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Will We See Gandhi in Heaven?

Think Christianly: Will We See Gandhi in Heaven?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Will We See Gandhi in Heaven?

This question was raised recently at a gathering of college students (the Oasis). We had a good discussion and it is a very good question.

Gandhi, a very moral person, far exceeds the moral lives lived by many Christians. Moreover, what about those who have never heard of Jesus? difficult questions to be sure.

There are two ways to respond to this. Biblically or Emotionally. If we don't want to be biblical, then answering these questions become much easier. So as we think about these issues, we need to let the Bible define the key boundaries of the discussion.

Here are 12 that I have found helpful and I think they will help us see where the appropriate place to admit tension and mystery is. A biblical answer must include the following:

1. God is compassionate and just (Gen. 18:25; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 7:9; 85:11; 89:14; 145:8-9; Rev. 16:7)
2. All are sinners in need of a savior (Rom. 3:10-18, 23; 5:12-21; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3)
3. Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:5; 1 John 2:2)
4. God desires all to be saved (Ezek. 18:23; John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:3-6; 2 Pet. 3:9)
5. God has revealed himself to the whole world both in creation (Ps. 19:1-2; Acts 14:15-17; Rom. 1:19-20) and human conscience (Eccl. 3:11; Rom. 2:14-16) so that people are without excuse
6. Christians are commanded to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
7. God’s Spirit is at work convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11)
8. God has commanded us to take the gospel to the whole world (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)
9. God has providentially arranged the world so that people might seek him (Acts 17:24-28)
10. There will be people from every tribe, tongue, and nation in heaven (Rev. 7:9)
11. The awful reality of hell indicates that everyone is not saved in the end (Matt 10:28; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9)
12. There does not seem to be a second chance after death to accept the gospel (Heb. 9:27)

Take some time to look up these passages and allow them to shape the discussion. More to come. If you found this helpful, you can find more information on questions surrounding religious pluralism in my book Welcome to College.

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