Does it really matter what you believe?
There is a certain idea that is going around – and it is not a new idea – it has been around for at least a hundred years. This idea goes something like this: “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are a good person”.
People often forget that what you believe is going to determine your definition of a good person.
Some people believe a good person can have four wives, while others believe a good person can only have one. Some believe a good person can steal from the rich and give to the poor, while others believe a good person should not steal at all. Some believe that it is okay for a good person to tell small lies, while others believe a good person should not lie at all. Some believe it is okay for a good person to marry a 7year old girl, while others believe a good person won’t marry anyone under 18years of age. Some believe that a good person should kill others in the name of their religion, while others believe a good person will never kill anyone.
What you believe is therefore not just going to determine your definition of a good person but it will also determine the way you act and behave.
In the 19th century, some English men believed that salads would prevent them from having children, and therefore they avoided salads if they wanted to start a family. On New Year’s Eve in Spain, some people believe you should eat twelve grapes at midnight for 12 months of good luck. In Japan, when walking by a graveyard, some people tuck their thumbs in to protect their parents. This is because the Japanese word for thumb literally translates as “parent-finger” and so by hiding it they believe they are protecting their parents from death.
I hope you can see clearly that when we really believe something, it influences our life and molds our character.
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 16:25.
If you are driving on a road with a cliff at the end, but you believe that there is no cliff, you will still die. If you drink rat poison and believe that it will not harm you, it will still harm you.
What you believe does matter – it matters a lot!
Jesus Christ, in the Bible, made it very clear that it does indeed matter what you believe.
John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
It is the truth that shall make you free. Lies and false ideas will not make you free.
And then in verse 36 He says,
John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
He says that the truth shall make you free in verse 32 and then in verse 36 He says that the Son shall make you free. Why?
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The truth is a revelation of Jesus. Jesus wants us to believe the truth about Him. Lies and false ideas give us a false picture of Jesus.
God wants us to come to the knowledge of truth.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
God doesn’t say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you are a good person.”
Just imagine: Your president says that it doesn’t matter what you believe and do, as long as you are a good person. Your teacher at school says it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are a good person.
One of the main reasons why people say it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are a good person is because they want to decide for themselves what is right and wrong.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
The more truth we accept and live, the more we will be like Jesus. But some say it is impossible for you to have all truth. Is that true? Jesus promised:
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth”
“The truth and the glory of God are inseparable; it is impossible for us, with the Bible within our reach, to honor God by erroneous opinions. Many claim that it matters not what one believes, if his life is only right. But the life is molded by the faith.” The Great Controversy, page 597
So remember, what we believe matters! Truth matters!