August 3, 2011
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 other day I read an interesting article written by Randy Alcorn.
He shared how, when coming back from the annual Christian book convention, he met an unidentified "high-impact evangelical author." During the course of their conversation that individual said to Mr. Alcorn, "We really have no way of knowing whether Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus will go to heaven when they die." By that remark the famous author was not referring to folks who used to be followers of those faiths. He was speaking about those who have never heard the Holy Spirit's summons to faith.
Next month there is going to be a Baloney Shop dealing with that issue, but for now let me say that those whose beliefs are in agreement with that author are growing.
The laws of political correctness which refuse to judge anybody of anything, the belief all faiths are basically the same, the feeling it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you are sincere -- have all been most successful as they sweep to the side any and all who have a serious Christian commitment to the truth.
So, can we know? Can we be sure who is going to heaven?
We can be sure if we believe the Bible is God's Word. (It is.) If God's Word is inspired and accurately describes His thoughts for humanity (it does) and if those pages contain the divine story of salvation, then we can know beyond any shadow of a doubt who is going to be saved and how that salvation is going to be given.
Are you unsure? Then take a look at what the book of Acts says about Jesus. First, it tells us salvation comes only through faith in Jesus. Then it tells us the Redeemer's Name is the only one that saves.
Of course, you have to believe the Bible is God's Word.
I do. So do you. And so does your pastor.
This takes me to the point: that there are churches out there that leave you unsure and doubtful. There are congregations that hear sermons elevating Jesus' humanity and minimizing His divinity.
Yours is probably not one of those churches. Over my almost ten years of wandering as The Lutheran Hour Speaker, I heard people say their pastor preached too long, or was boring, or used words too big, but I never heard anybody say their pastor doesn't believe -- or preach -- the Word of God.
This ought to make us feel good. I know the Lord appreciates it. He is always gladdened when His redeemed people remember the sacrifice Jesus made so we might be forgiven of our sins and brought into the family of faith.
So if you have a pastor who still preaches the Word like he believes it has the words of eternal life, then give thanks.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, how sad it is that many people don't know how to be saved and who is going to be doing the saving. Send Your Holy Spirit upon them so their eyes and hearts may be opened to the Bethlehem manger, Calvary's cross and Resurrection Sunday's empty tomb. May doubters and deniers eventually be brought to faith in Jesus, the only Savior who can save. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries