SINCE EARLY CHILDHOOD I have heard people say that it does not make any difference what we believe, that if we are honest and sincere about it, God will save us anyway.
Have you ever made such a statement?
Most likely you have heard your preacher say the same thing. If he has, ask him for the verse in the Bible. You have made this kind of statement because your have heard preachers make it, and naturally you thought it must be so. But if your preacher has been making it, he must have some reason for it since he claims to be following and teaching the Bible. He should make such statements providing the Bible says so. And if the Bible says so, he will know where to find it. So ask him to give you the book, chapter, and verse.
Notice this scripture from 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (KJV).
This indeed is a very plain statement. It positively says that some would “believe a lie.” Certainly there is a vast difference between believing a lie and believing the truth. The truth is recorded in the word of God. If it is not taught in the word of God, it must be a lie.
Does it make any difference which of these one believes?
The general idea is that it does not matter, provided one is sincere. Of course, he could not believe anything unless he is sincere.
A person might pretend o believe a think and be insincere about it. But if he actually believes it, he must be sincere.
So the Bible speaks of men who are sincere, for it actually says they will “believe a lie.” But what of their sincerity? Will that atone for their mistake? Will God save them anyway, just because they are honest about it? Is that what the Bible said? No, that is not the way it reads at all.
Observe verse 12 again: “THAT THEY ALL MIGHT BE DAMNED WHO BELIEVED NOT THE TRUTH.”
Notice the word “damned.” This means the very opposite of “saved.” Yet we are told that certain men would be damned. But who were to be damned? All those who believed a lie or believed not the truth.
It does make quite a difference what a person believes! For if one is to be saved, he must believe the truth. To believe something else will result in damnation – regardless of how sincere a person might be. (Garland Elkins, “Does Honesty Make Error Truth?,” Come and See).
“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12).