“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” – Romans 10:2-3
Did you know that people can believe in God and not be saved? They can talk adamantly about God and not truly be a Christian. They can have a zeal for God but not be His child. They can even preach in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and not be His servant.
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:8-9
Claiming to believe that God is real does not equate to believing in Him. To truly believe in Him, in what He says, and in what He is, equates to trusting Him, (or putting your faith in Him) which will cause one to obey Him. I may believe that my husband exists, I may even believe that he is a good man and would make a good husband, but that alone does not make him my husband. I had to actually commit to the relationship with my whole heart, with faithfulness and submission, showing both inwardly and outwardly that I am his and he is mine, and walk in faithfulness to that relationship and commitment. I must confess it with my mouth, which is the purpose of the vows spoken at marriage, but also believe it fully with my heart or else I’m just putting on a show and living a lie.
Evangelist Ray Comfort illustrates this perfectly with the parachute analogy. You can believe that a parachute exist, you may even believe that the parachute could save you, but in less you put the parachute on it does you no good. You must commit to ware it, no matter how it looks or feels at the moment you must keep it on in trust that it will save you from sure destruction.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” – Romans 13:11-14
So simply believing that God is real or that Jesus is the son of God is not the same as putting your belief, trust, or faith “in” God and will not get you to heaven. You must trust (or put your belief in Him) enough to obey Him, all of Him (which encompasses the entirety of his Holy Word, for Jesus is the Word made flesh. Therefore if we do not believe in the entirety of the Word we do not believe in Him) So let’s look at it backward to see if you really do believe in Him as opposed to simply having a belief of Him. Are you obeying His Holy Words and commandments? Are your living a Holy life, doing what is pleasing to Him, seeking His will and walking in it daily? Are you picking up your cross and following Him? Are you sharing your faith unashamedly with others, praying for others, exhorting others in true faith? Are you believing and walking in the full council of His Holy Word, all of it, not just the comfortable, politically correct, or academically acceptable parts of it? Are you being obedient to be His hands and feet? Are you earnestly endeavoring to bring others to the truth that they may turn away from their sin and avert the damnation and torment of hell’s fire? Are you seeking His will in all things, or your own?
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:21-23
It all comes down to this, do I truly put my belief “in” God, and don’t simply have a belief “of” God. Do we trust more in ourselves then in God, seeking our own will above His? If so we may have a belief of God but our true belief or trust is really in ourselves, which is pride and rebellion and to God equates to witchcraft. True belief in the true God of the Bible will drive us to humility and obedience because if we truly believe that He is what He is, then we will fear, reverence, love, and honor Him enough to do what he says trusting His wisdom, power, ability, and judgment above our own which is the true essence of faith.
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” – Romans 10:8-11