Don't the Sincere Beliefs of Non-Christians Matter to God?

Greg explains why it matters what you believe, not just how sincerely you believe it.

Transcript:

00:00 I want to talk for just a moment about sincerity because this is something that

00:09 comes into discussions about Christianity, and I think it's given more

00:16 weight in the discussion than it deserves. In other words, people think,

00:20 "Well as long as you're sincere in whatever it is you believe, if there is a

00:24 God, that's all that really matters to Him," okay, "and and why wouldn't sincerity

00:30 matter to God?" And my answer is because sincerity matters almost a nothing in

00:35 life. When you think about it. Anything important, anything critical, anything

00:41 that has significant consequence in life, sincerity doesn't matter. People are

00:46 sincerely deluded all the time, make massive mistakes in life, and they're

00:51 very sincere, but they're wrong, and there are devastating consequences, and the

00:56 fact that they were sincere saved them not one whit. I was just reading this

01:03 morning in John chapter 4, "The ones who want to worship God must worship in

01:08 spirit and in truth. I mean the issue of God is the most important issue

01:14 anyone can discuss. There are all kinds of sincere beliefs that take people in

01:18 all kinds of different directions. That doesn't mean that that disqualifies

01:25 their conduct, their sin, their rebellion, whatever. It doesn't do that. When it

01:32 comes to the critical issues of life, I mean just think of medicine, for example.

01:36 You can have all kinds of sincere beliefs about bad medicine, and you're

01:40 not gonna get better. This is why Paul in Romans chapter 10 says this of the Jews:

01:47 He says, "I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but it's not in

01:56 accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness, and

02:02 seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the

02:07 righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the

02:12 law for righteousness to everyone who believes." So Paul says there in the

02:16 beginning of that chapter that boy here's a group of people that really are

02:19 zealous for God, but they're getting it all wrong. Why? Well, there's complex reasons

02:26 why, but the important point here is he makes it clear that sincerity doesn't

02:31 matter. Now, if you're willing to go along with the idea that, "No, no, no, no, no, God is

02:37 gonna be fine with the sincere person." What you're going to have to come up

02:42 with is a good justification for that, and it cannot be just wishful thinking,

02:48 okay? Find a text, find a document, find a place where God Himself in some

02:55 authoritative way says, "All you need to do is be sincere, and it doesn't matter

03:01 where you go, what you believe, how you live, sincerity is the real deal." But

03:08 you're not gonna find that – not in the Bible. And I don't think you're gonna

03:11 find that anywhere else that is authoritative for God. If you're gonna

03:15 make a claim about what God is really after, sincerity in this case, you better

03:20 be able to authenticate it in some reliable way because everything rides on

03:25 this. Sincerity is not the right factor for the God of truth. Only truth is the

03:33 factor. You must worship God in spirit and in truth. That's what Jesus said.

video |
Greg Koukl

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