Elder Oscar B. Mink
Now In Glory
“It does not matter what you believe as long as you are sincere in what you believe.”
Thus it was with Eve in the garden of Eden, she believed the devil’s lie, and was most sincere in what she believed. Yet her sincerity in believing a lie did not win for her the least measure of favor in the court of divine justice. The threatened penalty was executed; Eve lost her exalted position in the Edenic economy, and became the first woman sufferer on earth.
In matters of religion the Pharisees of Jesus’ day have had none to excel them in sincerity. Christ speaking of their sincerity, said, “... Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte (Christ did not stop with that remark, but went on to state the effect of their ill directed sincerity), and when he is made ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15). There is no excuse for insincerity, and it is certainly not our aim to belittle sincerity, for there is so much sham, pretense, and hypocrisy in Christendom that it appears as if true sincerity has all but taken leave of the earth. So it is today a real blessing to find a person who is sincere in his moral practices. But in matters relating to the eternal destiny of the soul, sincerity apart from divine truth is a tool of the devil to further aggravate the already condemned state of fallen men. All men need to take sincere heed to the twice repeated warning of God, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12 & 16:25).
Let us be genuinely sincere, but let us make sure that our sincerity does not lead us to such a woeful end as is appointed unto all those who are sincere in what they believe, but have believed the devil’s lie as to the way of salvation. Jonah was truly, and fearfully sincere when he said, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). And any gospel which calls for creature contribution to the redemptive work of Christ, be it ever so sincere, is another gospel, which in the true sense is not a gospel, but the sincere work of Satan to damn the souls of men. Often the pathetic, too late, and sincere lament is, “I did not know the gun was loaded.” But the person’s sincerity provides no comfort to the bereaved. Many have been the sincere intentions to start going to church, and begin a new life, but in spite of their sincere intentions many of these same people will stand before God eternally condemned.
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