Can you believe that there are people out in the world that do not believe Jesus is the Son of God? John wrote about some of these very individuals and called them antichrists. Notice what he says:
“I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1 John 2:21-23)
John warned us of people who would deny that Jesus is the Son of God. Is it really that difficult to find that today? There was a group called Gnostics who were causing a lot of trouble back in John’s time. The word Gnostic simply means “to know”. There were people going around claiming that they knew Jesus was not the Son of God. We really do not see anything different today. Let’s look at the importance of what we believe and the proof that Jesus really is the Son of God.
#1. It does matter what we believe. “What is the best way to ______________?” How many times have we asked that question in our lives about various topics? Sometimes, the answer varies depending on the question. If I were to ask: “What is the best way to eat a steak?” I would get numerous answers, and almost every one of them would be different. Yet, if I ask: “What is the best way to fill up my car with gas?” there can only be one clear answer. Gas can only get into my car one way. I have to put it into the tank.
Imagine how ridiculous it would seem to us if someone said: “I know that gas goes in the gas tank, but I am going to try to put it all over my engine. I believe that is the best way to fill up my vehicle.” We would balk and laugh at such an idea. Why? Because there is only one place gas can go. It has to go in the tank. It can only go in the tank. Sadly, our world has adopted the following mindset: “It does not matter what we believe, or what our belief causes us to do. If we believe in Jesus, that is all that matters.”
Because of such a belief system, countless denominations have been erected. If I were to ask each minister of the area churches certain Bible questions, I would receive different answers. Does it matter what we believe? If you study the account of Naaman, you will know very quickly that what we believe is critical. First, we know that Naaman was sick (2 Kings 5:1). After hearing the little maid tell of the prophet Elisha, he heard what he had to do to be cleansed (2 Kings 5:2-10). He became indignant and seemingly refused to wash in the river Jordan (2 Kings 5:11-12). After a discussion with his servants, he finally went and washed in the Jordan as Elisha required (2 Kings 5:13-14). Had Naaman washed in Abana or Pharpar, he would have come out of that water just as leprous as when he went in. It does matter what we believe.
#2. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. Peter confessed that fact to Jesus (Matthew 16:16). This proclamation from Peter and Jesus’ acceptance of it shows that Jesus had revealed Himself as such and instilled belief in the disciples. Yet Jesus is not the only individual that made the claim that He was the Son of God. God declared that Jesus was His Son:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17).
John wrote that Jesus was the Son of God (John 1:1-3, 14; 1 John 4:10). Even the demons believed that Jesus was God’s Son (Luke 8:28). The scriptures are plain and crystal clear, and there is no room for debate. Jesus is God’s Son!
#3. We must believe this on our journey to salvation. We cannot make it to Heaven without believing Jesus is the Son of God. Those who do not believe will not even bother to be baptized (Mark 16:16). That is why Mark did not have to include baptism in the latter part of that verse. You will not even come close to water if you do not believe that Jesus is who He said He is, and that He can do what He promises. This is a requirement to make it into the Church and receive the great reward of Heaven. “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). You know, if we are not careful, we can begin to make religion all about us. We can disagree about a lot of things in this life without it becoming a big deal. What restaurants we like or our favorite teams that we have will never be big issues. While we can disagree on those things, we cannot disagree on the way to make it to Heaven. There is only one way to make it to Heaven, and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). The plan that He laid out requires belief. Will you believe?