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 Sermon on It Does Make a Difference

What You Believe

By Brian Pepper

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 believe.

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 out.

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 your future.

The Bible gives many examples showing that what a man believes really affects his life.

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 to do.

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. 

In 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, “ 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 Guide

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.

In 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 the Facts

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 believe.

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.

In 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 about God.

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.

In 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.

In Ephesians 3:17-19 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…”

Important 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. 

In 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.

Belief - 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 keeping.

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 Christ.

Paul says in 1 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 yourself.

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 the Facts

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 kingdom. James 2:19.

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.

A Faith That Believes

In 1 John 5:4 we are told, “…this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

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?” Matthew 17:19

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 doubt?” Matthew 14:31

O Ye of Little Faith

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 God’s promises.

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 every day.

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 from God

In 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 thirst.

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.


The Bible in Song Sermons category is expected to be enlarged over time as hard copy sermon notes are scanned, typed and edited in webpage format. Visit Sermons Page for the complete list of sermons and Bible Commentaries

  PDF Sermon Files
Click image for sample. The Complete Sermon Collection is available at the Store Page. It includes 169 sermons which are listed on the Sermons Page, plus several audio visual sermonettes and a number of incomplete sermons. Original typed sermon notes have been scanned in PDF files on a DVD.


  PDF Revelation Files
Easy access to all the uploaded Revelation Bible Commentaries written by Brian Pepper. Also a CD of the complete Book of Revelation consisting of 22 PDF files scanned from original typed documents. These files can be downloaded by Adobe Acrobat to view on computer screen, or printed in booklet or other format.


  SDA Prophecy Chart
Bible in Song Sermons and Commentaries pages have exposed flaws in the "2300 day" prophecy chart most notably used by Seventh-day Adventists. Seventh-day Adventists in their biblical interpretation have favored the tradition of their founding fathers over Scripture and the "divine revelation" of their own prophet Ellen White. Read more.


Thank you for posting some of (Brian Pepper's) sermons. It's like reading the very words Jesus has spoken to me and is a great encouragement. I cannot say that about many Pastors but I can say that about (Pr Pepper). Thank you. Robert (USA) ... more testimonials.



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