Posted by Mark Lindley on 5 February 2020 | Comments

Are your religious beliefs based on the teachings of the Bible? Do you have book, chapter, and verse support for the things you believe about God, sin, and salvation? Those professing to be Christians would agree that our religious beliefs “should” come from the Bible. The Bible is the final authority for Christians. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16-17). The Scriptures provide all we need to know in order to be saved eternally in heaven.

            However, some beliefs which are commonly held do not come from the Bible. Some hold to doctrinal beliefs because of family tradition. One may reason that if his parents and grandparents believed certain doctrines, then those doctrines must be true. Nevertheless, the scriptures warn against following the traditions of men. Paul wrote, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Jesus taught that following the commandments of men results in vain worship (Matthew 15:9). Just because one’s parents and/or grandparents believed certain doctrines does not mean those doctrines are true.

            Others may simply follow the teachings of a highly respected preacher. However, preachers and teachers, regardless of how sincere they may be, can be misguided. Jesus issued this warning: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). John insisted that Christians “try the spirits whether they are of God” (I John 4:1). In other words, be sure that what is taught is true. The Bible is the final authority for the Christian’s beliefs, not what a preacher says. Preachers can be wrong.

            Here are a few commonly held beliefs which are not found in the Scriptures: 1) “Accept Jesus as your personal Savior and you will be saved”; (2) “There are many paths to heaven”; 3) “You should choose and attend the church of your choice.”

            These teachings are repeated over and over in our day, but they are not found in the Bible. Ask your favorite preacher for the book, chapter, and verse that says, “Accept Jesus as your personal savior.” Ask your grandmother to show you where the Bible teaches that you should “choose and attend the church of your choice.” There is no biblical support for these teachings.

            The point of this article is found in  the words of Acts 17:11: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Search the Scriptures for yourself. Be sure your beliefs are based on the teachings of Scripture.