Misconceptions of God can be costly because they can be very defeating.
For example, it’s worry to me how many people think “cleanliness is next to godliness” comes from the pages of Scripture. If this is indeed a word from God, then most pastors have every right to feel guilty that their houses are not always tidy. In fact, depending on how far you carry it, people soon become more concerned about their furniture than they do their family.
And what about “God helps those who help themselves”? I’ve seen this used as a basis for many people thinking they can work their way to heaven. They therefore miss the biblical teaching that eternal life is free (Romans 6:23).
In fact, I think you’d be wiser to give one Sunday to each of these things I’ll be sharing periodically. I assure you, they are so rampant that you could easily spend a 30-minute message discussing each one. Most unfortunately of all, every single one of them in some way adversely affects our outreach to non-Christians.
- If you don’t know the date you were saved, then you are not saved.
Unfortunately, evangelists have been the worst at propagating this first misconception. The fact is, there is a split second when a person goes from darkness into light. After recognizing you’re a sinner and that Christ died for you and rose again, you place your trust in Him alone as your only way to heaven.
However, just because you don’t know when that particular split second was doesn’t mean you aren’t saved. When Scripture gives assurance of salvation, it doesn’t go back to a date or a moment; it goes back to a fact.
Who are you trusting right now? If you’re trusting Christ alone as your only way to heaven, you are saved, regardless of when you crossed the line. After all, John 3:16 does not say, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him and knows the date should not perish but have everlasting life.”
This idea is critical, because if a person buys into this misconception, it’s a tremendous hindrance to their outreach for Christ. How can I talk to someone else about their salvation if I’m not entirely certain of my own?
True, some people come to Christ from a very sudden and dramatic experience, like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39; he could have easily given you the date. And there’s no doubt the same thing was true of Paul the Apostle in Acts 9:1-22, 26-28; I’m sure he not only could have given the date, but he could have testified of the specific hour he trusted the Savior. But there are those whose conversion is not as dramatic. They may have been raised in a Christian environment where Christ was spoken about frequently. Certainly, at some point in time, they came to clearly understand their sinful condition and trust Christ, but they may not know exactly when the moment occurred.
Minister deeply to your people and free them by telling them that as long as they’re trusting Christ alone, they are saved, regardless of when they crossed the line…
STORY: NICK SOLOMON