It does make a
difference what you believe. Because the way you believe is
the way you live. If you believe that Jesus Christ is coming
soon, you will be ready when He comes. If you believe in
prayer, you will pray. If you believe in drinking milk you
will drink milk. Your whole life is governed by what you
If you were ever in a
crowded building when someone shouted "Fire, fire,” then you
would see that what one believes really affects what he does.
There might not even be a fire, but people may be trampled to
death by those who believe there is, and are struggling to get
What You Believe
Governs Your Life
In 1933, a certain man
was rising to power. He had been a corporal in the German Army
then later on a house painter. Strangely enough he took hold
of the idea that he was a superman, and that he was going to
rule a super nation and that this super nation was going to
conquer the world. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers, sailors
and airmen gave their lives because this man believed that he
was a superman, leading a super nation.
It certainly does make
a difference what you believe because what you believe governs
The Bible gives many
examples showing that what a man believes really affects his
Adam and Eve Sincerely Believed a Lie
Adam and Eve believed
Satan's lie, instead of the Word of God. Satan said, "Ye shall
not surely die," and they believed his lie.
There are those who
say that it makes no difference what you believe as long as
you are sincere.
Let me tell you, Eve
was very sincere in her belief that she could disobey God and
not suffer the consequences. But she lost her Eden home and
did die just as God told her she would. You can believe a lie
ever so sincerely but it will not save you.
The Antediluvian World
Believed it Could Not Rain
God said that He would
destroy the world with a flood. Noah and his family believed
God's Word, prepared an Ark, and went into it as God told them
Thousands of people
living before the flood believed that since it had never
rained before it could not and would not rain. They did not
believe there would be a flood and they influenced their
friends to believe the same. They believed a lie but it did
not save them. They were drowned in the waters as the floods
came upon the earth.
Children of Israel
Believed a Discouraging Report
Caleb and Joshua
believed that God meant what He said, and that the land of
Canaan could easily be possessed even if there were giants
in the land. They came back to the Children of Israel with a
glowing report of the beautiful land they had seen.
But the people chose
to believe the ten spies with the discouraging report, and
because of this they wandered in the wilderness for forty
years never seeing the Promised Land. Caleb and Joshua were
the only ones who went over the Jordan into the land of
Canaan at the end of the 40 years.
Children of Israel
Believed God at Jericho
The Children of
Israel believed God when he told them that if they would
march around the city of Jericho 13 times the walls would
fall. They had never seen such a thing happen before and it
would have been very easy for them to sit back in their
tents and declare that it was all foolishness so they would
not march in the hot sun. But they did march just as God
told them, and at the end of that last march, when they were
nearly exhausted, the walls of Jericho did fall and they
took the city.
Believing That Your
Conscience Should be Your Guide
I have heard some
people say that they believe that they should let their
conscience be their guide. This might work if we were sure
we have a good conscience.
1 Timothy 1:5 we read, "Now the end of the
commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good
conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”
Paul tells us
that if we have love, a pure heart, a good conscience and
real honest faith, it might be all right to trust the
conscience but he goes on to warn us that not all
consciences are to be depended on.
There are many kinds
of consciences. In
1 Timothy 4:1,2 we read, “...in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith...speaking lies in
hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron."
A Seared Conscience
Here Paul speaks of
a seared conscience. When your finger has been burned it is
not as sensitive as another part of the hand.
I know that only too
well. One day when driving my car I noticed that the
cigarette lighter was almost ready to fall out so I reached
over and as I tried to grip it, it came away in my hand. One
of my fingers came in contact with the hot part and I
received a bad burn. That finger was sore for some time.
A seared conscience
certainly could not be depended on.
There are plenty of
examples of what a person with a seared conscience will do.
Those who persecuted the early church thought they were
doing the right thing.
We are told in
John 16:2, "They shall put you out of the
synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you
will think that he doeth God service.”
Those who crucified
Christ thought they were doing right. Those who persecuted
the Christians during the time of Pagan Rome thought they
were doing right. When the Waldenses were killed by the
thousands because they wished to worship God in a different
way than others thought they should; those who were
persecuting them thought they were doing the Lord's work.
Conscience Not a Safe
So you can see that
conscience is not a safe guide.
Paul speaks of
another kind of conscience in
Hebrews 10:22. (Moffatt trans) "Let us draw near
with a true heart in absolute assurance of faith, our hearts
sprinkled clean from a bad conscience ..." The King James
Version renders it "an evil conscience."
It is quite apparent
that there are various kinds of consciences and the more one
examines what the Bible says on this subject it becomes
clear that one's conscience is a very poor guide.
Paul explains that
his conscience allowed him to persecute God's people, to
throw them into prison, to render them homeless, to take
their lives in the name of religion.
Acts 23:1 he says, "I have lived in all good
conscience before God until this day.”
He thought he was
doing God's service. He was sure of the approbation of
heaven. However in
1 Timothy 1:13 we are told, “…but I obtained
mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”
After Paul was
converted his conscience was changed and he went everywhere
preaching the Word. You can see that it certainly does make a
difference what you believe. Because the way you believe is
the way you live.
There are three things
that are very important in this matter of what we believe.
Belief - You Must Know
You must know the
Facts. If you do not know the
facts, if you have never heard of the Gospel, if you have
never read the Bible; then how will you know what to believe?
There is one thing I
must warn you about. Never believe what someone else tells
you. Now when I say that, perhaps it would be better to
qualify that statement. For instance, some folk will tell you
the Bible is full of contradictions; that you cannot believe
everything in it.
It is important that
we “search the Scriptures.” See if what they say
is true. Then when you see for yourself you will know what you
Faith can only grow as
it becomes more certain of the facts.
It is interesting to
notice that there are two kinds of faith. One that gives life;
the other means death. Under normal
circumstances a tree that is alive will bear fruit. A person who has a
living faith will bear good fruit as well.
When you have faith in
the facts there will be a big change in the way you live. First and foremost we
must have faith in God.
Isaiah 43:10 it
says, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant
whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and
understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed,
neither shall there be after me.”
Some Things are Not Easy to Understand
There are some things
that are not easy to understand. I can only understand
God as I study about Him in the Bible and see His creative
hand in the sky above and in nature all around me. I wish I knew more
At one time I was very
troubled about this. Satan used to bring those questioning
doubts to my mind. He used to say to me "There is no God; you
are a fool to believe in Him." It worried me until I started
to think "If there is no God then there isn’t any Devil
either." Any I certainly could
not believe that. As I looked around at
what God had created my doubts were soon dispelled.
The study of human
physiology, which is the science of the normal function of
living things, does a lot to convince you of a Master Maker. The complex nervous
system of the human body, the intricate muscular system, bone
structure, and all the rest; when you study these things there
is no question that someone made us, and that someone was God.
I must admit there are
lots of things that I do not understand. For instance I don’t
understand fall-out. The scientists say that it is deadly so I
have decided to believe them. Really I do not know a
great deal about electricity but I do know that it is
dangerous if played with; is a
wonderful boon in the home, can light up a city at night.
1 John 4:8 we are
told that "God is love."
But Satan wants us to
believe that God is not love; that He was holding back from
them that which would give them more happiness than they
possessed. If you find it hard to
believe that God is love then take a look at Calvary.
we read, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that
ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Verse 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Verse 19 And to know the love of Christ…”
to Know that God Exists
You can see that
knowledge is the first essential to faith, for without knowing
God's wonderful love demonstrated by the gift of His Son to
die on Calvary, we have nothing on which to base our faith.
God hates sin and
after all sin is a hateful thing, but GOD loves the sinner.
John 17:23 Jesus
says, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made
perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast
sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
If a person is lost,
it won’t be because God does not love them but rather because
they have resisted God’s love. He wants us in heaven
because we love Him and choose to be there.
So it is very
important that we know the facts; that God is, and that He is
the One who loves you.
Believe the Facts
Yes, we must know that
God exists and that Jesus is our Saviour, but we must go
further than that; we must believe the facts.
When we believe that
Jesus is our Saviour then we must commit our lives into His
There are always some
folk who make these excuses, “I am too much of a sinner.
Everything seems to be against me. There is so much trouble in
our home. I have a problem that is holding me back.” But really there is no
real excuse for not believing that Jesus can help us to
overcome every problem.
It is very important
that we realize that belief about Christ is not belief in
Paul says in
Thessalonians 2:13, “For this cause also thank we God without
ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye
heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it
is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also
in you that believe.”
God cannot work in us
unless we believe. And it is faith fully developed which
strengthens that belief.
As I have already
mentioned there are three essentials to that kind of faith.
Know the Facts. The only way to know
the facts is to study for yourself. Do not accept everything
people tell you about the Bible until you check carefully for
Then Believe the Facts. There is a key text I
would like to use in connection with this essential.
Hebrews 10:39 says, “But
we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them
that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Belief is intimately
connected with salvation. Mental assent is not enough. It must
be a belief that comes from the heart.
Belief - Act on
Now the third
essential. Act on the Facts.
There are many folk
who believe that Jesus is the Saviour but they fail to take
hold of Him as their personal Saviour.
James tells us that
the Devils believe in Jesus but that does not help them for
belief is not enough. It had to go further than that. If the Devils had
acted on the facts then they would have been saved in the
A missionary in India
gathered the village people together and told them the
wonderful story of how Jesus went from village to village
healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, raising the
dead. "We know Him," said the people. "He has been here in our
village." The missionary was
greatly surprised until the villagers explained that a
missionary doctor had visited them and treated the sick. These folk were not
aware of the fact that Jesus lived on earth two thousand years
ago. The description of Jesus fitted so perfectly the work of
the missionary doctor.
This man not only knew
the facts and believed the
facts, but he acted on the facts so much so that the simple
Indian villagers recognized him for what he was; a true
representative of the Saviour.
The only way I can
tell what you believe is by the way you live. I do not know anything
else about you. You can shout from the
housetops that you believe, but if there is no revelation of
Jesus Christ in your life your words are useless.
The world has to see
by our actions that we believe just what we believe. To believe what God
says is not enough. We must act accordingly. I want to emphasize
this point. What you believe is very important because it
guides your life in the proper channel and your destiny is
decided by what you believe.
Your life and my life
will be a success or failure according to what we believe and
how sincerely we believe it.
1 John 5:4 we are
told, “…this is the victory that overcometh the world, even
If I have the right
kind of faith I will overcome the world. The right kind of
faith is a faith that does not doubt God and believes in His
promises. The Bible makes it
very plain that it is a sin to doubt God and His promises.
Jesus said to the
blind man “According to your faith be it unto you.” Sin or Salvation comes
according to our faith or according to our unbelief.
On one occasion the
disciples found themselves in a very embarrassing situation.
They had tried to cast out the devil from a poor lad but they
failed miserably. Naturally they were anxious to know the
reason for their failure. So they asked Jesus, “why could not
we cast him out?”
And Jesus answered
them saying, “Because of your unbelief.” It was because of
their lack of faith they were unable to cure the boy.
On another occasion
Jesus said, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou
O Ye of
O Ye of Little Faith. These words are
addressed to every person who has hesitated to branch out and
do that which is right. To those who have
hesitated to follow Jesus all the way. We should never doubt
There are those who
wonder how they could possibly start paying tithe when their
money hardly covers the cost of living and that is going up
But hasn’t God
promised that He will pour out His blessing so that your money
will go twice as far as before.
Faith is very
important for it governs my success or my failure, my eternal
destiny, my whole life.
Faith is a Gift
Ephesians 2:8 Paul
says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not
of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Now isn’t that
wonderful? Faith is free, for it is a gift of God. So is the air, but
have to breathe it to keep you alive. God gives you bread but
have to eat it. We have water in
abundance, but unless we drink it we will never satisfy our
Just so Christ is the
bread of life but unless we become partakers with Him we will
never gain everlasting life. If you want a strong
body then you must exercise that body, and if you want a
strong faith, then you must exercise that faith.
Remember this, it does
make a difference what you believe because the way you believe
is the way you live.