In another article [Editor's note: that article has been lost...] we asked, What is the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ? Then we set forth the first fundamental truth that no one finds eternal life without embracing: the universal corruption of mankind with a particular focus upon us as individuals. In other words, no one can be saved who does not deeply sense his/her total unworthiness. We have all sinned.
But, the doctrine of sin is greater than that. There are few who would argue that we have not all sinned, depending upon how sin is defined. If we define it as moral perfection, most everyone will admit that none of us is perfect. However, here is where the wiggle-room is; that is to say, here is where people seek a loop-hole. Most of our non-biblicist theologians today say that God doesn't demand perfection. For them, then, it is no big deal to say that none of us is perfect. Sin is no problem.
These non-biblicists (people who don't really care/know what the Bible says) fall into two categories: 1) those who believe all will ultimately be saved; and 2) those who believe some are not saved. We won't worry about the first group because Jesus said more people would perish than be saved in His famous narrow gate statement (Matthew 7:14). Jesus is more believable than non-biblicist theologians because He died for us and they didn't.
That leaves the other group: those who think that some will not be saved. Since these so-called theologians admit no one is morally perfect and that some people perish, they must find a distinction between the lost and the saved based upon something other than universal sinfulness. The normal cop-out is to fall back upon sincerity. Sinfulness is not a problem, but insincerity is. You will not be sent to Hell by God because you are sinful, but because you are insincere. These false teachers make us feel good by doing away with our sin problem and replacing it with the feel-good theology of vacuous sincerity.
The problem with salvation by sincerity is that life is full of illustrations of the foolishness of this kind of thinking. No one is his right mind actually believes that sincerity will alter reality. An insane person who genuinely believes he can fly by flapping his arms is sincere, but if he jumps from a skyscraper and flaps his arms, he will be just as dead as the insincere nut who jumps. Sincerity doesn't affect reality.
There is also a second problem with sincerity as an escape from our sinfulness: none of us are really all that sincere. The Bible, where we get God's information about how we can be saved, says that we are to study diligently in the Bible in order to discover the truth. Now, how can we claim sincerity before God Who reads our hearts like we read a first grade primer if we make such a little effort to study the Bible to see what God has to say? Be honest: how many hours a day does your sincerity move you to dig into the Word of God? Will God be impressed?
The problem with sin is that it is a deceptive deceiver and we are its victims, and it loves our sincerity escape.