As much as I would like to give a full explanation of my position in one sitting, this is proving to be a much more tedious endeavor than I had originally anticipated. So this will be part one with at least one other part to follow soon.
For those of you who where not privy to the internet firestorm I started, I am going on record as saying that it is possible for those who have never heard of Jesus to go to heaven. Now that I have your attention, let me explain.
I am fully on board with the fact that no one can get to heaven without going through Christ. I totally agree with this statement:
John 14:5 Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 14:6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
So how is it that someone who professes faith in Christ alone can say that it is possible for someone who does not profess Christ to go to heaven?
This is my argument and overall statement. On what basis are you saved? I believe that we are saved by grace through faith and that grace is open to all.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast
Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory.
Romans 5:9-11 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
So there is absolutely nothing you have done to deserve this gift. This includes a prayer you prayed. Many have prayed the sinners prayer and will still end up in hell. Even some people who have been considered great men and women of God during their time here on earth will serve eternity in eternal damnation.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’
Salvation is not a formula you worked out in you head. You do not profess X, therefor God must Y, so that you can get Z. God will not be obligated into owing you something. I don’t care how much you tithe, how many times you get baptized, how many times you recite “Our Father.” It will make no difference in the position you stand in with God. Only Christ can wash us from sins, and only our faith in this gift will save us.
Just in case you are a little slow on picking up what I am laying down. Let me break this down Barney style for you.
God provided Himself with a perfect sacrifice that would take away all the sins of the world. Your deeds were never taken into account.
The wrath God had against sin was quenched in the sacrifice Jesus paid for us. So we will be judged solely on our acceptance or rejection of this truth.
John 3:19 Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.
This is the judgment. If we reject the Light we will be lost. We reject the Light by loving our evil deeds. We push the Light away.