Are Right Beliefs Important?

by Bill Rudge

I used to wonder why right beliefs were so vital. I mean, why would God care whether one believed in Jesus or someone else — as long as one was sincere. It seemed only right that sincerity of belief and correct motives lead to truth. However, what if one sincerely believed that his pet fish could live out of water? Will someone's cat or dog still be all right if she mistakenly leaves them without food and water for a week? What if a doctor performs the wrong surgery or prescribes the wrong medication? What if a person sincerely believes he can fly and jumps out of a third story window? What if someone remained in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 because they believed the building would not collapse and the fire would be contained?

In 1987, my wife believed our family did not have Israeli stamps in our passports when we entered Jordan. Her incorrect belief cost us unbelievable trauma. My seven-year-old brother believed it was safe to cross the street. That false belief cost him his life. I could cite countless more examples to reveal how human history and nature declare that right beliefs and resultant correct behavior are crucial, while wrong beliefs and resultant behavior have dire consequences. Truly, one's beliefs could save or cost one's life — and even determine one's eternal destiny.

Who we are and how we live is a reflection of what we believe. Our priorities, passions, and purpose are revealed through our beliefs. No wonder Jesus requires true faith in Him alone as our only means of salvation.