A FEW MISCONCEPTIONS

“If I was baptized/prayed to receive Christ/responded to an
alter call at church then I don’t have anything to worry about – I’m saved.”

See A Few Questions - What are we saved from?, How do we know if we are saved?, and How are we saved?

The Reality: Many people assume that because they’ve done a religious thing at some point in their life, that’s all they need to do. There are a few problems with this view:

First, they’re missing out on all that God offers us in salvation – freedom from sin, and a relationship with Him, in addition to eternal life with Him in heaven. The Christian life is fulfilling and exciting, and just having a little religion “on the side” or as an “insurance voucher” against hell is like putting a very large chocolate bar down after taking just
one bite!

Second, when we say “I’m saved because I did (some religious act)“, it trivializes salvation, because it minimalizes God’s grace in our life and maximizes the idea that it is something we do that gets us to heaven. The “religious” things we do are not what saves us, rather it is God’s grace and our faith.

Third, God knows the condition of our hearts, both now and at the time we did whatever religious act that we’re counting on getting us to heaven. We have to question the sincerity of our faith when we can’t see evidence of salvation in our life. Ultimately, God decides who He will let into heaven – if we are truly His children, He’ll welcome us right in!

Baptism, praying to receive Christ, and responding to message at church/other religious gathering are ways that we can become a Christian and receive God's gift of salvation. However, they are "outward" actions based on "inner" faith. If you really don't believe, they ultimately mean nothing.

“People are mostly good.”

See The Good News - We are Separated

Romans 6.23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

James 2.10 – For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it

The Reality: No matter how good we are, we are all sinful and guilty of breaking God’s laws. Because of that sin, the Bible says that we deserve punishment. The good news is that God wants all of us to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4 says “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”), so if we repent of that sin, we WILL be forgiven!

“Most religions lead to salvation.”

See The Good News - We Are Reconciled

John 14.6 – Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Acts 4.12 – Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

1 Timothy 2.5 – For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

The Reality: Jesus claims that He is the only way to salvation. To believe there are other ways to heaven requires believing that Jesus was not truthful, making the whole foundation of Christianity false.

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M. Schmidt © 2005