) business that is closed on Sunday; everything else is open. Why is this so?
Research studies confirm the increasingly secular nature of our culture. For example, the Pew Research Center tells us that about three in ten U.S. adults (29%) are religious “nones”, those who describe themselves as not having any religious identity. Membership in houses of worship continued to decline in 2021, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup’s eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue, or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.Every two years, through their State of Theology survey, Ligonier Ministries takes the “theological temperature” of the United States to help Christians better understand today’s culture and equip the church with better insights for discipleship. The 2020 State of Theology survey results revealed an urgent need for clear biblical teaching on the person of Christ, the gospel of grace, and the way that the truth of God informs our ethical decisions in everyday life.
Some people will say that they believe in God, but do they believe God? Is it some generic “god” that they believe in, or is it the holy God of the Bible? Some people have no problem in believing many gods, or consider themselves to be “spiritual,” but rebel against the idea of the exclusivity of Jesus.
I remember years ago having a conversation with a friend who had never given me any reason to believe that he was a follower of Jesus. Despite this, he stunned me with his assurance, telling me that he had accepted Jesus as his personal savior many years earlier as a teenager. Sadly, I had never seen any fruits in his life. R.C. Sproul often said that it is the possession of faith, not the profession of faith that is important.
Now I know that salvation is wholly a work of God. Jesus himself said:

I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me. 
 (John 14:6)

Knowing that as a theological truth, it is still puzzling why so few people believe in Jesus today. Perhaps they believe that there is nothing past this life. Or perhaps they believe in what is called universalism, in which everyone will go to Heaven when they die.
Your beliefs can be influenced by where you were born, and the family you grew up in. I was born in the United States and raised in a family in which we went to church each Sunday. Despite that upbringing, the Lord did not save me until I was in my late 20’s. We have many friends who raised their children in the church, but their children are not walking with the Lord today. Unlike Europe, where churches are now museums, we still have lots of churches available on street corners as well as radio, internet, books and TV Christian teaching available.  So it’s not for lack of available information.
These are thoughts that have been rattling around in my head for the past week or so. It leaves me wondering what to do. Are there people on your prayer list that you pray for salvation? They may very well know where you stand as far as your faith. Why not be a good friend to them and be there for any questions they may have about life and faith?

What would you add to this conversation?

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Why Do So Few Believe in Jesus Today?

  1. Hi, I have read about Elvis due to his movie recently. I have always believed he was a Christian, and he may have been. But recently they continue to say how he was always into spiritualism, and studying different spirits. I don’t believe that has anything to do with the good Lord Jesus Christ.

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