Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Inclusivism"=The Death of Missions

Earlier today, Kevin DeYoung gave an excellent exegetical argument from John 14:6 arguing that, especially in the context of the entire Gospel of John, Jesus certainly taught the necessity of faith in Him for salvation. [See DeYoung's post HERE.]

In the comment section of DeYoung's blogpost mentioned above, someone called "Spera in Deo" has been attempting to defend inclusivism. Spera defines inclusivism as "Hope for the Heathen" and explains the inclusivist view of what Jesus taught as follows:

Hope for the Heathen Jesus (HHJ): Jesus believed that while God would save some A.D. adults [adults living after the coming of Christ] who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God (perhaps because they never even heard the gospel message), he also believed that the only way for an A.D. adult who heard the gospel message to be saved by God is for that adult to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

I responded to the above comment from Spera with the following:

Doesn’t this thinking inevitably lead to the conclusion that the LAST thing that Christians would want to do is to go on missions to tell “unreached” people the gospel message? Because under the model you have proposed, it is only once the “A.D. adult” has heard the gospel message that his or her options for salvation are narrowed down to the exclusive way in Christ. And those who have never before heard the gospel would seem far more likely to reject this teaching and stick with their own system of belief (under which they might have been saved if they hadn’t heard the gospel, according to the inclusivist), therefore the “good news” wouldn’t be the only hope of salvation as much as the unique source of damnation.
If those who have not yet heard the gospel may be saved under their own belief system-- the belief system (in all likelihood) of their countless ancestors, the belief system in which they may very well find a high degree of comfort and assurance-- as long as they do not know about the Jesus they are missing, then the gospel becomes very bad news indeed.

But the truth is that we are all by nature children under wrath (Eph 2:1), rebels against our Creator, and subject to the punishment of Hell. The reason the gospel is "good news" is because out of this hopeless situation God in Christ has provided redemption through His perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection on behalf of sinners.

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