Why Believe in God? Does it Matter?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Does it really matter if we believe in God or not?  What are the consequences if we are wrong?  When will we know if there is a God or not?

Does It Really Matter if we Believe in God or Not? 

To those who do not know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, it doesn’t seem to matter if there is a God or not.  In general, you can not see a belief in God in the world by the way that they live.  For those who do believe in God, it affects the way that they live.  They try to live by the greatest commandments ever given to us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-39).   These two commandments summarize the entire Ten Commandments, the Law, and the prophets. In other words, these two commands summarize the entire Bible.  If a person believes in God and tries to keep these two commandments, it does matter because they will live a life that is more fulfilling and purposeful.

Why Believe In God

The consequences of being wrong are enormous.

Most of the world doesn’t realize the significance of Jesus’ supreme sacrifice.  Before I was a believer, I lived as if I was the center of the universe.  Everything revolved around me.  What pleased me is what I sought to do.  It did not matter if there was a God or not, I wanted what I desired, however this brought a sense of longing.  Something was missing in my life and I couldn’t figure it out.  No matter how much money I had, how many creature comforts I enjoyed, or how many friends there were, it was just not satisfying.  I would often wonder why I am here or why I was born. What is my purpose in life?  Why was I so restless and could never be fully satisfied?

What Are The Consequences if we Are Wrong?

The consequences of being wrong are enormous.  If you are wrong, then you will be eternally separated from God with no second chance of coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.  One of the best descriptions of hell is to be separated forever from God – to be separated from all your friends, your family, from everyone you have ever known.  Hell will be an empty place for the unbeliever.  Imagine living forever with an eternal regret of not believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  You may have heard it mentioned by someone you know.  You may have seen the gospel on TV, heard it on the radio, or heard it described by a friend or family member.  You will have all eternity to ponder the thought that you had a chance to know more about Christ but rejected it.

After a person dies, their eternal soul goes to either one place (hell) or another (heaven).  There are no other options.  If you go to hell, there is no chance to escape.  You are bound to live there forever and ever.  You have no possible escape.  You can not plead to, pray to, or cry to God for help.  You have one chance and one chance only to believe in Jesus Christ.  You must make that decision in this life.  Human life is but a vapor.  Life is fragile.  Anyone can be snuffed out in an instant.  No one has any guarantee that they will live past tomorrow.  Being human is 100% fatal – 100 out of 100 people die.

The good news is that after a person dies in the faith, they instantly are in the presence of the Lord.  Romans 6:5-11 reveals that: “…if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Paul realized that we will be reunited with Jesus after we leave this mortal body in death.

For the Apostle Paul, he knew that to be absent from the body (death) was to be present with the Lord (eternal life). Paul spells it out in II Corinthians 5:6-10, saying that, “…we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Paul is saying two things here.  He is confident that if he dies or “we” (meaning Christians) that we will be present with the Lord.  He also states that everyone will appear before the Lord at the judgment seat of Christ.  Some will be rewarded with eternal life and for those who die without Christ; they will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:12).

When Will We Know if There is a God or Not?

The French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist, Blaise Pascal often pondered if there was a God or not.  What were the consequences if someone was wrong about the existence of God?  What would be the result if a person bet their eternal destiny on it?  What great loss or great gain could be ventured in such a belief or disbelief?  For Pascal, it was the greatest of all gambles.  He deduced it as such:

“Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation that He is.  There is here an infinity of an infinitely happy life to gain, a chance of gain against a finite number of chances of loss, and what you stake is finite. And so our proposition is of infinite force, when there is the finite to stake in a game where there are equal risks of gain and of loss, and the infinite to gain.”

If I was a gambler, and I am not, it would be like I am pushing all my chips into the pot.  I am all in, so to speak.  I am wagering my entire destiny for eternity on the fact that “God is…”  If I am right, and I am convinced that there is a God, then I have all eternity to enjoy fellowship and relationship with God.  If I was wrong, and I am not since there is empirical evidence for the existence of God, then I am no worse off and after death I cease to exist – I cease to be.  I would not know if I was wrong about God if I know nothing after death.  But if I am wrong and there is a God (of course there is), then I will live in eternal regret.  I would have to live in regret forever having rejected a belief in an eternal God.

The moment after death or the moment after Christ’s return, everyone will know at that moment whether there is a God or not.  For those who have not believed in the Son of God, it will be too late.  They will have to live with the regret of not believing in Jesus Christ and have to live with that forever.  For those who have already died outside of faith in Christ, it is too late.  For those who died in disbelief, they now know that there is a God but it is too great a chasm for them to cross now – and forever more (Luke 16:19-31).

For those who already believe in God, they will live with an eternal realization that they believed in Jesus Christ and were right…and since Jesus is God, this confirmation will come with everlasting life.  They will live forever with no regrets.  They will have bet their eternity on the existence of God and been right.  There is a way to know that God exists.  He can be found today and for those who don’t believe in Jesus Christ; this day can be the day of your salvation (II Cor 6:2).  If you die without believing in Him, then your day for salvation – your chance for eternal life with God – will be over.  The good news of the gospel is bad news for those who reject it, but you can not proclaim the good news without first telling someone about the bad news; dying without Christ.

No one knows if they will live past tomorrow.  I recently heard of a perfectly, healthy young college freshman who died.  He had no symptoms, no physical signs, and no tests of having had any health problems at all. This young football player went through a required physical.  He was deemed to be in optimal health.  Three months later he died on a Sunday morning in his dorm room.  The entire football team was shocked.  He was not overweight, he was physically fit, and he ate an excellent diet as part of his routine.  Even so, this young man is now dead.  He now knows whether there is a God or not, but it is too late for him if he died in disbelief.  I do not know if the young man was saved or not.

So it really does matter whether you believe in God or not.  It matters whether He exists or not.  If you are reading this and you are not a Christian, then it is not too late for you.  Go to the top of this website page and click on “Come to Jesus” to find out how you can be certain of your eternal destiny.  You can have a full assurance of having eternal life – right now, at this very moment.  Your eternal destiny is at stake.

Did you enjoy this article? You might like this one also:

Why God Created Us? A Bible Study

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

james June 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

does romans 4:15 imply that people who never hear about gods laws are saved?-for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. but then why did jesus die for our sins? wouldnt it be easier to just keep everyone in the dark about sin? also if a child under the age of accountabbility (ive heard its 10 or 12)sins and is killed in an accident is the said child condemed?

(i hope im not condemed for my spelling mistakes)

Reply

Jack Wellman June 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

No, Romans 4:15 shows that since the lost do not know about the law they don’t know about sin. But they have no excuse (read Romans 1 & 2) for we know right from wrong. It would be wrong to keep others in the dark for they are headed to hell fire otherwise. And finally, a child that dies before the age of accountability goes into the presence of the Lord and is not judged or condemned.

Reply

james June 13, 2012 at 7:39 am

doesn’t ezekiel 34:16 imply that animals are judged even if they have no knowledge of right and wrong?

I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

so wouldn’t a child under the age of accountability be judged as well?

or is ezekeil 34 symbolic? does shepherd imply ruler sheep imply people?

Reply

Jack Wellman June 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm

James, Ezekiel 34:16 is referring to people and not animals.

You asked, “so wouldn’t a child under the age of accountability be judged as well?” No.

A shepherd does imply a ruler and the Great Shepherd is Jesus Christ and the sheep people, yes James.

Thank you.

Reply

Amber September 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Hi Jack, thank you for this article. This is a topic I struggle with because I don’t fully understand this: If Jesus died for our sins, then why are people still going to hell? Man will never be able to stop sinning, thats why Jesus died for us. Some will still be morally good people (helping others, etc) even without Jesus. Is God really going to send those people to hell? I believe in Jesus, and that he died for us, but it makes me so sad to think that so many people are going to hell just because they dont know him. But to me, it seems that Jesus already did the work. I agree that we should all believe and forever thank him for that, but can you explain this a little more? Thank you so much for your time on this site and answering questions.

Reply

Jack Wellman September 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Thank you Amber. Indeed, some very good questions here. People go to hell not because they can’t stop sinning because even Christians sin..(1 John 1:8,10) but we ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and He wipes the slate clean. No one goes to hell because they can’t stop sinning because even I can stop. I am not sinless but I do sin less.

People go to hell because they reject Jesus Christ as their Savior. They fail to place their trust in Him to forgive them & save them. The Bible teaches us that “none are good, no not one!” (Rom 3:10-12). Our good works are useless & actually like filthy rags to God so good morals will not help (read Matt 19:16-26 & Isaiah 64:6). God doesn’t send ANYONE to hell…they send themselves there by rejecting Jesus.

It makes me sad too to think about all those people going there…but that is why Jesus said to go into all the world to witness about Him in the Great Commission, an imperative command given 5 times by Christ. That is how you can help. Tell others. Yes, Jesus did the work and in fact, completed the work at Calvary but people must put their trust in Christ after they repent from their sinful life, confess their sins, and trust Jesus to save them and make Him their Lord. There is no other way (Acts 4:12) to heaven.

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andro February 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

thank you for your good article

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