You may be a sincere Protestant and follower of Jesus Christ. You may do many good things for your family, your church, and your community. This is certainly admirable on a human level. But why do you do what you do? And why do you believe what you believe? Many Protestants today are such because of what has been passed down to them by their family heritage. They were taught certain things from their childhood or received them by tradition. Some Protestants proudly proclaim, “I’ve always been a Christian!” However, the question in this short context is: did you receive the truth? You may or may not have. Whatever you were taught, it is incumbent upon you to do what the people of Berea did in Bible times. Acts 17:11 says that they “searched the scriptures daily” to see whether the things that the apostles taught were so. When Jesus came, He challenged the tradition of His time. He said to the religious people of His day, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think that ye have eternal life” (John 5:39). This same challenge is for you today. The greatest tragedy of life and eternity would be if you believed that you possessed eternal life but in reality do not.
The reason that this danger exists among Protestants is that many Protestant denominations and churches have left their Bible-believing roots. The common sentiment in many Protestant Seminaries is that the Bible is a book that expresses the religious beliefs of people centuries ago. The Bible is the Word of God not in that it is infallible or inerrant, but that it is one conduit by which God can subjectively speak to people. So many Protestant churches give credence to the Bible, but deny its essential claim to be the perfect and complete revelation of God to the world. They give lip service to the Bible, but without absolute loyalty to what it teaches.
– In many cases, these same Protestant churches stand doctrinally in direct opposition to the Bible.
- They say that Jesus is not the only way to eternal life, but Jesus said that He is the only way. In John 14:6 He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
- They say that everyone is going to Heaven. The Bible says that everyone is not. In fact, it says that the majority are not. In Matthew 7:13 Jesus said that “…broad is the way that leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat.” In a later verse, He adds: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,…and I will profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22, 23).
- They say that there is no such place as Hell. But Jesus spoke more about Hell than He did about Heaven. He called it “everlasting fire” in Matthew 18:8 and Matthew 25:41. The last book of the Bible says that someday “death and hell…”are “…cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14, 15).
- They say that everyone is a child of God. But the Bible says that we all are the creation of God, but not all of us are the children of God. Jesus said that we must be “born again” to enter into the Kingdom (John 3:3-7). The Apostle Paul tells us that we have to be “receive the spirit of adoption” in order to call God our Father. And John in his Gospel was definitive at this point when he proclaimed, “…as many as received him (that is, Jesus), to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). These verses make it clear that no one is born a Christian. In Galatians 3:26 the Apostle Paul says to all true born again believers, “For ye are all the children of God by faith.”
- They say that the theory of evolution does not conflict with the Bible. But Jesus said, “…from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” placing the creation of man and woman at the beginning of His creative work. The writer of Hebrews clearly denies God’s use of any evolutionary process when he says that God’s creative “works were finished from the foundation of the world” (Hebrews 4:3).
- They say that the Church’s main task is to correct social ills and injustices. But Jesus says to the Church, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We are told by Jesus to baptize “them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever things I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19, 20)
And beside these contradictory teaching they say:
- Women are allowed to pastor a church. But God says they are not (I Timothy 2:12 and 3:2).
Women have a vital and vocal role in the church in teaching other women and leading in other capacities. The Bible teaches male headship in the home and in the church, and anyone who would teach otherwise is seeking to overthrow God’s creative order.
- Gay is O.K. But God says that it is not. (Romans 1:26-28 and I Corinthians 6:9-11). Although we are sensitive to the struggle that people face with strong environmental factors that lead to this propensity, we do not condone the ongoing decisions of these same individuals to follow this disposition instead of seeking God’s grace to fight and conquer it.
- Infants can be baptized. God said that they cannot. A conscious response to God and personal belief are required (Acts 8:36, 37 and I Peter 3:21).
- And the list of aberrant doctrines found in Protestant churches goes on and on…
– If you believe any of these things, or if you attend one of the churches that teach any of these things, you have a decision to make. Is the Bible true or not? If it is not all true, can any of it be trusted? If it is not all true, can it be true at all?
- In Matthew 4:4 Jesus cited the Old Testament and said, “It is written, Man shall live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” In saying “It is written” Jesus employed the perfect tense in the Greek language. This speaks of an act in the past with ongoing results. Jesus is saying then that the scripture he was citing was written and still is written. It is clear from this and other passages that Jesus gave His full approval of the Old Testament Scriptures as being absolutely authoritative and perfectly preserved unto His day. Every word is our source of truth by which we are to live.
– Jesus told the Apostles that after His ascension into Heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to guide them into “all truth” and show them “things to come” (John 16:13).
– Jesus spoke of more revelation beyond the Old Testament. Once complete, this would comprise “all truth” to live by. The apostles began to deposit the revelation that they received into writing. By His statement recorded in John 16:13, Jesus anticipated and arraigned for the completion of His revelation to the world through them.
– The Apostle Paul told Timothy in II Timothy 3:16 and 17 that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”and that it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (Emphasis added). This verse speaks clearly of the sufficiency of the Scriptures for all belief and behavior.
– The last living apostle was John. Having the credentials to write, he wrote the final revelation.
At the end of his book he closed the door firmly on the Scriptures. He said in Revelation 22: 18, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues written in the book.”
- It is clear from these and other passages that the Bible is God’s perfect revelation and is a closed system of truth.
- In this same Bible you will find the true way of salvation. You cannot just count on your Christian heritage to get you to heaven. You cannot expect that good works will get you there. You certainly cannot trust that going to church will do it.
- The Bible says that you have sinned and come short of God’s perfect standard on holiness.
Romans 3:10 says that “there is none righteous.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” James 2:10 says that if you offend in one point of God’s moral law you are guilty of all. That is because the standard is perfection and the moment you missed it once it is as if you missed it a million times.
- You are condemned before the court of God and no amount of good works will rectify your condition. Ephesians 2:8, 9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Emphasis added). Romans 4:5 says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
- The good news is that Jesus died for you. Jesus is God in the flesh. He came to earth, lived the perfect life, and took the penalty of your sin on Himself when He died on cross. In one eternal moment, He took the full weight of your eternal Hell on Himself becoming our substitute. The Bible boldly declares that the Father “made him (that is, Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:21).
- If you will repent (change your mind) about your sinful condition and call out to God for His eternal salvation believing that Jesus took your deserved punishment, you will have eternal life in heaven when you die. Do that today, and then find a good Bible-believing church that will help you to love Jesus and learn the Scriptures.