Are beliefs or sincerity more important?

Why do Christians think that they are right and everyone else is wrong?”

The young man’s question is one I have heard many times. Like so many outside the faith, he wanted to know why believers in Jesus assume that their message is true. “I don’t think it’s so important what you believe,” he said. “The main thing is that you’re sincere; it is important to be true to who you are.”

Perhaps you’ve heard similar sentiments. Yet Christianity is unique. The Christian Gospel (meaning “Good News”) is unlike any other faith system. Christianity is distinct in at least three areas: Whom it is based upon, what it offers, and how its claims are verified.

Jesus is not like any other religious figure. His entry into the world was prophesied centuries in advance. He was born of a virgin, committed no sin, and did miracles that persuasively showed His divinity. Jesus was qualified to go to the cross for our sins and willing to do it; then He died and was resurrected so we could be saved. All of this is unique in the annals of world history.

Christianity is also distinct in what it claims and what it calls people to do. It offers to confirm these things: The Good News is that God took on a human body so He could become our personal forgiver, leader and ever-present friend. People are not offered a slate of do’s and don’ts in hopes that God will be somehow appeased. Christianity gives each of us the ultimate do-over – a chance in life to start fresh with God, knowing that our sins have been forgiven.

Jesus proved His claims of divinity and Messiahship by rising from the dead. No one else has done this (or even could). Do the specifics of what someone believes matter, or is it enough to sincerely cling to what we think “feels right to me”? The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25 NASB). Jesus warned about the tragic results of trusting in the wrong things for salvation (Matthew 7:21-23).

In all of life, we know that the choices we make can be immeasurably significant. This is never more true than in the choice we make regarding the condition of our soul. It is not that Christians think only they are right; it is that we know our Savior is risen, real, and personally relevant.