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Top 10 Lies Christians Believe

These are some of the most common lies that many Christians have fallen victim to.  I hear many of these quite frequently and in years past have even fallen for some of them myself.  The enemy has used each of these lies to sow great discord, apathy, and fear in the Body of Christ.   It's time to dispel them all.

1. "I must do _____ to be saved or keep doing _____ to stay saved."

This is what virtually every religion teaches, but not true Christianity.   Unsurprisingly, every "Christian" cult teaches this as well.  The very definition of the Gospel dispels this lie (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).   Jesus paid in full for your sins of commission and your sins of omission.  It is not necessary that you do, but it is necessary that you trust.  The question is, do you accept His payment on your behalf and do you believe He rose again?

Consider John 6:28-29.

The carnal man asks, "what must I do?"

The Man from Heaven responds, "the work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

The Gospel is the revolutionary message of God's unmerited love and pardon.  It is the message of a loving God doing on your behalf.  Read more about this here.

And to those who think salvation is two parts grace to one part works, the Apostle Paul responds:

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. - Romans 11:6

But what about all those Christians who seem to be living in unrepentant sin?  Truly there will be many who will say "Lord, Lord" and still not be saved, yet the great lie is to believe it is because these "Christians" were too sinful, too worldly, too lukewarm, etc.  The truth is that they never really trusted Christ.  Their evil deeds or lack of good deeds were simply evidence of a non-existent faith.  Justification and condemnation are based solely on trust in Christ or lack thereof (see what Jesus Himself says in John 3:18 and John 3:36).  Read James 2, but this time consider that James is not comparing the Believer who has faith and works to the Believer who has faith and no works, but instead is comparing the Believer whose faith is evidenced by his works to the person who only professes to have faith yet whose absence of works prove he doesn't actually have said faith (James 2:14).

It is vitally important to understand that James' comparison is not Believer-plus-works vs Believer-minus-works.  His comparison is Believer proven true by his works vs unbeliever proven false by his lack of works.

In regards to the person who has true faith and yet whose works are not evident, the Apostle Paul says:

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. - Romans 4:5

Getting this wrong negates the grace of God and nullifies the Gospel itself.  Abundant sin and lack of works are strong, but not absolute evidence that someone is unsaved, because in the end some will be saved even though they had no works (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

2. "Don't judge"

Perhaps the most widespread lie on this list, Christians have done such an amazing job of misquoting Matthew 7:1 that non-Christians and nominal Christians alike now regularly use it as a shield from virtually any critique on lifestyle or societal ills.  It's like Jesus just came to tell everyone to mind their own business - that's supposedly the most tolerant, loving thing to do.

Two problems with "don't judge" though:

First, Jesus never taught this.  Jesus made numerous judgments on his society as well as individuals that he interacted with, as did His disciples.  In just one chapter in Matthew, Jesus judged many of the Pharisees and teachers of the law to be "blind fools" (Matthew 23:17), superficial and vain (Matthew 23:27), "hypocrites" (Matthew 23:29) and Gehenna-bound vipers (Matthew 23:33), and He judged the city of Jerusalem to be guilty of shedding the blood of the prophets (Matthew 23:37).  In a single verse, John 8:44, Jesus judges an entire group of Jewish people as being children of satan and judges satan himself as a "murderer from the beginning."  The judgments of Jesus can be found abundantly throughout all four gospels and the Book of Revelation.

In 1 Corinthians 2:15 the Apostle Paul says that the spiritual person judges or appraises (ἀνακρίνω in the Greek) "all things."  Believers should be judging everything.  Wisely and out of love, of course, but judgment is a big part of a Believer's life, both internal and external, appraising everything to see if it accords with God's will.  The necessity of the Believer judging self and others is further evident in 1 John 4:1, Romans 16:17, 2 Timothy 3:5-6, and 2 Corinthians 6:17.  Judging is not only not sinful, but is actually a key characteristic of a Believer.

What Jesus actually said was "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."  Someone will inevitably argue that Jesus' point is that since no one is perfect, no one should judge another imperfect person, but Jesus is not saying that at all.  His central point and command can be found several verses down in Matthew 7:5:

...first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

In the very passage that so many use as the basis for never judging others, Jesus demonstrates how you should judge others by first removing any hypocrisy that might interfere with your judgment!  If you are full of hate and rage you probably shouldn't admonish your sister for hers.  Likewise, if you are in the middle of watching Game of Thrones you probably shouldn't admonish your brother for struggling with pornography.  First stop indulging in the filth in your own life and then you will be able to lovingly and patiently admonish your brother for the filth in his.

Second problem with "don't judge": Jesus taught quite emphatically that you actually should:

Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly. - John 7:24

3. "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

For starters, this quote attributed to St. Francis, is not something he ever actually said or wrote.  That should tell you plenty.

Secondarily and most importantly, the false implication is that you can evangelize the lost without directly sharing your faith.  Many Christians have been inspired by this quote to be really, really nice and yet in the end the people to whom they were being so nice either didn't know what to attribute their niceness to or upon learning of their faith assumed they didn't take it very seriously since they didn't talk about it.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? - Romans 10:14

As one article puts it, what really should be said is "Preach the Gospel, and since it is necessary, use words."

4. "Too heavenly minded, no earthly good"

Many unbelievers and apathetic Christians like to use this to stamp out zeal because they find people who take their faith seriously a very burdensome annoyance.  Too much God talk!  Put The Simpsons back on and let's eat!

Some of the lies on this list have a kernel of truth, but this one's got nothing.  Your earthly good actually stems from your heavenly mindedness.  In fact, those who are earthly minded have actually made themselves enemies of God (James 4:4).  Here is what the Bible says about this lie:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. - Colossians 3:1-2

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. - Matthew 6:33

Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and their glory is in their shame. Their minds are set on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. - Philippians 3:19-20

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:18

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. - Hebrews 3:1

5. "God just wants me to be happy."

The fruits of this lie are innumerable broken commitments and even more unwise choices.  An unprecedented divorce rate, skyrocketing number of abortions, and uncountable multitude of fatherless homes expose this lie for what it is.  Sometimes rephrased "God made me this way" or "God wouldn't have given me this desire if _____."

The truth is that God wants you to be holy (1 Peter 1:16, Leviticus 20:26).  Righteousness is the goal.  If your happiness is derived from sin, vanity, or poor character, He would have you be unhappy until you can come to your senses and find satisfaction in Him for "at His right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

Reality is quite contrary to this lie, as Clear Lens author Logan Judy writes:

The gospel guarantees our persecution (2 Tim. 3:12), conflict in our families (Matthew 10:35), and ridicule from the culture (John 15:19).

6. "God helps those who help themselves."

Many Christians actually think this is a verse in the Bible, but it was actually coined in either the 17th or 18th century by Algernon Sydney or Benjamin Franklin.

While there is a hint of truth to this lie (see 2 Thessalonians 3:10 and James 4:8), the larger truth is that God helps those who can't help themselves.  God helps the helpless and so should we.  In fact, this is the message of the Gospel:

[He] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. - Ephesians 2:5

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. - Romans 5:6

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

7. "Faith should be a private matter."

Faith is deeply personal, but it was never meant to be private.  A person's faith defines everything about them: who or what they worship, who they marry, who they befriend, how they spend their time, how they use their money, how they handle difficult circumstances, how they vote, and what they think about life after death.  Certainly Jesus and His disciples' faith was anything but private:

"I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret." - John 18:20

Even the Greek word used in the Bible for "preach" has an unequivocal meaning of public proclamation:

Kerusso: to preach, to be a herald, to officiate as a herald, to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity, and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed, to publish, proclaim openly something which has been done, used [in relation to] the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles, and other Christian teachers.

8. "I believe in Jesus, but it's OK if someone believes in something else."

Perhaps the most dangerous lie on the list, this is a sort of "soft universalism."  At the heart of it, many Christians just want everyone to get along and be OK just as God does (2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 33:11), but they take this feeling and desire to a fatal end (John 8:24).  God Himself has provided the only means through which people can actually be OK and get along: His Son Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, John 14:6, Romans 5:10, John 10:9, Matthew 7:13-14).

Not only is the Gospel of Jesus Christ the only means through which a person can be saved, but the God of the Bible is the only God who actually exists and is worthy of worship (Isaiah 43:10-11, Isaiah 45:5, Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 5:7, Psalm 96:4-5, Luke 4:8).  From God's revealed perspective, Vishnu, Gaia, and Allah are no different than Molech, Ashtoreth, and Ba'al: worthless idols (Psalm 135:15-18, Exodus 23:13, Jeremiah 11:12, Jonah 2:8, 1 Corinthians 10:20-22, Revelation 9:20).

In reality it is not OK if someone believes in something else.  It isn't OK for their current well being, nor is it OK for their family, and it certainly isn't OK for their soul.

There is a small bit of truth at the heart of this lie though: Christians are called to be kind and respectful even to those who disagree with us.  1 Peter 2:12 says:

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

9. "We shouldn't legislate our morality."

This line is used by many Christians who believe in a strict separation of church and state as well as non-Christians who don't want Christian values to be pushed on them.  It is often used against laws that would protect unborn children, define marriage traditionally, or protect religious freedom.

Just one rather elephantine problem with this lie: all legislation is based on someone's view of morality.  Morality is not a concept limited to Christianity, as if that even needs to be said.  Take a look at the laws in every country on earth, democracy and dictatorship alike: their laws reflect the morality of their leaders and their culture.  If Christians don't legislate their morality, atheists, Muslims, humanists, and secularists will legislate theirs.

Take the transgender bathroom issue in the United States as a current example.  Many are screaming at the North Carolina governor for "legislating morality" by defining who can enter a restroom based on biblical gender definitions and societal norms, yet the same people criticizing the governor would have the state and/or federal government impose laws that are no less based on morality - it would just be their version of morality.  Their moral code says that a person's gender is based on how they feel and not on physical reality or deductive reasoning.  And since a person's gender is based on how they feel, preventing a man who thinks he is a woman from entering the ladies' room would be discriminatory and wrong.

Or take as an example mundane laws such as the tax code or speed limits.  In many countries the tax code is progressive because societies have deemed it more fair that the poor pay less and the rich pay more, often stemming from religious views that encourage helping those in need.  If you remove morality from the picture, tax laws would be arbitrary and eventually non-existent: why not tax the poor 100% and the rich 0%?  In fact, why have any tax at all?  Likewise with speed limits, some lawmaker somewhere decided that it was wrong to allow people to drive recklessly and endanger others, so, based on their moral view, limits were put in place.

Remove morality and you remove all laws.  Some laws are moral and some immoral, but no law is amoral.  Every law has a moral nature.

10. "The Rapture is not in the Bible."

It is one thing to hold to various views as to the timing of the rapture event, but no rapture at all?  This belief is thoroughly nonsensical.  The argument often takes shape the same way that Jehovah's Witnesses will say that the Bible doesn't teach the doctrine of the Trinity since the word "Trinity" is not in the Bible - yet the doctrine of the Trinity is found all throughout the Bible, from Genesis 1:1-3 to Revelation. Many Christians say the word "rapture" is not in the Bible, end-of-story.

This argument doesn't even make sense - of course the English word "rapture" is not in the Bible.  So too the Latin word that we derive "rapture" from is also not in the Bible.  The New Testament was written in Greek! The Greek word for "rapture" is in the Bible: ἁρπάζω. In fact it occurs twice, first in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and second in Revelation 12:5.  Even setting aside all other scriptures, parables, patterns, and parallels that may support the rapture, the rapture event is clearly and unequivocally taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.  This passage doesn't necessarily answer the question as to the timing of the event, but yes, the rapture is going to happen.  A trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ and those who are "alive and remain" will be "caught up" into the clouds.  It plainly, unequivocally says believers will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

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  1. Another - child rape is forgivable.

    Jesus said child rape was unforgivable in Matt 18:6-14, and that you should find and help every victim. Catholics think it's ok anyway, as long as you hide it and lie about it.

    1. This side of the grave, even child rape is forgivable... provided the rapist is being "dealt with" by the Holy Spirit of God, and the rapist relents to it's heavenly wooing / pressure and repents of the sin, and asks for Jesus to save him. The verse you attached to your comment says nothing of the sin being "unforgivable", only 'woe unto them'. For such a man to die without Christ I'd say woe indeed. But I'll let Jesus decide whether such a man is forgivable or not.

    2. Of course, the just punishments can't be over looked in this life, but if the man is wooed, and saved by God, he'll be blameless in the next.

  2. "In reality it is not OK if someone believes in something else. It isn't OK for their current well being, nor is it OK for their family, and it certainly isn't OK for their soul." Excuse me, but who are you to make decisions for others? A bit dictatorial of you is it not. The cheek of it really.

    1. It's not me making the decision. It's God. I think you misunderstand the gist of the point: it's not that anyone MUST believe anything. God has given men and women free will, yet what they *choose* to believe will have eternal ramifications. That's what I mean by it's not OK.

    2. Gary,You will note Anonymous did not sign a given or surname. Perhaps that person is being a smart Aleck ?

  3. Great article, especially the second lie. We are called to judge righteous judgment. God bless.

  4. What a wonderful list! I'm partial to #2 and #9. I recently wrote a letter to Chief Justice Roberts regarding abortion. If God is sovereign, as He surely is, then His will is paramount, not the will of the individual. Consequently, man's laws are ultimately subordinate to God's laws. So how do we reconcile abortion with the knowledge that God's will is sovereign?

    Thank you for this interesting article!

  5. Here is another one
    "The dead in Christ" referance 1 Thessalonians 4:13-4:17.
    Those who sleep in Christ are not the "The dead in Christ".
    Those who sleep in Christ God Brings with Him.

    "The dead in Christ"

    God's Covenant with the Jews
    To the Jews, God's chosen people, for their strict obedience to the law given to Moses that pointed them to their Messiah, their reward was to rule in the Kingdom of God on earth for eternity.

    But God also established another covenant with another group of people when He revealed a mystery to the Apostle Paul. This mystery is defined as the grafting on to the tree of the root of Abraham, the wild olive branch known as the Christian Church. The establishment of this covenant was made necessary when the Jews as a nation refused to accept Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah during His first coming to earth.
    God's Covenant with the Christians
    To the Christian Church, for believing by faith that Jesus is the Messiah, their reward is the escaping of the wrath of God that will be poured out on the earth during the last seven years of earth time. [#20] The same seven years of time that begins when King Abdullah confirms his peace covenant with the Jews.

    Dead in Christ
    According to the prophecy, the Christian Church will be given a supernatural "warning sign" 40 days prior to their escaping the wrath of God. The "warning sign" to watch for is called 'the dead in Christ rising' and it will occur on the Jewish Feast of First Fruits which is celebrated in the spring of the year.



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