Does it matter what a person believes? It is very popular for one to say that it doesn’t. All that matters is that we follow what we believe is right for us. Jesus didn’t buy into the idea that what one believe wasn’t significant. In the Sermon on the Mount he challenged us to enter into the narrow gate, because wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many will go in that way, because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life and few there are who find it. He then warned his hearers to be on guard for false prophets that come to us in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. He said we would recognize them by their fruit.
There are two distinct ways that one can be a false teacher. Some are false teachers by teaching the truth but not living the kind of life they are teaching others to live. The Pharisees that so hated Jesus during his life on earth were right on almost every doctrinal matter one could find. But they had missed entirely the heart one should have as a servant of God. They were like whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside but on the inside they were full of dead men’s bones.
The other way one can be a false teacher is by teaching what is false. Paul mentioned to Timothy that Hymanaous and Philetus had been delivered to Satan because they were teaching that the resurrection was already past. In Galatians 1:8-9 Paul declared “Though we or an angel from heaven teach any other gospel to you than that we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As I said before I now say again if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than that which you have received let him be accursed.” John writing to the elect lady said, “Whoever goes onward and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the teachings of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” (2 John 9)
When Paul wrote his young preacher friends Timothy and Titus he told Timothy to “Preach the word. Be ready to do so when people accept it and when they don’t. Reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and teaching.” He told Titus to warn those who were offering choices that didn’t come from God once and then again and then to leave them alone knowing they were warped and sinning. He also told Titus to preach and rebuke with all authority. He told Timothy to be strong in the grace of Christ and the things that he had heard from Paul among many witnesses to commit to faithful men who would be able to teach others also. Titus was to appoint elders in every city so they could stand against those who were teaching things that were wrong.
While there are many things about which people can disagree and it not be a matter of great importance. But to take that to mean that people can believe whatever they want and still be right is flying into the face of what Jesus and His apostles taught. Everyone should be testing what they believe and think by the word of God and adjusting their thinking by what they learn instead of trying to force God’s word through their own thoughts.
Jesus described himself as the way, the truth and the life in John 14:6. He not only taught the truth on every topic, he embodied the truth in his every day life. As the word that became flesh and dwelt among us he showed us the truth in everything he did and said.
To indicate that Jesus doesn’t care what we believe or teach is a gross misinterpretation of his life. Instead we need to follow Jesus and teach the truth and endeavor to live by the truth in all circumstances.