Misconceptions of God can be costly. People believe things that God never said.
For example, it’s agonizing to me how many people think “cleanliness is next to godliness” comes from the pages of Scripture but God never said that. If this is indeed a word from God, then homemakers 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”? God never said this. 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).
Here are five other misconceptions of God’s Word and things God never said that we’d be wise to address.
1. If you don’t know the date you were saved, then you are not saved. God never said this.
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.
As long as you’re trusting Christ alone, you are saved, regardless of when you crossed the line.