Present Day Christian View?

I saw the following post on one of my Facebook groups. I think it pretty much sums up many people’s views on Christianity today.

“You do not have to believe in Christ to go to Heaven. If you live the way Jesus wants us to live you will go to Heaven, believing in Jesus will help you live the way he wants you to. Not believing in Jesus means you are less likely to live the way he said to. So whereas it does not mean that those who aren’t Christians can’t get to Heaven, non-Christians are less likely to go to Heaven.”

The only way that I could respond to this is not really to list a bunch of scripture verses, but to simply ask the question, does this person believe in the authority and inerrancy of scripture? By making the statements that this person made, it would seem the answer is no. There is a lot more I could say right here, but I won’t go into any more detail right now. I will say however, that if we believe that parts of scripture may not be inerrant or sufficient, then what is the use in believing any of it? If parts of it are in error, then how can we trust it at all?

So, if we believe the inerrancy of scripture, then I believe Acts 4:12 refutes that first sentence of the statement made by this person.

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

The “name” that this is referring to is Jesus (cf. Acts 4). Now, to this person, I would say the following: just believing the facts about Jesus or trying to live a certain way will not get us into heaven (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23). Jesus said it himself in Luke:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26-27

Does this mean that we have to literally hate our relatives? I could say a lot on this, but I will just answer with a simple, no that is not what it means at all in that context.

The fact of the matter is that Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to God (John 14:6). Without repenting and putting our entire faith and trust in Him, we cannot go to heaven.

“A true believer is one who signs up for life. The bumper sticker sentiment “Try Jesus” is a mentality foreign to real discipleship – faith is not an experiment, but a lifelong commitment. It means taking up the cross daily, giving all for Christ each day. It means no reservations, no uncertainty, no hesitation (Luke 9:59-61).” – John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 225

– Adam Smith

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4 thoughts on “Present Day Christian View?

  1. Sheree says:

    Hey I’m just some random person who found you through tags.

    Really liked your post. :)

  2. Adam Smith says:

    Thanks, Sheree… I tend to be a magnet for random (especially my thoughts) :D

  3. cindyinsd says:

    Hey, Adam!

    Good post. I remember those bumper stickers, but I’m really surprised that you remember them. They were around in what? The 70’s? :lol: There was another one–a response–that I did like. “Jesus already had His trial. Now it’s your turn.”

    So how do you respond to Romans 1:19-20? Isn’t it possible that God judges people according to the light they’re given? Of course, I’ve read about Jesus revealing Himself to people in places like China or Pakistan, etc. in dreams or via other supernatural means. What about Jewish children during the holocaust being told by their Nazi murderers, “This is happening to you because Jesus hates you because your people crucified Him.”?

    Does everyone get to hear a presentation of the Gospel in a way that he is capable of responding to? Is this what Jesus was attending to when He preached to the spirits in prison? (1 Peter 3:18-20) This is a difficult subject. I haven’t come to terms with it at all and it bothers me. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on it.

    Grace and Peace,

    Cindy

  4. Adam Smith says:

    Hi Cindy,

    Unfortunately, I don’t think I have ever seen the bumper sticker “Try Jesus”. That came straight from John MacArthur’s book, “The Gospel According to Jesus” (which is an excellent read by the way). As far as bumper stickers go, I am sure there are some like that today, although I can’t think of any right now off the top of my head. I do make it a habit of reading bumper stickers. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their bumper stickers and even their keychains.

    Now, as to your questions, you raise some very good points, and I am going to do my best to answer them at 7:00 in the morning. :)

    What I believe Romans 1:19-20 to be saying is that God has planted evidence of his existence through reason and some sort of moral law. Then I think that creation itself is clear evidence of His existence. God holds all people responsible for their refusal to acknowledge Him. I think that if a person responds at all with some sort of natural revelation or questioning about a Creator that God will provide some means for that person to hear the gospel (many references in Acts, such as Ch. 8, vv. 26-39).

    As far as God judging people according to the light they’re given…There is only one judgment: heaven or hell, salvation or condemnation. Now that is not to say that there is the same reward for people who go to heaven, I believe there are different levels of rewards according to a person’s fruit (or works in the spirit, so to say). Now, I did not say that works are a condition of salvation, because they are not. But back to the question, Romans 10:13 says, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” So I believe there has to be an active call on God (repentance and faith). Makes you wonder about people who haven’t heard. People are not sent to hell based on whether they have heard the gospel or not. They are sent to hell because their sin separates them from the righteousness of God. All men are born in sin, so that is why verses such as Luke 24:47, Matt. 28:19, and Acts 1:8 are so vital.

    Sadly, I don’t think everyone gets to hear a gospel and have a chance to respond to it. You are definitely right, this is a real difficult subject, and I don’t understand it fully and probably never will, as with most things in the Scriptures. I will just try to seek out what God has in store for me, and go where He says go, and not be ashamed of the gospel (Rom. 1:16).

    In Christ,

    Adam

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