Saturday, October 15, 2011

Two options: heaven, or hell

It is pretty simple. There are only two options, accept the Lord's offer of pardon for sins by repenting and gain heaven, or refuse it and gain hell and eternal judgment. Stay strong. I have observed that the longer people go in Christianity the wobblier they get on the basics. Some of them. For example, here are three quotes from people in their unscriptural beliefs which you may not be aware. Who said it? None of these are from Rob Bell or Joel Osteen or 'May 21, 2011 rapture guy' Harold Camping. The answers may surprise you.

This first quote speaks of Annihilationist doctrine, the doctrine that Hell is not eternal and punishment does not happen-
1. "Scripture points in the direction of annihilation, and that 'eternal conscious torment' is a tradition which has to yield to the supreme authority of Scripture."

2. "All who live a just life will be saved even if they do not believe in Jesus Christ ... “The gospel teaches us that those who live in accordance with the Beatitudes… ‘the poor in spirit, the pure of heart, those who bear lovingly the sufferings of life’ will enter God’s kingdom.”

3. "...there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ ... And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ, because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven."

These are the people who said it:
1. Prominent and influential Evangelist John R.W. Stott, in the book, Essentials pp. 306-326, discussed here.
2. Pope John Paul II, the pope everyone liked.
3.Billy Graham, American evangelist

Are you surprised that Billy Graham, the world's most famous evangelist, thinks that Muslims who don't know Christ are in the body of Christ? That people who live a good life with a longing heart knowing they vaguely 'need something they don't have', will meet Jesus as his friend? I listened to the interview where Graham said that. He went on to say that his 'views had softened with age', that he 'used to be more fiery and brimstone-like', but he'd 'mellowed'. I think that his statement and his mellowing are a good example of "familiarity breeds contempt" - contempt for God's holiness, that is! If there is no hell, there is no justice. If there is acceptance of one and all into the Kingdom it means Christ died for nothing!

People who enter the kingdom not knowing Jesus as Graham stated, makes a lie of this verse: "“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Mt 7:21-23). You HAVE to know Jesus.

It also means, if you believe as Graham does, when Jesus says "I am THE way, THE truth and THE life," He lied. He did not say that 'I am the way among many other ways that you can try,' No, there is no possibility of this position being true. Jesus does not lie. Thank God that there IS a way! It is a good way, bought at a tremendous price, but He extends it to us at only the cost of our repentance.

People who believe that hell isn't eternal and that there is a way to heaven aside from Jesus suffer from one problem: a high view of sin and a low view of His holiness. It is simple. It all boils down to sin, holiness, repentance and eternal justice for the unrepentant. It began with sin in Genesis 3, it ends with sin in Revelation 20:11-15 at the Great White Throne judgment of sinners for all time. Sin-judgment-repentance-salvation, that is the foundation of His work in the world. Period.

Be careful of incremental chipping away of your faith and belief in the foundational doctrines Jesus taught us in the bible. There is one way to heaven. It is narrow. "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." Stay praying and stay in the Word and stay being built up by brethren at regular worship services! It is a dangerous time for us all, spiritually.

"The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.... He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” (Rev 22:17, 20)

11 comments:

  1. America has been a great platform from which the Gospel of Christ has gone forth. However it is a place from which great blasphemy has gone forth and most of that has come from institution's who name Christ and leaders who have been indoctrinated by them. Mr. Graham is just one of the many. However, each person is personally accountable before God. Isn't annihilation just another way to say that you won't be held accountable? Isn't that very close to what Satan said to Eve, "you surely won't die"?

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  2. Jeff, I don't know why you point to something satan said as a proof of your comment, but Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He did say "you won't die" but Eve and Adam DID die, didn't they? They died in spirit, and then later they died in body.

    Instead, let's point to what Jesus said. Judgment of sin occurs after death. Hebrews 9:27

    Annihilation is a doctrine which proposes that after death there is a loss of conscious existence. The soul is wiped from existence and it feels no pain.

    The bible tells us that we have real bodies and they feel the pain of eternal torment. Mark 9:48

    The Great White Throne judgment of Rev. 20:11-15 says that after the Millennium the unbelieving dead from all ages will be raised for their final judgment. Anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment.

    Annihilation is inconsistent with scripture.

    More on hell and eternal punishment here:
    http://www.gotquestions.org/hell-real-eternal.html

    More on why hell is a fair punishment here:
    http://www.gotquestions.org/eternal-hell-fair.html

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  3. Amen, great post, Elizabeth. I'm shocked that Billy Graham said that. I read that quote for the first time in recent months, and I was astounded. I could hardly believe it. How sad...

    That closing verse is my favorite verse in the Bible. I echo the call, "Come!" Come to Jesus Christ, reader!

    -Emily, extendingeagerhands.blogspot.com

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  4. That was my point exactly Elizabeth, Satan is a liar. ?

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  5. When I first heard that quote from Billy Graham I thought someone twisted his words to make him say something he did not. However that looks like it is not the case. I never listened to a lot of his sermons, but always thought he was pretty solid. I wonder how his kids, Anne Graham Lotz and Franklin Graham stand on this issue?

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  6. Where exactly is it posted in print or on tape Billy Graham saying that? Ive listened to Mr Graham many times and never have heard him say anything that crosses the word of G-D. I also know he suffers from dementia and Parkinson's which may play into him being misquoted ? i have to see it to believe it. I await the proof .

    Mike

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  7. Hi Mike,

    I was surprised too. It's good that you plan to search out further to see if it is true. His comment was in the context of a new (then) movement called Wider Mercy, which is explained at Sola Sisters, excerpted thus:
    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2010/10/wider-mercy-doctrine.html
    "The "Wider Mercy Doctrine" is a belief that salvation can be obtained even when a person has not heard the gospel and does not know Jesus Christ. It is a belief that, somehow, God grants status to persons who are sincere in their religious beliefs, even if those beliefs are false. Therefore, a sincere Buddhist or Shintoist or any other religious adherent can obtain salvation, simply because they are sincere in their belief and desire to approach God."

    I did post a link on the answer, which takes you to a video of a recent John MacArthur sermon discussing it. He cites the source. It was from a May 31, 1997 interview with Robert Schuller at the Crystal Cathedral on the Hour of Power.

    Here is a link to a sermon from MacArthur in 2000 explaining Graham's remarks more deeply & in relation to what the bible says:
    http://www.gty.org/resources/print/sermons/80-227

    Here is a link to Apprising.org of the actual video where Graham is saying it. You will see that it is in response to a question from the audience and I had transcribed it nearly in full. He said it.
    http://apprising.org/2009/01/08/wider-mercy-you-may-be-saved-whether-you-know-it-or-not/

    MacArthur contacted Billy Graham's organization back when Graham came out with his beliefs and "they confirmed that Billy Graham has "always believed what he revealed in the interview."

    This seems to be supported by the following statement:

    "As early as Sept. 21, 1957, Graham said in an interview with the San Francisco News, “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish.” Which, in effect, turns over the new convert to a false church if they are sent to a Catholic or a Jewish counselor.

    Further, Graham's notion of hell is shaky. "In Time magazine, November 15, 1993, Graham said: “The only thing I could say for sure is that hell means separation from God. We are separated from his light, from his fellowship. That is going to be hell. When it comes to a literal fire, I don’t preach it because I’m not sure about it. When the Scripture uses fire concerning hell, that is possibly an illustration of how terrible it’s going to be—not fire but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched.”"

    I found these examples of videos and quotes from national media sources within 10 minutes. You can too, if you desire further proof.

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    Replies
    1. well fire isn't needed to make some one suffer in hell now is it, i mean Jesus also called it the outer darkness

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    2. hello yagg,

      If you believe hell has no fire or agony for eternity, you are seriously misinformed. Sodom and Gomorrah endured fire and brimstone rained down on them from heaven as an example to what will happen to the ungodly (2 Peter 2:6.) Hell is always referred to as a place of burning. (Gehenna).

      Fire is not the *only* part of the torment of hell, separation from God and loss of spiritual life and hope for all eternity is also part, but fire is definitely a component.

      Delete
  8. Ken, I read recently of the depth of involvement of Billy Graham with the Catholic Church outside of his crusades and working with them during his crusades. That history is recounted here,
    http://www.wayoflife.org/files/dfef625070775703459f32a2196569a8-136.html

    It seems that Franklin Graham is following in his father's footsteps in working with the Catholic Church. Here is one example:

    "Many Roman Catholics were trained as counsellors for the Franklin Graham Festival in Baltimore, Maryland, July 7-9, 2006. Catholic priest Erik Arnold of the Church of the Crucifixion in Glen Burnie, Maryland, led the team of 225 Catholics who participated in the crusade. He said, “It was a great opportunity for the Christian churches to show their unity in leading people to Christ” (“Catholic Counselors Attend Billy Graham Festival,” The Catholic Review, July 12, 2006). The Graham organization delivered the names of 300 people to the Roman Catholics for “follow up,” and these received a letter from Cardinal William Keller “encouraging them in their faith and inviting them to get involved in the church.” They will be taught, among a multitude of other heresies, that it is acceptable to pray to Mary. In fact, some of the counsellors are from the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore. "
    http://www.wayoflife.org/files/2bc458bcb056b2bb48f351d8f6b7b6cb-41.html

    I know little about Graham-Lotz.

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