Does It Matter What I Believe?

Jarrod Jacobs

Many ask this question in reference to religious matters. A large number of people in our society try to say that it does not matter what we believe so long as we are honest and sincere about religious issues. Is this true? Let us study the Bible and see the consequences of one reasoning that is does not matter what we believe so long as we are sincere.

If it does not matter what we believe just as long as we are sincere people, then why did Jesus condemn the Pharisees while He was on earth? Let us read Matthew 15:9. There Jesus said, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Does this sound like Jesus does not care how we worship him? How is it possible to worship “in vain” if it doesn’t matter what we believe? Further, in Matthew 22:29, Jesus condemned the Sadducees, telling them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” How can Christ say that people are “wrong” if it does not matter what you and I believe on religious matters?

Let us look at an early teacher and preacher of the gospel: A man by the name of Stephen. This space will not allow us to print the entire text, but please read Acts 7 so you can understand the entire context. Toward the end of Acts 7, Stephen condemns the Jews for refusing to believe that Jesus was the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecy (v. 51-53). Please notice what happened, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth … They cast him out of the city and stoned him” (Acts 7:54, 58). Does this sound like the reaction of a people who heard a sermon suggesting that it doesn’t matter what we believe so long as we are sincere in what we do?

We could add to this study by relating the various reactions of people who heard the apostle Paul preach. The Bible shows us that he was run out of Antioch in Pisidia, stoned at Lystra, run out of Thessalonica, and Berea as well (Acts 13:50, 14:19, 17:10, 13-14). These are but a few examples, and more of Paul’s suffering is recorded for us in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. Please note the responses to Paul and when they came. This is not the reaction of folks hearing, “I’m OK and you are OK,” or “It doesn’’t matter what we believe”! Instead, we know he preached the gospel and the gospel only (Galatians 1:6-12; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 2:2, 5)

My friend, what we believe matters! What we believe will determine whether we go to Heaven or Hell (John 8:24)! This is how serious it is. When people declare that it does not matter what you believe as long as you are honest and sincere, they are saying something completely foreign to the Scriptures.