It Does Make A Difference


  1. INTRODUCTION:

A.    SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 14:12 = "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end
        thereof are the ways of death.
"

B.    THERE ARE THREE BASIC THEORIES OF RELIGION:

1.    The theory of universal salvation - This is in direct conflict with these passages.

Matthew 7:13 = "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:"

II Thessalonians 1:7-9 = "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"

2.    The theory of predestination (calvinism) - This is in direct conflict with these
       passages:

2 Peter 3:9 = "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Hebrews 2:9 = "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

3.    The theory that it does not make any difference what one believes - This is in
       direct conflict with the Bible. Note: Here is where our study will concentrate for
       the next few minutes.
  1. DISCUSSION: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
    1. BOTH LIFE AND NATURE TEACH US IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE:
      1. Every math and science teacher must know the truth, or facts, to be exact in arriving at their conclusions.
      2. The drinking of a poison thinking, or believing, that is not will bring forth death.
      3. The loaded gun thinking that it is unloaded, will still kill.
      4. The Bible declares that we will reap what we have actually sown and not what we think we have sown. Galatians 6:7 = "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
    2. THE OLD TESTAMENT TEACHES IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN WHAT ONE BELIEVES:
      1. Eve believed a lie and it made a big difference.
      2. 2 Corinthians 11:3 = "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

        John 8:44 = "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

      3. There was a young prophet that believed a lie, spoken by a false prophet. I King 13:18 = "He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him." [Read verses 1 Kings 13:13-30].
      4. Jacob believed a lie about Joseph being dead. Genesis 37:29-36 = "And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go? And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no. And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him. And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard."
    3. THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE:
      1. God has revealed to us through divine revelation that He will send a strong delusion.
        II Thessalonians 2:11
        = "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"
      2. Paul thought he was right - but he was wrong. Acts 26:9-10 = "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them."
      3. The Eunuch was a religious man, but he was lost. Acts 8:27-40 = "And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea."
      4. Cornelius was a good man, but he was still lost. Acts 10:2 = "A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway."
        Acts 11:14
        = "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."
      5. Only the truth will make you free. John 8:32 = "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
  2. CONCLUSION:
    1. IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT ONE BELIEVES.
      1. You can believe a lie and be damned (remember the young prophet in I Kings 13).
      2. You can believe and obey the truth and be saved (Mark 16:16).
    2. ANY PERSON MAY BE HONESTLY MISTAKEN ABOUT A MATTER -- BUT WHEN THE ERROR IS POINTED OUT, A PERSON THAT REFUSES TO MAKE CORRECTION, IS NO LONGER HONEST.
    3. HONESTY ALONE WILL NOT SAVE – BUT DISHONESTY ALONE WILL SEND ONE TO HELL.
    4. YES, IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT ONE BELIEVES.

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