False Hopes of Salvation
If you ask the average person about heaven, they believe that they’re going there. However, Jesus made it very clear that few would be on the road that leads to heaven and many will be on the road that leads to destruction.
Matt. 7:13-14 – Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
Matt. 7:21-23 – Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.
Apparently there are a great number of people that are deceived into thinking that they are ok spiritually. They have a false hope concerning where they will spend eternity. What are some of the things people mistakenly put their hope in?
What are some false activities or circumstances that people trust in to get them to heaven?
1. Keeping the Law of Moses. Trying to keep the ten commandments.
Gal. 2:16 – nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Messiah Jesus, even we have believed in Messiah Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Messiah, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.
2. Having a life that is characterized by good works or mitzvahs.
Eph. 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
Are good deeds a bad thing for a person to do? Or, should we be doing good deeds for others?
Titus 2:7 – in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,
Titus 2:14 – who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Titus 3:8 – This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.
Titus 3:14 – And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
As you can see, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing good deeds for others. However, we must not think that they have anything to do with us getting to heaven.
We do good deeds because we are going to heaven, we don’t do them to get us there.
3. Having a Church, Temple or Synagogue membership.
4. Having a good education.
1 Tim. 6:20 – O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called knowledge.
2 Tim. 3:7 – always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
There is nothing wrong with getting a good education, but that is not the way to get to heaven. The best knowledge to work towards is a knowledge of Messiah Jesus.
2 Pet. 3:18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
5. Trying to live by the Golden Rule.
Matt. 7:12 – Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
The major problem we have with trying to keep the Golden Rule is, it’s simply not possible for us to live up to it. Why is that?
Is. 64:6 – For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
6. Involving oneself in religious activities.
One needs to be certain that their hope of ending up in heaven is built upon the truth of the Word of God. Anything less should cause one to question the eternal destiny of their soul.
Examples of religious activities that don’t get anyone to heaven:
- taking communion – Lord’s Supper
- Church or Temple membership
- being Bar or Bat Mitzvaed
- being baptized
- membership in a religious organization
- tithing, giving to charity
- being confirmed
Matt. 7:22-23 – Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawless-ness.