Jesus once rebuked some of the Jewish leaders of His day as “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). Unfortunately, this practice has not ceased. In fact, the doctrines of men create significant confusion in our current religious world. Tragically, this occurs in connection with the most critical of all subjects—salvation. Examples include: (1) identifying those who are lost, (2) designating who can be saved, (3) specifying what man must do to be saved, (4) understanding what is required to remain saved, and (5) ideas related to the possibility of falling away.
The most serious consequence of man-made doctrines is that they frequently mislead those who are sincerely seeking to be saved. Jesus referred to such things in Matt, 23:15, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
Every true Christian should be deeply concerned about the liberties that some preachers and teachers have taken with the most important subject in the Bible. Although some matters pertain to “secret things” that “belong to the Lord” (Deut. 29:29a), salvation is NOT one of them (Deut. 29:29b). And while Paul wrote of some things “hard to understand” (2 Pet. 3:15-16), salvation is NOT one of them. Yet some men (and women) today pervert the subject of salvation by misapplying or misusing Scripture (2 Pet. 3:16).
The Bible says that God “desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). That being true, doesn't God have the ability to reveal in plain, understandable language HOW to be saved and go to heaven? If the Almighty, All-Loving God has that ability, then we should approach His Scriptures with full expectation of finding (and sharing) His plan.
Over the next few weeks, my articles will examine fundamental matters regarding our salvation. May God help us to lay aside man-conceived doctrines, go back to the Bible, and find (and comply with) God’s clear teachings.
Jesus, always Jesus,