Have You Checked For Yourself

September 24, 202

     I have never spent any considerable time in a desert, but I must admit that the unique environment is rather intriguing. I have often thought it would be a fun adventure to hike, bike or camp for a few days in a desert. I would love to see those large saguaro cacti which I read somewhere can grow up to 60 feet tall. 

     In reading and watching about desert survival I have heard a few times that those large cacti have water inside. At one time I had envisioned cutting one down and getting a drink. The common notion that cacti have drinkable water inside is a myth. They do store water but it’s in a form that is not safe for drinking and in fact can cause illness. 

This raises an important principal. Sometimes it matters what we believe. Not always, for example if you believe the toilet paper should roll off the back of the role that is not life threatening (You shouldn’t be allowed in civilized society, but you won’t die). That’s probably not a great example but I’m sure you can think of many things where a mistaken belief isn’t harmful. 

     Sometimes however mistaken beliefs are very harmful. A few years ago a woman shot and killed her husband because they were under the impression that a phone book could stop a 9mm bullet. Needless to say it could not and did not. 

     These of course are physical examples but the physical world is not the only place where you can find mistaken beliefs that have very real and very harmful consequences. 

     I have met people who believed there was no God. I’ve met some who believed there was a God but not one to whom they were responsible. I have met people who believed there was a God but that he would save everyone. I have met people who believed that there was a God but that only the purely evil go to hell. I have known people who believed that the universe was God and they would become part of it at death. I have had young well-dressed men come to my door who believed they would someday be gods. 

     Then I have met people who believe in God, believe in Jesus, believe in the Bible but who don’t take it seriously or study it carefully. They may believe that God elected the saved and lost before creation. They may believe that mental affirmation of God’s existence is all that is needed to be in a right relationship. They may believe that we must perform meritorious deeds which will ingratiate us to God. 

     I’m sure you have met many of the same people I have. 

     The troubling thing about all of this is that someday their beliefs will matter. Someday they could be like me going to get a drink from a cactus only to discover that I should have brought a water bottle. In fact, were I to set out into the desert without learning this it could be fatal. I should also add that this is not difficult information to find. 

     Someday all men will enter eternity. My prayer is that before that day they have heard what Peter said to those who learned the good news about God’s plan of redemption through Christ “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.””
     Beliefs have consequences lets be the kind of people who check our beliefs in the light of scripture and help others to do the same.

~ Kevin Cleary