1. You get to heaven based on "being a good person"
So many people still don't understand how our Father's grace works, and they think that a believer gets to heaven because of their lack of sin or their abundance of good deeds in this life. You see, we don't get to heaven based on works, but instead by our faith that Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins knowing that we will all inevitably commit.
In Romans 10:9, we can read:
"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
And in Ephesians 2:8-9, we can also read:
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
So often you hear people who’ve given up on God because they’re never going to be a “good enough person” to get into heaven. Every person who was ever born and lived on Earth except for Jesus himself was born with what we call a “sin nature”, and this means we ALL sin. Not just people who don’t care or don’t believe in God, even believers who are truly saved commit sins. That’s why our God is so wonderful, because he forgives us! Once you are saved this does NOT mean that you’re not going to sin anymore. This means you’re going to try and change your ways to avoid sinning as much as you can, but the reason Jesus was crucified for us is because He knew we would sin, and He knew we would fail sometimes, so He was our sacrifice to God for what we’ve done and will continue to do.
We can read about that in Romans 3:23:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
If you aren’t saved, don’t let anyone who is intimidate you or fool you into thinking they are perfect and don’t commit sins because they are a believer, we ALL sin, and we will never possibly be "good enough" to get into heaven. This is where Christianity is different than any other religion.
2. If God is so loving and forgiving, He will let me into Heaven when I die because I have been a good person, even if I didn’t believe in Him.
We read it in Ephesians, we are saved by faith and faith alone! God speaks to us through His Word in our Bibles, and our Bibles clearly tell us we have to believe in Him or our actions on Earth do not matter when we get to the gates of heaven.
We can read about this in John 3:3: "Jesus answered him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." When you hear the term "born again" this means that a person has turned from their sins and placed their faith in Christ dying for us, and they are "reborn" into God's family for eternity, which means even when they die physically on Earth they will live spiritually forever with God in His kingdom. For a person to do this, they have to know God. They have to pray to the Lord and ask for Him to come into their hearts. If you don't know God while you live, you don't get to live eternally with Him in His great kingdom.
3. Being a Christian means you have to follow a long list of rules.
God gives us commandments because He knows what is best for us. Just like a parent knows what is best for a child, our Father in heaven cares so deeply for us, and we show our respect and love for Him by following what He commands in the Bible. Its not a "chore" to follow His commands if you are truly saved, because when you are saved you have faith that God is in control of everything, and He is always right. With that being said, we ALL fail and fall short of the glory of God, remember? So why bother trying to be good if we are going to fail, right? God knows we are going to fail, so why does it matter if I try or not? Here is where God's beautiful and wonderful grace comes in.
We can read about this in Romans 6:1-2
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" When we give our life to Christ, as I said earlier, it's about leaving behind a life of sin. This means you will now be actively pursuing a personal relationship with God, which entails trying to live your best life for Him. When we do fail, and succumb to sin, it should be less than when we were living for ourselves and not for God. God has this policy thats called grace, which means He has mercy on us and loves us even when we don't deserve it. Did you hear that? When people think they can't get into heaven because they aren't a "good enough person" that is wrong, Christianity is all about humbling yourself and knowing we aren't worthy of God, but His grace is more powerful than any sin we commit.
4. Jesus and God are different entities
A lot of people still don't understand that Jesus was more than just a man, He was God in man form. When Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, the baby was half God. Meaning Jesus had temptations of the flesh just like we do, but He never gave into them because He was God.
We can read about this in John 14:9-10: Jesus said,
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work."
Plain and simple, Jesus was God in the flesh.
5. The Bible contradicts science
This is usually an uneducated comment, or a comment made because they've been told it for years so people continue to say it. However, God states many scientific facts in His Word long before they were proven by science. For example, not until the 19th century was it discovered that all visible matter consists of invisible elements.
In Hebrews 11:3, God tells us,
"Creation is made of particles, indiscernible to our eyes."
For so long, it was thought that oceans were fed only by rivers and rain. Yet in the 1970s, with the help of research submarines that were constructed to withstand, oceanographers discovered springs on the ocean floors. In Job 38:16, we are told that the oceans have springs!
"Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths?" Lenntech lists that scientists have discovered that the human body is comprised of some 28 base and trace elements – all of which are found in the earth. The bible told us this long before science discovered it in Genesis 3:19
"By the sweat of your brow you will eat your fooduntil you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
This list goes on and on, you can do the research yourself, or you can read the tip of the iceberg from this article: http://www.eternal-productions.org/101science.html
6. The Bible demeans women
God designed men and women differently, different does not mean unequal or of lesser value. Different simply means different, science even backs this up. Science tells us that males have better motor and spatial skills, while females have better verbal, memory, and social skills. The male brain is 8% larger than the female brain, and the male brain is connected from front to back, while the female is connected from left to right. This gives women an advantage on intuition, and men the advantage on complex movement sequences for physical activity, for example, skiing. The limbic system is more pronounced in the female brain, which gives us the knowledge that women are generally more emotionally receptive in social situations. Different. We are different, but not of lesser value. Proverbs is full of respect and praise for Godly women:
31:10 tells us that a wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies.
11:16 tells us that a kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth.
14:1 tells us that the wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
The bible is full of strong women, if you'd like to read about these for yourself here are a few: Hannah and Abigail from 1 Samuel, Esther from the book of Esther, Jael from Judges, and we can't forget Mary, Jesus's mother, who you can read about in all 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, John, and Luke.
7. Once saved, Christians should always be happy Let me start this misconception off with another common misconception that happiness and joy are the same thing. No, they aren't. So many people believe that once they are saved they are supposed to be hit with happiness, and they should have a good life now that God is on their side, and nothing bad will happen anymore. Many preachers teach that God will give us a prosperous life with Earthy riches if we believe in Him. But bad things will continue to happen on this Earth, even if God is in control. Many people let that thought stop them from having faith in God, because if God is so good and in control then why doesn't He stop these bad things from happening?
1 Corinthians 13:12 helps us understand this a little by saying:
"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity." Now being now, here on Earth, and then being when we are in heaven with the lord and we transcend our human understandings. We have to understand, however, that God is not the creator of evil. God is what we call a trinity of beings, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit who all come together in one loving and perfect being. So when God created humans, He gave us the spirit of Himself, the spirit of love and not of fear and evil. But He had to give us free will to choose what path we take. However, we humans abuse our free will by rejecting God and walking away from Him and this resulted in the introduction of evil into our world. We have to understand this when we expect God to only give us His good in this world. But what we can have is hope, we know that all things that happen God uses as an opportunity for teaching and growth in ourselves.
In Romans 8:28 the Bible promises:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
With all that being said, it brings me back to the point of the difference of happiness and joy: happiness is a temporary emotion we feel when good things are happening in our lives, joy is a permanent and holy state we get when we ask the Holy Spirit to come into us. We can read about this is 1 Peter 1:8-9:
"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls." "Inexpressible and glorious joy", this means its the kind of feeling that we can't even describe or express because its so overwhelming because it comes straight from the Holy Spirit Himself. This is a state of being that doesn't leave, even when we have hard times in our life. Just like the Holy Spirit never leaves us, neither will His joy.
8. The understanding of rewards and punishments through God
God doesn't want us to brag about the good works we do here on Earth. Jesus was plain and clear on this issue.
We can read about it in Matthew 6:2-4 where Jesus says:
"When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and He will reward you." Many Christians skim over this part of the Bible, and this makes many non-believers have this misconception that we have to do good works to get into heaven or to be a good christian. Remember, we do good works to show we love the Lord, and to keep his commands, not to boast about them or to get praises or rewards here on Earth. The rewards God has in heaven for us are so much better than those here on the Earth. With punishments comes the same thing, many people believe a man on his deathbed can pray for forgiveness and not be punished for the things in did in his life, while he may be saved and accept Christ into his heart, he will still have to answer to God in heaven for what he did.