10 Scary Statements by Future Church Leaders

Over the last three years I have heard some very disturbing statements made by those who either already are or are planning on entering the ministry and will be placed in positions of authority within God’s Church. I agree that we are all on a journey in our walk with the Lord, but I would like to challenge us all to be a little more cautious with the words we choose to use. While we laugh and shake our heads at some of these, statements like the following are very destructive and can easily lead someone into believing a false gospel. This is also a good reminder to us all that, regardless of an individual’s educational background or position of authority, we should always go back to what God’s Word says.

Revelation is Not Meant to Teach Us About the End…

Honestly, I am not even sure where to begin. The individual who made this statement continued by saying that Revelation is meant only to give us hope. While God’s Word does give us hope, it also gives us an order of real life accounts. This is akin to saying that the Bible is not meant to teach us about Jesus or that the Old Testament was not meant to teach us about the history of Israel. This thought stems from the idea that we cannot know for sure how exactly the events of the end times will unfold. I agree that we will not fully know everything that will come about, but we can know the order of events accurately. [Click here to read my full response written in a previous blog.]

The Angel in Revelation Preaches a Different Gospel…

Doesn’t this sound a little heretical? Yeah, I thought so too. Especially since the book of Galatians begins by stating in 1:8 that “…even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” The individual who said this was attempting to use Revelation 14:6 as his justification, but this is a very skewed interpretation of the passage given the fact that the context is all about Jesus Christ. Also, part of the angel’s proclamation in verse seven was an exhortation to worship the Creator of the universe [i.e. Jesus (Col. 1:15-17)].

All You Need to Do is Believe in Abraham…

The exact quote was, “I am so glad to know that as long as people are believing in Abraham they are saved.”

To give some context, many missionaries take years to learn the native language. They then take another year of teaching the Bible to the people before they even arrive at the name of Jesus which is presented in the New Testament. Therefore, it is an emotional challenge when someone dies in the middle of this process before the missionary reached Christ. So, what happens to the individual who, as far as anyone could tell, was believing the message but died before they could hear about Christ?

This is a very hard discussion but, rather than jumping to emotions and speculation, let’s first go back to what we know from God’s Word. First, we know that no one can be saved apart from believing in the person of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Second, we know that all believers have been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Thus, if you do not have the Holy Spirit then you are not part of the Church and are not sealed by Him (Eph. 13-14). Finally, we know that three thousand Jewish people believed the Old Testament [way more than just Abraham] and they were not saved (Acts 2:37-41) because they asked Peter what they should do to be saved which implies that they were not.

I do not mean to sound cold, but we cannot have assurance in that individual’s eternal destination in this scenario. Thus, we shouldn’t assume that they are saved even if they were believing everything being taught up until the day they died. Faithful attendance to a Bible study does not get someone into Heaven. Believing in Adam, Noah, Abraham, even the twelve tribes and apostles will not change a person’s eternal dwelling place. The only hope that anybody has is to believe in the risen Son of God (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Thankfully, it’s not for us to know who is and who isn’t saved. Will we see that person in Heaven because “God knew his heart?” Maybe. But, again, we should always go back to what we know from Scripture and what we know is that there is only one Name by which we can be saved and that’s Jesus (Acts 4:12). So, if someone is dying and you have the opportunity, even if you’re only to Abraham in the chronological Bible lessons, why take the chance? Go ahead and tell them about Jesus while there’s still time.

You Do Not Need the Old Testament…

A pastor of a very large church in the United States has reiterated this idea repeatedly to his congregation over the past year. He also believes that the Old Testament is full of holes and contradictions and that you do not need to believe in a literal reading of God’s Word. Honestly, there is too much I could say in response to this episode of false teaching. Both the Old and New Testaments are perfect and without error.

The major fact that this pastor has forgotten is that the New Testament writers were preaching the Old Testament. Yes, there was some additional information given, but the epistles are meant to instruct the people on the examples of the Old Testament and the fulfillment it has in Christ. Also, since the Church did not begin until Pentecost (Acts 2), the entire Gospel account [Matthew, Mark, Luke, John] is technically placed within the Old Testament.

God Will Never Be Displeased with You…

If this is true, where then is the need for repentance (Acts 2:38)? Confession (1 John 1:9)? Yes, God will never love or value you more than He does because His desire for you is infinite, but that does not mean that He is always pleased with us. Does God take pleasure in our sin? James 4:6 is talking to believers and says that God opposes the proud. 1 Peter 3:7 says that our sin can hinder our prayers. Ephesians 4:30 states that we can grieve the Holy Spirit. While we cannot influence our position in Christ, I would argue that we can very much hinder our fellowship with Him.

Jesus Came to His Other People in the Americas…

This is actually Mormonism, not Christianity. Jesus did not come to America after His resurrection nor does He have another people. Israel is His chosen nation and the Church is His chosen body.

Michael the Archangel Placed Jesus Into Mary…

This is an interesting one since Michael the archangel is not mentioned anywhere near the birth of Christ. The text says that the Holy Spirit came upon Mary (Luke 1:35) which implies no action taken or even needed by the angelic beings. Again, it’s very dangerous to add to Scripture what is not expressly stated. [Click here to read my full response in a previous blog.]

Fearing God Just Means Respecting Him…

This is a very common belief in the Church today. Many will add that “fearing God” just means to be in awe of Him but, sadly, this misses the point. Respect and awe are good things and we should definitely have that disposition and reverence to God. After all, it is God we are talking about. The problem is that these two attitudes do not go far enough and, due to our culture of love and comfort, we have created an imbalanced view of God in our minds.

When God killed Ananias and Saphira it says that great fear came over the whole Church (Acts 5:5, 11). I have a feeling that this fear of God was more than just a casual, “I really respect You, God.” More than likely these believers were terrified. Yes, they loved God and He loved them, but it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31). Or what about the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 where one of the servants says he knew the Master was a “hard man” and was “afraid” of Him? Think about the churches of Revelation. God spoke some pretty harsh words in order to straighten them out. Yes, God is love but we should be careful not to elevate one attribute above the others when His Word also talks about His justice, wrath and anger.

God Will Judge You for Seeking Him Too Much…

Honestly, I am not sure where this statement even comes from apart from the lies of the enemy. God’s Word is emphatic that His people are to seek Him with all of their hearts (Jer. 29:13). Jesus Himself says that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Therefore, I am not quite sure how it’s even possible to seek God too much since He requires our all.

Bibliolatry…

This is the newest scary statement that I have added to my collection and it is wreaking havoc on the Church at large. It is a lie the enemy is using to get Christians out of their Bibles and into the world. It comes in under the guise of thinking we can learn more about God and His truth from other outside sources. It presents the individual with a false sense of justification for not seeking to know and love God with everything we have and are. It is the lie of Bibliolatry and the evidence of its reality is the existence of this post. The fact is that the mass majority of Christians today do not know God’s Word. Why? Because Satan has tricked us, and we have fallen prey to his schemes. The belief in Bibliolatry has led to Biblical illiteracy.

Google defines bibliolatry as: an excessive adherence to the literal interpretation of the Bible. Is it even possible to have an “excessive” adherence to the literal interpretation of the Bible? If one were to have an “excessive” adherence to the literal interpretation of the Bible they would be the godliest and most loving individual, confronting sin rightly, managing their time wisely, having a heavenly mindset and loving people! They would not be misinterpreting or misapplying Scripture because they would have “excessively” applied themselves to the study of God’s Word. In other words, it’s impossible to adhere to God’s Word too much.

This is not addressing the motive of some who believe that their knowledge of the Bible will gain them entrance into Heaven rather than faith in the work of Christ. This is worship of self as you trust in your own efforts and knowledge and the worship of anything other than God is idolatry – not bibliolatry. Bibliolatry is not addressing motive [i.e. why are you studying God’s Word] but simply the action [i.e. you are studying God’s Word].

[Click here to read my full response in a previous post.]

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