Can bad doctrine send you to Hell?

nodenom's picture

The few assembled on this forum are proof enough that Roman Catholics and Protestants and Mormons and JW's will never agree on certain points of doctrine. In fact within each denomination, you will also find disagreement.
This comes as no surprise since we are all still pretty messed up people. A large percentage of confessing 'christians' still suffer the same troubles as non christians as we play out our own little dramas we think important.

Now the question "how much wrong doctrine, dogma etc. must we embrace to lose our salvation"? In fact, can we lose our salvation by embracing wrong doctrine or do we just put ourselves in danger of never seeing the full life Christ has provided manifesting in our lives?

Will we ever see 'His kingdom come and His will being done' or will we just play our pitiful little parts on this stage and never see what could have been?

JeffLogan's picture

But works done for merit are just that and are useless

We are still stuck at point one. Justification does not guarantee salvation it is only the first step. After justification comes the work of sanctification which lasts a lifetime. Only those whose faith endures to the end will be finally saved. We had no part in our justification which is the pardoning of our sins. But we do have a part in our sanctification. We were condemned to die because of transgression of God's law. We are called sinners because we broke God's law. Now what deed can man do to make himself righteous before God that does not devolve completely on faith in the atoning blood of Jesus? The law demands perfect obedience.

"Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Romans 4:3-5).

Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner's account. Christ's righteousness is accepted in place of man's failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light. He can say with rejoicing, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7).

The apostle James saw that dangers would arise in presenting the subject of justification by faith, and he labored to show that genuine faith cannot exist without corresponding works. The experience of Abraham is presented. "Seest thou," he says, "how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Thus genuine faith does a genuine work in the believer. Faith and obedience bring a solid, valuable experience. There is a belief that is not a saving faith. The Word declares that the devils believe and tremble. The so-called faith that does not work by love and purify the soul will not justify any man. . . . Abraham believed God. How do we know that he believed? His works testified to the character of his faith, and his faith was accounted to him for righteousness.

jqlogan said -
BTW, in an early reply you suggested that I was less than civil in my remarks concerning the ignorant masses. You do understand the difference between ignorance and stupidity, right? Being ignorant is not a derogatory statement in and of itself. To be ignorant simply means to not know. We are all ignorant of many things and you have never hesitated to point out my ignorance regarding matter of Catholic faith.

ML said -
You do understand the difference between accusing an individual of ignorance and accusing an entire class of people of the same thing, right? . . . Your comment seemed to call into question the intelligence of the mass of Catholics who went before us.

jqlogan writes -
In the common dictionary ignorance has to do with knowledge, education, or awareness while intelligence pertains to the ability to learn or understand. Calling someone ignorant does not imply stupidity. It simply means they have no knowledge or understanding in the particular area under consideration. Therefore, every person who professed the Catholic faith out of fear of losing their soul did so from ignorance--not knowing that the church has no power to consign them to hellfire. Those who professed the Catholic faith out of fear of being put to death as a heretic cannot necessarily be lumped in with the ignorant masses. They may not have believed their soul to be in peril but the real and immediate threat of torture or death as a heretic was their motivation.

During the period spoken of the great majority of the common people were uneducated and ignorant of many things. Therefore, it was not an unfair statement. That all were Catholic is not questioned because I don't think there were many heretics that were allowed to live. They had to be non-Catholic in secret.

BTW, writing all this stuff down reminds me of Revelation 13 where it talks about the mark of the beast. Those who don't worship the beast are killed. Those who do do so for one of two reasons. Those who believe the beast to be worthy of worship are represented by those who receive the mark in their forehead. Just behind the forehead is the reasoning part of the brain. So these folks believe they are right. The second group receives the mark either because they don't want to be killed or because they don't want to suffer the economic sanctions of not being able to buy or sell. This second group is motivated by fear rather than belief and they are represented as those who receive the mark in the hands. And interesting curiosity.

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