As long as we’re talking about works, I need to put one more myth to rest.
1 Corinthians 3:15 says, "If any man’s work is burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, but so as through fire."
That passage is talking about ministry. The works involved there are teaching and building the church. If a teacher builds the church poorly; if he builds wood, hay, and stubble, he won’t be sent to hell for being a bad teacher and bad church builder. He will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Read the chapter. That’s the context. It’s very clear.
The passage is not about works like feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. If you turn a deaf ear to the hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned, and sick, then you will go into the lake of fire (Matt. 25:31-46). You will not be saved so as through fire; you will be lost so as through fire.
If you practice drunkenness, adultery, division, envy, greed, selfish ambitions and such things, then you will not be saved so as through fire, you will be told by Christ that he does not know you, whether your ministry was successful or not, whether you cast out demons or not, and whether you worked miracles or not.
1 Corinthians 3 is about workers in the church and their teaching. Thank God that those of us who teach do not have our salvation on the line when we teach. Nonetheless, we do not wish to have all our work burned up, as we will lose all our rewards.
If, however, we live like the world, greedily pursuing our own gain, we will be judged like the world, and we will be condemned along with all liars, cowards, idolaters, and unbelievers (Rev. 21:8).
By the way, I don’t teach these things because they’re fun or I like them. I teach them because that’s what the Bible says, and it is inappropriate for us to dance around what the Bible says because we have a 500-year-old doctrine that we have elevated to divinely-inspired status.