Most people in the church would agree that you have to believe to be saved, but what does it mean to believe?
Many people think that knowing with your head that God exists is what it means to believe. When I first started going to church, I believed that too. That’s why I was shocked when I came across this verse.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and tremble.
Wow. That hit me like a big old sand bag hurled in my face!
That verse is definitely true. No one believes with his head that God exists more than Satan himself and his followers. The problem is that they don’t believe with their heart. You have to love God to be saved – believe with your heart. The God I’m referring to, of course, is the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Romans 10: 8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming. That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
The key point in the verses above is believing with your heart. Just knowing God exists is not enough.
1 Peter 1 vs. 8 Though you have not seen him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
The above verse is what believing should feel like. No, you’re not going to be joyous all the time. Life can be filled with sorrow, but when God comes into your heart, you will experience that joy every now and then.
I want to finish with a verse about belief that I’ve gotten a kick out of; probably because we all have moments where we feel we’re not believing enough, so I can relate to this.
Mark 9: vs. 23-24 “If you can,” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”
If you’re not sure whether you believe with your head or your heart, just keep praying and reading God’s word. If you don’t believe right now, but keep doing those two things, I’m convinced that God will come into your heart – if he isn’t there already.
Remember, God wants all to be saved. If you’re searching for God’s truth, he will make sure you find him.