There are heresies and then there are “damnable heresies.” Heresy means “to choose what you believe.” God has chosen what we are to believe and to make it simple He also supervised the writing of a book, The Holy Bible, available in almost every spoken language. When in doubt, check the book.
Most heresies will not send you to hell. And more importantly even some things people think are required are also not a problem, like food laws, required festivals, and recognition of certain days, including Sabbath-keeping. All these are external.
A. Damnable Heresies
1. Any belief that places the death of something other than Jesus as a sacrifice for sin
2. Ultimate reconciliation – eventually even the devil and his angels are saved.
3. Annihilation Theories – when you die you cease to exist in any form.
4. Reincarnation – you are born again as another person or being.
5. Belief in any theory that makes Jesus not really God at any point in his life or death
6. Belief in any theory that does not recognize the blood of Jesus as the agent to cover sin
7. Belief in any theory that does not require repentance and confession of faith.
8. Committing the unpardonable sin – rejecting the person of Christ
9. Belief in any theory that puts Jesus as an equal to other gods, including Allah, Buddha, etc.
10. Any religious system which denies in practice the existence of sin, since the personal recognition of personal sin is a requirement for salvation.
11. One religious group says you must be married to be saved and if you divorce you end up in hell. Besides being ridiculous and not scriptural, it is also laughable as anyone who has ever been married knows.
12. Rapture theories are divisive and since no one can prove his position at the present time adherence to any one interpretation is not a litmus test for salvation.
B. Non Damnable heresies, nonsense theories
1. Any theory which claims you receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be saved, or water baptism or any process that requires additional performance.
2. Jesus paid the price for all sins of all men if they accept his sacrifice for their own sins – murder abortion, witchcraft, adultery, theft and sex sins and, most importantly if they also repent. Mere confession is not adequate. I have heard many a person weep over their sins but, it was for public show and the heart was not right. “With the heart man believes unto righteousness, and confession is made unto salvation.”
3. Belief in only part of the Bible – Many people believe the Bible in part. While this does not keep you out of heaven it proportionally reduces your blessings in this life and in the next.
4. Hyper-grace theories say that once you are saved any additional sin is automatically forgiven. This is wishful thinking and makes the grace of God something of a joke.
5. Amulets, relics and other religious items have no effect on one’s salvation but relying on them can keep you from learning the truth and may become an idol.
Given men’s ability to concoct lies, there may be other heresies, but this is a start.
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