Misconceptions about God
Contrasted with Biblical Truth

"We all worship the same God, just by different names in different cultures."

The God of the Bible makes a distinction between himself and false, or strange, gods. And he is particular about his name.

And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them (Deut. 31:16).

"So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them" (Num. 6:27).

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).


"God will accept you into Heaven if you've done more good than bad."

God is holy - good, pure, and perfect. He wouldn't be holy if he allowed sinners into His presence. God's standard for our behavior is perfection. No one is perfect, that's why we need Jesus. He satisfied God's justice by dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin - death - so we don't have to. In God's eyes, when we put our trust in Jesus, we take on his perfection. Jesus takes our sin and our death and gives us his righteousness and his life. That's an offer I couldn't refuse.

"Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Jesus, in Matt. 5:48).


"If there is a God, why doesn't he just reveal himself to me?"

God has revealed himself to us. In addition to putting awareness of himself in our hearts and demonstrating his presence through his creation, God also intervened in human history on numerous occasions. He made sure a record of it, the Bible, survived so we can benefit from it. For a created being to demand of his Creator that he appear in person reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of God - and a lot of arrogance.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Rom. 1:18-25, my emphasis).


"Who are you to say your religion is the only way?"

I'm not pushing a religion. I'm just saying that Jesus is God. I didn't say Jesus is the only way - Jesus did. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). The apostle Peter said, "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

If you are seeking God, you will recognize Jesus as God and come to Him. If you are not seeking God, you will be offended by anyone's claim to exclusive truth.


"Jesus was a great prophet and teacher, we should strive to be like him."

Jesus was more than a prophet and teacher. He claimed to be God. He forgave sin (Mat.9:2) and accepted worship (John 9:38), prerogatives of God. His Sermon on the Mount was not meant to be an example we should strive for - it was meant to show us how holy and perfect God is and how far short we fall of that standard.

Jesus was not our example, he was our substitute. His mission was to die in our place for our sin to satisfy God's justice and reconcile us to himself.


"I can't believe in a God who would send anyone to Hell for eternity."

God doesn't send anyone to hell. We choose to do evil things and deserve Hell. We are like ungrateful teenagers. I think God made teenagers so we would understand what it's like to have created someone and then have him turn around and take us for granted, ignore us, and (in some cases) despise us. God went way out of his way to save us from our sin. He became a man and suffered crucifixion for us. He made it extremely easy for us to come to him. His forgiveness and eternal life is a gift - all you have to do is accept it. "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" (the Apostle Paul in Eph. 2:8-9) .

We have all received a pardon from Hell; all we have to do is walk out of our cell on Hell's Row to freedom. There is no one more merciful and full of grace than God. Anyone who refuses to accept his Savior richly deserves Hell.


"We are all God's children"

We are all God's creatures (created beings), but Jesus made a distinction between those whose spiritual father is God and those whose spiritual father is Satan.

"If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father."(John 8:42-44).

The Apostle John wrote: "But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12). And he records Jesus' words to Nicodemus: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'" (John 3:3). This is where the term "born again Christian" comes from. We start out life in the family of Satan and need to be born again spiritually into the family of God. We are born into the family of God when we decide to accept Jesus' gift of forgiveness of sin and eternal life.


"Faith in God is 'blind' faith."

God doesn't want "blind" faith. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said (quoting Deuteronomy 6:5), "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind'" (Matt. 22:37, my emphasis). God has given us plenty of evidence of his existence and identity. This evidence forms the foundation of an intelligent faith.


Josh McDowell set out to disprove Christianity, but when he examined the evidence, he ended up a believer. I recommend his book, More Than a Carpenter. If you'd like a copy, I'll send you one, free. Just e-mail me your name and address.