Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 13, 1967
NUMBER 48, PAGE 6c-7a

Does Faith Make A Difference

Jere E. Frost

This is a simple and basic question, but one to which I would very much like to have an answer -especially from certain quarters. Many preachers and denominationalists have long been saying, "It doesn't make any difference what you believe, so long as you are honest and sincere." It's doubtful if most of those who have so said actually realize how thoughtless and incriminating that sentiment is. No difference? Believe anything?

If it doesn't make any difference, why do they teach anything? If it does make a difference, why do they say it doesn't?

The teacher who says "it doesn't matter what you believe" is wrong any way you look at it. If there is anything about which faith makes a difference, or any reason who one should believe anything, he is wrong in the proposition he affirms. If he is right in his proposition (and it really doesn't matter what one believes) he is, by the act of teaching and telling others what to believe, wrong in his practice. If he has discovered some teaching or fact that makes a difference, by saying "it doesn't matter" he is insincere.

This time-worn and baseless expression not only reproves its own advocate as either being ignorant, inconsistent or insincere; it blasphemes the name of Jesus as surely and simply as the devil ever did. If what one believes makes no difference, then one can believe Jesus to have been the illegitimate son of a peasant Jewess instead of the only begotten son of God! Take your choice -- it makes no difference! For shame! Jesus himself said, "if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." But then if it makes no difference what you believe, you don't have to believe that and can come off successfully having called the son of God both an illegitimate son, a fraud and a liar.

"Oh, but you must believe in Christ," we are told. But, we ask, why? -- if it makes no difference what you believe! If it is because the Bible commands it, then we must also believe the other statements of fact and doctrine the Bible contains. If it is not in view of a command, then "why"?

Even Satan has not invented a reason for faith in Christ that does not demand belief in, respect for, and obedience unto all that Jesus taught. But pity the poor denominationalist: there are certain commands he simply cannot stand, from heaven though they be! The sectarian who denies that baptism is essential to salvation cannot deny that it is a command. Peter commanded baptism in Acts 10:48. If one must believe in the deity of Jesus because the Bible commands it, then one must be baptized by the authority of the same source. He cannot therefore unequivocally tell you why you must believe Jesus to be the only begotten son of God without obligating himself to obey all God's commands.

What think ye of Christ? What you think makes all the difference in the world -- to be exact, the difference between heaven and hell. To profess faith in him, but to fail to do what he says is, according to Jesus, to be a fool. (Matthew 7:24-29.)