Is it really enough to just believe that there is some sort of universal higher power? Many people, including good friends of mine, say that they can’t believe in the Bible and Jesus. Then they give me some sort of excuse about bad examples of Christians or of misunderstandings they have of church doctrines.
Look at what James wrote about those who just believe about God. In chapter two and verse nineteen (BBE) he wrote, “You have the belief that God is one, and you do well: the evil spirits have the same belief, shaking with fear.”
Beyond mere mental ascent, people must place their trust in Christ. Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) plainly states, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Some people will doubtless be confused at how we can believe in God and Jesus as well. Even so, Christ tells us to do so. John 14:1 (KJV) quotes our Lord as saying, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
Believing in the Lord means placing one’s full and total trust in him and Christ’s atonement for sins on the cross. As Romans 10:9 and 10 (BBE) instructs, “Because, if you say with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and have faith in your heart that God has made him come back from the dead, you will have salvation. For with the heart man has faith to get righteousness, and with the mouth he says that Jesus is Lord to get salvation”
Additionally, we must love the Lord rather than roboticly obeying him. Jesus said in John 14:15 (KJV) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Christ also explained the benefits of loving God in John 14:21 (KJV) when he said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
And not only in this world do we receive new life in Christ but in the age to come. Romans 6:23 (KJV) states, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
So mere ascent that there is some sort of divine being somewhere who made the universe isn’t enough to give people salvation and save them from sin and eternal torment. This is the main theme of my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? May the Lord use my writing to guide folks to eternal life.
On Thursday, I’ll post about the error of moralism. Just being a nice person won’t get one into heaven either.