Summary: What our children believe matters infinitely. We must give the gospel priority in our homes.
Lie #2: “It Doesn’t Matter What They Believe”
Sunday Morning, May 15, 2011
Springhill Baptist Church
Again, thank you for being here today. You’ve joined us today for the second week in our series, “Family Fairytales: Seven Lies about You and Yours.” Today we’re going to look together about a lie that is very persistent and pervasive in our culture today. It’s one of those lies that, while it’s not voiced a lot, it’s really at the foundation of how many people think today about spiritual things in general.
It’s a lie that goes like this: “It really doesn’t matter what they believe.”
“It really doesn’t matter what our children believe.” Now, again, this lie manifests itself in our culture in a couple of different ways. First of all, there are those that come right out and admit that this is the way they approach spiritual things in their families.
“I don’t really worry about what they believe, as long as they believe it sincerely. If they want to be a Muslim or a Hindu or a Buddhist or an Atheist, I don’t really have a problem with that, as long as they try to be a good person.”
You may know someone like that. You may have thought such a thing yourself. Now, it’s important for me to point out that I’m not talking about different Christian denominations here. I’m a Baptist through and through, and I hope my kids will grow up to be Baptists, but I don’t believe that Baptists will be only ones in Heaven with our Lord Jesus. I do, however, believe that you have to put your faith and trust in Jesus and him alone for eternal life.
It does matter what you believe.
There’s another way this lie manifests itself in our culture today, though, and I think this way will probably hit a little closer to home for many of us. You see, I also believe that there are those who will tell their kids that it matters what they believe, who will talk about Jesus from time to time and who really think that “religion” is important, but who, when it comes to day-to-day life, live as though it doesn’t matter what you believe.
They say they trust in Jesus, and that he’s the only way, but when you look at the way they do business, when you look at their integrity or their habits or their lifestyle, you get a different story. While they may not voice this lie, the inconsistency of their life sings it loud and clear, day after day, to their children:
I doesn’t matter, really, what you believe, because it really doesn’t matter how you live.
So, what we’re going to do today is answer this lie, and I really believe that, in order to do that, we need to go to Scripture. As Christ-followers, Scripture is our guide. Period. We are to follow Jesus and His Word and nothing else. There will be times when we are tempted to let our lives and what we think about God be guided by what’s popular. But Jesus, who we follow, was never worried about what was popular. While he didn’t go out of his way to offend people, he wasn’t afraid to do so, if the truth required it.
And neither should we.
As Christ-followers, we don’t want to offend people, and we should certainly not go out of our way to offend people, but the fact is, as we live in this world that is sinful and broken, there will come times when what we believe will be offensive to those around us. There will come times when what we say about Jesus will come into direct conflict with what most other people say about him. And that’s the case with what we’re going to talk about today.
Because, you see, it does matter what they believe. It does matter what our children believe. How do I know? I know, because it all comes down to what the Bible says about Jesus.
Look with me at Philippians 2:10-11 (Read passage)
First, notice the subject of our conversation:
1. “At the name of Jesus”
Notice the names that aren’t included. We don’t see “In the name of Mohammed.” It’s not “In the name of Buddha.” We don’t read “In the name of Mary or Gandhi or the Dali Lama.”
And it’s certainly not my name…or yours.
“At the name of Jesus.”
It’s important to keep in mind, on the one hand, how ordinary this name is. In Jesus’ day, his name was far from unusual. You might compare it today to someone named Josh or Steve or Tom. Even today, the name “Jesus” is still pretty common, especially in Latin circles. Just last weekend, in the Kentucky Derby, there was a jockey named Jesus (riding a horse, ironically enough, by the name of Shackelford).