I want to think every person who says they believe in God is a child of God who will be with Him in eternity. But His Word tells me this is not true, and this world only echoes that. I speak not as a judge of anyone’s heart, but as a friend who is concerned, and yes afraid, for the many who may “believe they believe”, but who simply do not know Jesus.
There is more to belief than believing.
You believe that there is one God—Good! Even the demons believe that, and shudder. (James 2:19)
The Bible says even demons believe in God, so then what does it mean to believe in Him to the extent that we possess eternal life, as in John 3:16?
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life.
Read the entire book of John, and you will see this theme: Jesus is God—You choose belief (light / life) or unbelief (darkness / death). Early in the book, anyone who had an encounter with Jesus ran off to find their friends and family and bring them to Jesus. They felt the life He gave them so deeply, they were forever changed…and they wanted nothing more than for their loved ones to have this river of life flowing out of them as well.
Many people who saw Jesus perform miracles believed in Him, but John shows there is a difference between belief and BELIEF.
Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in His name. But Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, for He knew all men…He knew what was in a man. John 2:23 -25
Just a few chapters later, Jesus teaches this same crowd of “new believers”, but His teachings were too hard for them to accept.
From this time, many of His disciples (followers) turned back and no longer followed Him. John 6:66
True belief is more than saying you believe in God. It’s more than knowing about Jesus. It’s more than being part of a church or not doing certain things and making your life look Christiany.
True belief begins with faith that Jesus came to earth as a man who was also God (This is Christmas!), that He died to pay for all our sins and unite us with God, that He did not remain in the grave but walked out, and that He went back to heaven where He prepares places for His own until He comes again.
True belief causes believers to ACT on their belief. James 2:17 says Faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead. True believers read God’s Word, talk to God and listen to Him, turn from sin, commit to God completely, surrender all they are and all they want ~ to all He is and all He wants.
Belief means “to be convinced of” and “to entrust oneself to“. This is the huge difference between the belief of demons or disciples who later turn away–and real, true, life-giving BELIEF. Entrusting yourself to God is not so simple as “say this, do that, and then do these”. In fact, we cannot even do it on our own…we need His supernatural help to believe this way!
So where do you go, what do you do if you believe Jesus was God but you do not trust Him to take control of your life yet? Or if that sounds a little hokey and you’re just not sure what you want? Let me leave you with some scripture to think about, and my prayers for you here in the background.
Ask Him to help you turn to Him, to help you follow Him, to help you truly believe…
Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8a
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Luke 11:9
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19