About three years ago, I wrote an article titled 9 Unbiblical Statements That Christians Believe, and it really struck a nerve with people. Many Christian online publications picked it up to share with their audiences, and it was one of the “most read articles of the year” on several of those sites. There are many of them that are cultural teachings and spiritual sounding clichés that have snuck into the Church, got baptized, and then joined the ranks of our jargon. We’ll hear someone quote a statement that sounds nice to us, and we’ll begin repeating it as though it’s Biblical truth without ever researching it in the Scriptures. Here is a list of four popular unbiblical statements that Christians tend to believe:
The devil is in Hell.
The devil is not a little red-man with a pointed-tail holding a pitchfork while ruling Hell. Hell will be his home eventually in the last judgement. However, he is not there yet. Where is he? “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).” He is here, not there.
When you die, you get to Rest In Peace (R.I.P.)
We’ve seen it a thousand times. Especially, when a celebrity athlete, musician, or actor passes away. Immediately, there will be a barrage of memorial epitaphs on social media with the acronym – R. I. P. Which, of course, means, “Rest In Peace.” Now, we all know that no one can truly know what is in another person’s heart. It is very possible that particular celebrity did have a relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. However, I can think of times when an athlete has passed away that was a very outspoken follower of a religion other than Christianity, or a musician whose lifestyle was the opposite of what the Bible would describe as the characteristics of an authentic follower of Jesus, and yet, even from Christians the R. I. P. statements are ever-flowing. Nevertheless, according to the Bible, the only ones who will get to “Rest In Peace” are those who have a very real and authentic relationship with the Prince of Peace. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”
All religions are basically the same.
Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and 4,200 other world religions are all basically the same? As is readily apparent, all of these religions have plenty of differences in their teachings. How can they all be true if they all contradict one another? In fact, biblical Christianity teaches the exact opposite of all of these other major religions. Unlike all other religions, Christianity teaches that we don’t have to try to reach up to for salvation God by keeping rules, ordinances, or other good works. Instead of us reaching up to Him, God Himself reached down to us. In other words, mankind can be saved by a good work… just not ours, but rather the good work of Jesus on our behalf. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Ephesians 2:8 – 9).
I should always follow my heart.
“You just need to follow your heart!” How many times have we been given this statement as a piece of good advice? Culture tells us this is the ultimate determiner in making decisions: “What is your heart telling you to do?” Yet, in it’s natural state the heart is deceitful, sick, and no one can understand it. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9)?” Because of the above truths, Jesus had to give us a new heart at salvation. “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).” Don’t follow your heart; follow Jesus. Follow His Word, and His Holy Spirit that has been given to us as believers.
The fact that many of us Christians believe these unbiblical statements shows our unfortunate overall biblical illiteracy. Instead of accepting what we hear others say as “gospel-truth”, let’s actually run to where the truth and the gospel are actually found – the Scriptures. After all, the most effective way to move forward in freedom is to return back to the basics of who God is and dive deeply into His Word. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).”