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Common Misconceptions of New Christians

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4 - Bad things don't happen to truly godly Christians.

This point goes along with point number one, however, the focus is slightly different. Often Christians begin to wrongly believe that if they live a godly Christian life, God will protect them from pain and suffering. Paul, a hero of the faith, suffered much:

    2 Corinthians 11:24-26
    Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. (NIV)
Some faith groups believe the Bible promises health, wealth and prosperity for all who live a godly life. But this teaching is false. Jesus never taught this to his followers. You may experience these blessings in your life, but they are not a reward for godly living. At times we experience tragedy, pain and loss in life. This is not always a result of sin, as some would claim, but rather, for a greater purpose that we may not understand immediately. We may never understand, but we can trust God in these difficult times, and know he has a purpose.

Rick Warren says in his popular book, The Purpose Driven Life - "Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like himself before he takes us to heaven."

    1 Peter 1:6-7
    So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (NLT)

5 - Christian ministers and missionaries are more spiritual than other believers.

This is a subtle but persistent misconception that we carry in our minds as believers. Because of this false notion, we end up putting ministers and missionaries on "spiritual pedestals" accompanied by unrealistic expectations. When one of these heroes falls from our self-constructed perch, it tends to make us fall too -- away from God. Don't let this happen in your life. You may have to continually guard yourself against this subtle deception.

Paul, Timothy's spiritual father, taught him this truth - we are all sinners on an equal playing field with God and each other:

    1 Timothy 1:15-16
    This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--and I was the worst of them all. But that is why God had mercy on me, so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. (NLT)

6 - Christian churches are always safe places, where you can trust everyone.

Although this should be true, it is not. Unfortunately we live in a fallen world where evil resides. Not everyone who enters the church has honorable intentions, and even some who do come with good intentions can fall back into old patterns of sin. One of the most dangerous places in Christian churches, if not properly guarded, is the children's ministry. Churches that don't implement background checks, team led classrooms, and other security measures, leave themselves open to many dangerous threats.

    1 Peter 5:8
    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (NKJV)
    Matthew 10:16
    Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV)

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