Scary Bible verses

Yesterday our Sunday School teacher said that he found this to be the scariest verse in the Bible:

Matthew 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

As I noted in They wouldn’t like the Sermon on the Mount if they understood it, Liberal theologians and even some skeptics claim to revere the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), but that is just because they don’t really understand it.  If they read it properly they would hate it.  That verse is one of the reasons why.

The first hearers of Jesus’ message would have considered the scribes and the Pharisees to be the most righteous people going.  They worked very, very hard to follow the law.  If they had to be better than that there was no hope for them . . . unless . . . they could attain that righteousness another way.  Say, through Jesus.

I find this to be a rather scary verse as well, and it should also point you to Jesus:

Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

If those verses don’t make you squirm, you aren’t paying attention.  Sadly, the Liberal theologians are too busy abusing the rest of the Sermon on the Mount to notice those passages.

Here’s a message by Charles Spurgeon pointing out how our inability to be perfect or to have a righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees doesn’t give us an excuse:

If responsibility began and ended with ability, a man would be out of debt as soon as he was unable to pay; and if a man felt that he could not keep his temper he would not be blamable for being angry. A man may be bound to do what he cannot do: the habitual liar is bound to speak the truth, though his habit of falsehood renders him incapable of it. Every sin renders the sinner less able to do right, but the standard of his duty is not lowered in proportion to the lowering of his capacity to come up to it, or it would follow that the more a man is depraved by sin the less guilty his actions become, which is absurd.

Every Christian will confess that it is his duty to be perfect, and yet he mourns over his inability to be so. It never enters into the Christian’s head to excuse his failings by pleading the incapacity of his nature; nay, this is another cause for lamentation.

Charles Spurgeon, via Pyromaniacs: On the Inability/Responsibility Conundrum.

Remember, you either are Jesus or you need Jesus.  Despite what the lies of the world say, your “righteousness” will not make you right with God.

10 thoughts on “Scary Bible verses”

  1. The scariest Bible verse to me is, this:

    “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” ~ Matthew 7:23

    When taken in context, I can’t imagine a more frightening phrase.


    1. What I don’t get about that verse, is the part where people ask Jesus, “Didn’t we do miracles in Your Name?” and yet Jesus still says He’ll tell them that He never knew them. How can people who don’t really have Christ, do miracles in His Name? That makes no sense to me.

      Scary indeed…sometimes I worry about that, or about being that last guy in the parable He told about the guys who were given some talents (the coin of the day) and earned more. You know, the third fellow who had nothing to show for God’s investment. I wonder about that story too – did he have any idea what to do with one talent coin? Why did the others immediately know what to do with ten and five, respectively? I also do not understand why the one talent was taken away and given to the first guy with twenty talents instead of the second guy with ten.


  2. “be”, he didnt say “you must be”, is more like “try very hard to be perfect, like my Father in Heaven is”….

    God know we are not perfect, but we have to be imitators of Christ (like Paul says)


      1. different situation, but, we can analize the “greek” manuscript for that… i till believe that what Jesus said is “try harder”, he know we are not perfect, he knows that Peter will betray him, and he make him holy…


      2. Hi Cirexworld — thanks for the follow up. For the sake of argument, let’s say you are right about the Greek. Do you think that we could try hard enough to be right in God’s eyes, or would we still need to trust in Jesus for our salvation?


    1. Right. Of course, Jesus also said that there was none righteous other than God alone, so it could be said that since we have Jesus and are covered by His blood, we’re righteous.

      It could also simply mean that we’re to have a different attitude toward others than the Pharisees did, as well as doing our part to help people out.


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