By Michele Rayburn
A prominent Christian evangelist has said that he doesn't want to “speculate” as to whether heaven will be closed to other religions other than Biblical Christianity. But this would indicate that he actually is “speculating” that Heaven will be open to them apart from regeneration.
Some Christians want to rationalize that most, if not all, people will be saved somehow, some way, because they can't deal with the fact that some will never hear the gospel and so they can never be saved.
It’s as if they want to bypass the sovereignty of God by forming their own beliefs, as if changing the means of salvation will be acceptable to God and will actually save souls. It's as if they think that they can change God's mind!
To give people false hope that they can be saved apart from hearing the gospel is simply unbiblical. We are not called to “speculate” that they can be saved without hearing the gospel or the name of Christ, any more than we are called to “speculate” that they are saved with hearing the gospel.
But we do know that those that believe will be saved, and those that do not believe will not be saved. And even then, only God knows their hearts, if they truly believe.
Because I was born and raised a Roman Catholic I have had the opportunity to witness to many of them. I have never personally known a Roman Catholic who indicated that they knew the gospel. No matter how well-meaning they are, or how religious, without hearing the gospel, how can they be saved?
They have heard the name of Christ, but they never in my experience have known why Christ died on the cross. Though they may wear a cross, or have a crucifix on the wall in their home, they do not know why He died on that cross.
So, when I asked one Roman Catholic if she knew why Christ died on the cross, and she couldn't tell me, I explained it to her, and she became “enlightened”. Her eyes were “opened”. This was something she had never heard before.
And it wasn't until she heard the reason for Christ's death on the cross that she began to grow in her knowledge and understanding of Christ, and began to put her trust in Him.
To assume that we can bypass the knowledge of Christ and His finished work on the cross, and still presume that people can be saved is just not dealing in Scriptural truth.
The Scriptures are clear that “the message of the cross” must be preached in order for people to believe and be saved. And, yes, the name of Christ must also be preached for it is He in whom we are putting our trust.
What sets Christianity apart from the other religions is that we have a Savior...and a risen Savior at that. If people don't hear about Jesus and the cross, they will have nothing and no one to put their trust in.
This prominent evangelist also said, “I believe the love of God is absolute. He said He gave His Son for the whole world, and I think He loves everybody regardless of what label they have."
Yes, “God so loved the world”, but don’t forget that “He gave His only begotten Son" so that “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).