In a recent conversation with a young man honestly seeking and searching for the Truth about God, man, sin and salvation, I have found it difficult to convince him that just because he does or does not like something has nothing to do with its truth or falsehood.
A simple example. He wants to believe that because God is love, then everyone is saved and goes to heaven. He does not like the church’s historic and Biblical teaching that one must believe in Jesus Christ as the only and exclusive Lord and Savior of all mankind in order to inherit eternal life in heaven.
He’d prefer to believe that any one of good intention who lives a good life will automatically go to heaven no matter what he or she may believe. From this point of view, belief in the saving grace and power of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with it. So he would like to think. His non-believing friends, all nice people whom he loves – well, he wants them to go to heaven as well as his Christian family and friends whom he also loves.
The central problem with this, no matter how attractive the idea may be, is that God and Jesus Christ are ONE. So if God saves us, it’s Jesus Christ who saves us. Both God the Father and God the Son work together with God the Holy Spirit for the sake of salvation. You cannot have one with out the other two. He comes as a package – Three in One and One in Three. Hence, when God saves, Jesus saves. Jesus cannot be by-passed.
So what about the good people who do not believe in Jesus Christ? Will they be saved and go to heaven? The answer is that salvation belongs to God. He (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) decides. Our Lord said, I have other sheep not of this fold… Hence, it’s possible that those other sheep are indeed saved. But that does not excuse disbelief for the sake of our own convenience – a disbelief that can lead to eternal misery.
Again, here’s the most important thing. It’s entirely up to God. Whatever He decides about any of us is the right and perfect decision. He cannot be or do anything other than that which is perfectly good and right and true. We cannot know His mind other than as He has revealed it to us. And we know His heart as He hung on a cross to save our sin sick souls. He died for our sins and because of our sins – because He loves us. And He saves us in spite of our sins. Our job, as believers in Jesus Christ, is to perfectly trust Him who is perfectly God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Let me know what you think – JHC