In exercise, I like anything that is outdoors and physically abusive! My three favorite sports are hunting, running, and water skiing. I can only do hunting and water skiing at particular times of the year, but I can run almost every day. When I talk to people about running, my enthusiasm for it is sometimes catching, and they decide to begin the physical regiment themselves. Before starting, however, a new runner must have a medical check- up.
Too many people operate under the assumption that having the ability to run several miles a day indicates no health issues or heart problems. Unfortunately, many have died after strenuous physical exercise because of a heart difficulty that they never knew they had. They were sincere in thinking that if a person could endure strenuous physical activity, there was nothing wrong health-wise. The problem was that they were sincerely wrong.
Sincerity is not the issue when it comes to knowing whether or not we will live forever in the presence of God. Christ gives a stern warning in Matthew 7:22–23: “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” Christ does not doubt the people’s sincerity. The issue is the object of their faith, what they were depending on to get them into heaven. In the above verse, the crowd were mistakenly depending on their good deeds to save them.
We do need sincerity, but it has to have the right object. The object of our faith in determining what gets us into heaven has to be what He has done for us. On a cross 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, paid for all of our sins by taking the punishment we deserved. Because Christ paid the price for our sins before a holy God, we must now place our faith, our trust in Him alone to save us: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Sincerity in regards to our faith is important, but sincerity toward the right object is paramount. When it comes to what we are depending on to get us to heaven, we need to be certain that we are sincerely right, not sincerely wrong.