Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Friday, September 04, 2009

A Hard Truth

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. " (Acts 4:12).

One of the central teachings of the Christian religion is the exclusivity of Christ. That means that salvation is found exclusively in Jesus Christ. No other god, man, religion, philosophy, idea, work, deed or anything else will be able to reconcile a person to God. Only Jesus Christ.

Most Christians would acknowledge that as a given fact, an axiom. But with it comes a whole load of baggage that goes along with it. Because if it is true that salvation can only be found in Jesus Christ, then it also means that every person outside of Christ is lost and on their way to hell (barring some intervention). It also means that every person who dies without Christ goes to hell.

First, let me define what I mean when I say "dies without Christ." It means that the person has not heard the gospel message OR not believed it when they did hear it. It means that the person has not trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their God and Savior and put their saving faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary alone. If Peter was right (and I believe he certainly was), and the Ark of Noah was a picture of Jesus and that those inside the Ark were saved and those outside it perished in God's judgment, then those who die without Christ are those who are outside the Ark (who is Christ) on judgment day.

Let me be perfectly clear here. Every person who dies without having personal saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, dies lost and condemned. It does not matter that they never heard the gospel message or if they ever heard the name of "Jesus," if they die without believing the gospel, they die lost.

That is why we spend so much time and money on training and sending missionaries to every part of the world. Because we know that people must be confronted with the gospel if they are going to be saved from God's wrath on the day of judgment. How can a person believe in someone of whom they have never heard? And how can they hear unless someone tells them? And how can someone tell them unless he is sent? Sent to do what? To preach the gospel of the good news of the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God through the death and life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hell is real my friends, and people go there. No one in the world and be saved without hearing the gospel. That is why we go. Our love for Jesus, who looked in the multitudes and was moved with compassion, impels us into the world to preach the gospel to every creature.

The knowledge that there are people who, as if yet, have not heard the blessed gospel message, should break us and compel us to do everything possible to see that the gospel is carried to the uttermost parts of the earth. Remember, hell is real, and only Jesus Christ can keep a person from ending up there. And WE are the ones he has entrusted with this truth. So what are we going to do about that? That is a hard truth for us to hear and a hard question we need to answer. But it needed to be said clearly.

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