Over my forty-five years as a believer in Christ, I must have heard dozens of preachers say, "Jesus spoke about hell much more than He did about heaven!" Well, today, I actually looked up the number of times the word "hell" is in the Gospels, and there are fifteen verses. When I looked up "heaven" in the Gospels, there are one hundred twenty-nine verses! That got me thinking; I wonder how many other commonly held beliefs are simply myths from over-zealous preachers? Now don't get me wrong; a preacher who takes another preacher's word on something, is probably not intentionally trying to mislead; he is likely just giving his source way too much credit. In Acts 17:10-12, the Apostle Paul praised the Bereans for their courtesy in listening to him, and then compared what he had said to the Word of God. Luke records Paul as saying:
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honorable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."
Paul had proven his apostleship by working miracles, and Peter called his writings Scripture (2 Pet. 3:16). Even Jesus told his disciples and His enemies to check out His teaching:
* Matthew 22:29 - "Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God."
* Mark 12:10, 24 - "And have ye not read this Scripture; The Stone which the builders rejected is become the Head of the Corner....And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?"
* Luke 24:25-27 - "Then He said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."
* John 5:39 - "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me."
Here are three verses one needs to know if he or she wants to be a Christian:
* 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 - "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
* Ephesians 2:8-9 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
* Romans 10:8-13 - "But what saith it? The Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the Word of faith, which we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and (non-Jew): for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."