Is Sincerity the Most Important Thing?
by Pastor Greg Wilson
It’s strange how some people, who show ordinary intelligence in other
areas of life, seem to lose all rationality when it comes to spiritual
matters. “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you are sincere,”
they say. That same person would never think of saying, “It doesn’t matter
what you believe the sum of two numbers to be as long as you are sincere
in it.” Much less, “It doesn’t matter what medicine you take for an ailment,
as long as you sincerely believe it will cure you.” Yet, in the far more
important spiritual realm, they will make such a ridiculous statement.
That is not to discount the importance of sincerity. It is absolutely
essential. But sincerity that is not joined with truth is useless, or worse.
One may sincerely believe that drinking hydrochloric acid will cure indigestion;
but for all his sincerity he will be no less dead if he should drink it.
Saul of Tarsus persecuted and martyred the followers of Christ with
all sincerity and zeal (Phil. 3:6; Acts 8:3; 9:1). And the Lord Himself
warned that the time would come when those who murdered His disciples would
have the most sincere religious motivation and think they were doing God
a favor (John 16:1-3).
The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions. One day many
will stand before Christ and plea that they sincerely sought to accomplish
great things in His name. But He shall reply to them, “depart from me
ye who work iniquity, I never knew you” (Matt. 7:22).
It does matter what you believe, and it does matter which church you
attend. I am aware that the religiously sophisticated say, “It doesn’t
matter which church you attend, as they are all Christ’s churches.” But
can two obviously different things be the same thing? Are apples and arsenic
the same thing? Are doves and serpents to be equated? Can different churches
preaching different and conflicting plans of salvation, practicing different
and conflicting forms of baptism, and organized according to different
and conflicting forms of church government all be the Lord’s churches?
Is Christ then to be dismissed as schizophrenic? No, He said the gates
of hell would not prevail against His church (Matt. 16:18), and His church
is described in detail in the New Testament, for any who care to find it
in the world today. That church is what is called today an Independent
Above all else, it does matter what you trust in for the salvation of
your eternal soul. The apostle Peter asserts: “Neither is there salvation
in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). No other thing will avail, no
religious rite or ritual; no other person. Christ and Christ alone will
avail to salvation.
Don’t be taken in by the religious double speak of our day. Jesus Christ
is still the only way to God (John 14:6). And only a church descended from
the first church that He founded, and adhering to the doctrines that He
established, is a genuine church of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have
any questions about this tract, or desire other spiritual counsel, please