Is it Possible to go to Heaven Without Hearing the Gospel of Jesus?

The debate between Christian progressives and fundamentalists rages over this question. The former say yes, the later say no.

Delight in Truth is with the fundamentalists on this one.  It is not possible for a human being to be saved without hearing and believing the gospel. The gospel states that every man is a sinner under the wrath of God and must be born again unto life by hearing and believing that Jesus died and rose again to atone for the sin of those who believe in Him.

So, here are the common issues brought up:

1. The people prior to Jesus’s public ministry certainly did not hear the name of Jesus. Are they all condemned? The answer is no. The saints of the Old Testament are saved through Jesus. They were looking forward to the Christ and His suffering. The Christ, or the Messiah, was a very common theme in Judaism and those faithfully waiting for the Christ to save them are certainly saved by faith. Here is the example of Moses looking forward to Jesus:

“He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Heb 11:26

2. What about those people who did not have access to the Moses and the Law and the Abrahamic covenant? There a few exceptions prior to Abraham where special revelation from God was given to certain people. Melchizedek and Job are examples of this.

3. Now, here is the big one. After the time of Christ, what about those people who by virtue of their geographic location could not have access to the gospel? Examples here include ancient Japanese, Chinese, Aztecs (see art above), Mayans, etc… Could any of them be saved?

If the bible is correct, the answer is no. Apostle Peter says of Jesus:

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

The progressives will now bring up the Romans 1 and 2 discourse regarding conscience being a guide and providing teaching between right and wrong:

“14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.” Rom 2:14-16

Too bad this is in the context of judgement. This is the judgement at the White Throne when God will judge all of condemned humanity. This is not a judgement for those who are saved.

The law that is embedded in everyone’s heart is there for condemnation, not for salvation. It does not have the power to save. It can only condemn.

This is what the Bible teaches. Complete exclusivity through Jesus. This is our impetus to evangelize the world! Jesus is the only Way!

Rick Warren on Homosexuality… Again

Double-speak and incomplete gospel statements have become the norm for the best-selling author and star pastor Rick Warren.

This post is not about the sin of homosexuality, but it is about pastor Warren and the false gospel he affirmed in the strongest terms to date.

Let us look at his statements in context.  The following is part of a recent interview with the Huffington post.

“I have many, many gay friends, and have worked around the world with them in gay organizations to try to stop AIDS,” Warren said.

“What about the love part, though? I hear about the AIDS part,” asked the interviewer.

“It’s not illegal to love somebody,” Warren replied.

“But you think it’s a sin,” the interviewer said.

No, it’s not a sin to love somebody,” Warren said.

“It might be a sin to have sex with them,” he added. “It might be.”

Then Warren was asked if homosexual people will go to hell.

“No, not because they’re gay,” he said. “We go to Hell because we choose to reject the grace of God.”

When asked what happens to a homosexual that accepts Jesus, Warren responded enthusiastically.

“He’s going to Heaven!” he declared. “Without a doubt.”

In the strongest terms to date Warren has appeased the LGBT community (even though they will still not be happy with a half endorsement).  The Bible clearly says that “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” (Lev 20:13).  In the context of homosexuality Warren tells us that it ONLY “might be a sin.”

The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals… will inherit the kingdom of God.” Warren tells us the opposite, that is such people ‘without a doubt‘ will go to heaven.

This is a half truth which will derail the salvation of many. Satan told Adam and Eve a half truth as well and we are now reaping the results of their actions.

Rick Warren does not have the fortitude to deliver a complete gospel message, which makes it a false gospel .

The full gospel message in this situation is that a gay person can be saved and go heaven without a doubt if he/she repents of the sin of homosexuality including the homosexual lifestyle, and puts their trust in Christ for delivery from this (and any other) sinful passion.  This applies to any sinner bound in the chains of darkness not just the homosexual.

When will Rick Warren stop preaching a false gospel to the lost?

Boston Terror: Why Humanity is Inhumane

April 15th. Taxes are due.

But evil has his own plans to tax us with death.

In a span of 10 seconds the two blasts culminated what was months, perhaps years of premeditated mass murder.  Blood was splattered, lives were lost, and amputees will now have a daily reminder of this evil.

I am not necessarily interested in the political or religious reasons for this heinous act.  To give an ear to the perpetrator’s pretexts for doing this is to appease him.

There is only one reason for this: humanity has lost its… humanity.

To understand this we must go way back to the beginning.  Humanity was created in the image of God, and the image of God is perfect.  But one act of disobedience on behalf of Adam made world wars, 9/11, and now the Boston Marathon bombing inevitable.

They came to Jesus in Luke 13 to tell Him about an act of terror.  They told Him that Pilate had murdered a group of Jews as they were worshipping.  Think of it as a bomb going off in a public place like the Boston Marathon finish line.

Jesus’s response was frank and unanesthetized:  “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?” Luke 13:2

He is in fact saying that such hate and violence is here to stay because of sin, and anyone of us could have been a victim!  He follows with the command to repent of sin.

Humanity will always be broken because we lost the initial image that God bestowed on us.

Political and religious motives for this crime are secondary as long as the evil impulse in the hearts of men remains unquenched.  There will always be a cause, a revolution, a motive, an impetus to rebel and kill.

The only solution is repentance of the broken humanity that is in us.

That is where salvation by faith in God begins.

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Lose Their Salvation?


In a somewhat superficial way, in one of their blogs, the Christian Post is asking this question in the wake of Matthew Warren’s suicide by a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

The following questions are put forth to show that a Christian cannot lose his or her salvation:

So since suicide is a result of mental illness, then the question is whether or not God holds illness against a person when deciding whether or not to allow them into heaven?

Does He hold it against cancer patients that die of cancer?

Or heart disease patients who die of heart attacks? Is that reasonable?

The blogger who wrote this for the Christian Post is taking a dangerous position with the assurance of salvation.

First of all he groups all mental illness with other illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Then he classifies suicide in the same way as death from a heart attack as a result of cardiovascular disease, and death from complications of cancer. He cites Romans 8 where it states that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and he implies that even taking our own life is subject to this declaration made by apostle Paul.

The big difference is that unlike suicide victims, cancer patients and heart attack victims for the most part do not premeditate their death, and they do not carry it out by volition.

There will be cases where believers have completely lost their mind as a result of some medical or psychiatric illness, and they are effectively unaware of the consequences of the suicidal act. They do not have the reasoning capacity to discern the gravity of what they are doing. In those cases, their actions cannot be held against them. But those cases may be more rare than we imagine.

Most suicides take place after prolonged suicidal ideation, and some of these victims have an elaborate plan on how to accomplish the act. Euthanasia is an example of this type of premeditated assisted suicide.

In those cases of suicide where the person is aware of their actions and understands the consequences, and more so is a professing believer, and THEN proceeds to destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit by self-murder, there is no excuse.

Such an action actually may be evidence they are not believers. One who has the Holy Spirit living inside him will not destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit willingly.

There is one other possibility. Gabe Bogdan brought this up in a previous comment. Depression and suicide may not be a sin in themselves, but they may be the consequence of unrepented sin. One’s refusal to be convicted by the Holy Spirit may lead to depression and then suicide, and in that case the spiritual devastation is evident.

Now… It is not appropriate for us to say in which group suicide victims belong. Whether they have lost their mind and are victims of lack of understanding, or whether they have premeditated and meticulously carried out the act.

We cannot speculate whether they go to heaven or hell, because that is the domain of the Omniscient.

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Everything Else Matters Not in the Matthew Warren Tragedy

Losing a family member, especially a young son or daughter is the most painful event one can go through.  Our condolences go to pastor Rick Warren and his family who lost their son to suicide after a long struggle with depression and suicidal ideation.

Delight in Truth is a critic of Rick Warren and some of the positions he has taken over the years with respect to controversial social issues, but this tragedy makes everything pale in comparison.

Doctrinal points, accuracy of biblical teaching, styles of sharing the Gospel and their controversies matter not at this time.

The only thing that matters is the comfort that God can provide to Rick Warren and his family via the Holy Spirit, our Comforter.

There will be time to talk about mental illness, suicide, antidepressant treatment, and salvation issues in the setting of suicide.

Now we grieve with the Warren family for their loss.

Psalm 18:2  “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

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Theology 101: Is Decision Theology Biblical?


I used to attend Monday nights with Greg Laurie at Calvary Chapel when I was a kid. At the end of every service Greg used to invite people in the front to make a decision to accept Christ and become born-again after repeating a one minute “sinner’s prayer.”

This practice became more pompous at the yearly Harvest Crusades when after reciting the sinner’s prayer, fireworks went off and Greg would declare: “welcome to the family of God.

Is the personal decision to become born again unto eternal life grounded in the Bible? And is it ok to label a person born again after reciting the sinner’s prayer?

Billy Graham has been applying decision theology throughout his evangelistic career, and he famously declared that only 5% or less of those making a profession of faith at his crusades eventually make their way into the Body of Christ by joining a church.

It then follows that a huge number of people who make a decision to believe, make a profession that is NOT of faith. That is just the tip of a nefarious iceberg. These folks leave the crusade thinking they are saved and they continue to live unchanged lives. They are left with an empty decision, a profession, and a false declaration of salvation by a celebrity evangelist.

This problem invariably gets into the monergism vs synergism debate. Monergism holds to the supreme sovereignty of God in matters of salvation, and states that a human decision is not involved in becoming born again, while synergism claims that a human decision for salvation is necessary and synergistic with the work of the Holy Spirit.

But I argue that when it comes to conversion, philosophy can muddy the waters. Let us go to the Scriptures to highlight the fact that salvation belongs to God and it is the work of the Holy Spirit. The only thing that humans can do is abandon salvation.

First, a confession of true faith stems in the gift of faith given by God, NOT in a human decision:

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

Second, this faith cannot be activated by a human decision because such an action is contrary to fallen human nature:

1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

It becomes clear that in order to make an authentic confession of faith one has to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit because the unregenerated natural man is not able to do this.

Even repentance is not the result of human decision but something that is granted by God:

Acts 11:18 “When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.””

I need to stress that human participation in salvation is not robotic. But also, it is not a man initiated event by decisions and sinner’s prayers. It is the result of the quickening of the Holy Spirit.

An appropriate altar call should include the presentation of gospel facts and gospel terms followed by an invitation to repent and surrender to God. Decisions to become born again have no place in a biblical understanding of salvation. Neither do declarations of eternal salvation for those who make professions of faith.

Eternal Security is not Compatible with a Life of Sin… Even if Once “Saved”

I would like to thank my friend Ruben Birle who drew my attention to the teaching of dr. Charles Stanley on the issue of eternal security.  An internet search reveals that Stanley holds some degree of Arminian views in his soteriology (salvation theology), and was involved with the John 3:16 Conference, which was specifically against Reformation Theology.

In the video below he answers the question: “How can a person be saved, backslide into a life of sin, and still be saved for all eternity?”

My critique follows below.

I strongly believe in the eternal security of the saved, specifically the ones who have truly been born-again.  Salvation belongs to our God not to us, and God is the One Who completes His work toward our glorification, a process in which we fully participate.  The issue in this video comes down to whether the ones living in sin are saved or not.

The views expressed in this clip are not biblical because the entire discussion hinges on the term “life of sin.”  The term is present in the question and Stanley references it multiple times in the video.

It starts off with identifying the person who receives the gift of salvation but “lives pretty much like everyone else” (0:38).  He calls this backsliding, but it is much more serious.  These persons are not even saved because they have not experienced the new birth which is evident as that radical change in their life when they exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  So how can an unsaved person have eternal security?

Is it possible for a saved person then to live a “life of sin” since this is what the video is addressing?  This answer is a resounding no!  Therefore that person does not have eternal security.  They are lost until they experience the new birth made possible by the Holy Spirit (John 3).

The Bible is firm about any “saved” person who lives a “life of sin.”  These individuals are not saved.  Dr Stanley says that it is possible to experience salvation AND live a “life of sin” and just lose your reward, but not your salvation.  Wrong!  The biblical evidence against dr Stanley’s false teaching in insurmountable!

1 John 3:6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him… 

1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God

1 John 1:6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

2 John 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God

…and many, many more verses…

Despite what the Bible really teaches, Dr Stanley persists on the idea that one can be “saved,” then live a “life of sin” and still have eternal security, with the stipulation that he will lose his reward. This, my friends is false teaching!  Anyone who continues to live in sin has never been born again!