“IT DOESN’T MATTER what you believe as long as you are sincere.” That’s what a plumbing salesman told me one day—and so many people have said the same thing that it is almost a proverb.
We put a premium on sincerity because of its rarity in this age of sham. We all admire the man who is sincere, but we despise hypocrisy. We have great respect for the man who is so sincerely in earnest in his convictions that he is willing to die for them.
But is sincerity enough?
Mr. Monroe sincerely believed the railroad tracks were clear, or he would not have been caught on the tracks in his car, and hurled into eternity.
Mrs. Jones sincerely believed she was taking a dose of medicine from the medicine cabinet, but the poison she took killed her.
Joe Brady felt sincerely he was doing the right thing to rid the community of the man he hated. But the court did not think so, and the electric chair awaited him.
Nor will sincerity save your soul if you believe the wrong thing. In fact, it is far more deadly to believe the wrong thing than to drink poison.
The statement, “It doesn’t matter what you believe”, assumes that any faith is all right and will get you to heaven if you follow it sincerely.
But to believe that is fatal! Many who earnestly worship their images of wood and stone may be ever so sincere, but they are lost. The Hindu fakirs that go on long pilgrimages or lie for years on beds of spikes are utterly sincere—but they are lost. Muslims stop work and drop on their knees wherever they may be and pray to Allah five times daily. Many of them are sincere too, but without Jesus they are lost. The Jews with unquestioned sincerity go through a careful ritual of feasts and holy days, but multitudes of them have rejected the Christ, and so they, too are lost.
Not even all professing Christians are saved. If you place your hope of salvation in a pope or in the intercessions of priests and departed saints, you are lost. If you rest your faith in religious ceremonies, you are lost. If you think the gates of heaven will swing open for you because of your good deeds done to merit eternal life, you may be one hundred percent sincere, but you will certainly be lost. “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven”, said Christ.
It is the devil’s lie that it makes no difference what you believe. It makes a world of difference—an eternity of difference—what you believe! A person can be saved only by coming as a needy, helpless sinner to the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting His pardon—a pardon made possible because Christ died on the cross for us. He alone can save us and keep us saved. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”, cried the Apostle Peter (Acts 4:12).
It does matter what you believe. Anchor your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with all the sincerity of your heart, and He will give you peace with God and everlasting life.
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