There is a feeling among some Christians that getting to heaven is as much about what you know as who you know. In other words, if your doctrine is off, you may be out. Here’s nine reasons why that idea might very well be wrong.
- When Jesus let the sheep into heaven, he didn’t give them a doctrinal quiz, but applauded their love for Him and others.(See Matthew 25: 31-47) P.S. Sadly, the goats didn’t make it. because they didn’t show love to Jesus by loving others.
- Sound doctrine, as Paul described it, was 95% about right conduct and right relationships. Only 5 % was about what we might call doctrines today. (Read the context of Titus 1 and 2.)
- Early Christians wouldn’t have made it because much of what we call sound doctrine today was not formulated till the 3rd century and later.
- In Africa, where the church grows mightily, Christians often can’t even read the Bible much less understand many of our doctrines. But they do love Jesus and one another. Will they make it?
- Jesus’ last prayer for His church was that we “be one.” Does that mean we should agree on all our doctrines or we that we need to be in right relationship with Him and one another?
- Doctrines have divided Christians more than any other single factor; believers have even killed one another over them (Read the history of the Reformation, where church leaders martyred Anabaptists because they held to believer’s baptism).
- The Devil loves our quarrels over doctrines. It plays right into his “divide and conquer” strategy. My friend Doug adds, “The devil’s favorite math is division”.
- Jesus did not say by their creeds you shall know them, but by their fruit. ”But the Holy Spirit produces this fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these!” (Gal 5:22)
- Nowhere in Scripture does God judge a believer’s faith in Christ by wrong believing, but by right relationships and right living. “Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. (Romans 14:10 NLT).) For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. (2 Cor. 5:10, NLT), And all were judged according to their deeds.(Revelation 20:12-14 NLT)