“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Revelation 22:18, 19
If ever a contest were held for the verse(s) most often ripped out of context, I would nominate the two above.
First of all, many people teach that they apply to the entire Bible, not just to the book of Revelation, which is their context.
But secondly, they have served to suppress discussion of God’s Word outside of church services because it seems that many people believe that when they discuss God’s Word they must get every precept correct, first time/every time, or they can lose their salvation.
That, in itself, would imply perfection is not only attainable, but is present in us from the moment of our salvation.
Most of us believe in a growth process–a progressive sanctification, if you will. And, in that process, as we learn how to joyfully live and serve God within His law, we also progress in our understanding of His Word.
To teach loss of salvation (unscriptural) as the penalty for clumsy attempts to explain God’s Word made by a new believer is to totally suppress witnessing!
It is also to teach a concept parallel to punishing a kindergartner for forming backward “s’s” the first time he tries to write.
The God I know is blessed when His people rejoice in His Word, discuss it, and make much of it. That principle is taught throughout Scripture.
He is not an vindictive, trigger-happy God, like those taught in Greek mythology. He delights in us.
He is much better to us than we are to each other. When we totally get this, we will delight in each other, and in discussing His Word with each other, instead of trying to take away each other’s salvation with threats culled from out-of-context Scriptures.