Vol.XVII No.IV Pg.2
June 1980

A Real Life Drama

Robert F. Turner

A writer who should know better has brought up the old "die on his way to the baptistry" dodge and said, "I wish I could talk to members of the church all over this country and get a first hand view of this situation ... Do you believe ... that under such 'death circumstances' this man would indeed go to hell if death o'er takes him without his being able to be baptized...? Do you feel that God could never forgive a believing penitent under these circumstances over which he has absolutely no control?... I would be happy to hear from any as to your own views concerning such a matter ... If you would like to express yourself we will not mention your name ...MY VIEWS? You first!"

Such irresponsible journalism is guaranteed to bring out irresponsible replies, stimulate the emotionally unstable, and further divide brethren. It contributes nothing to a study of God's grace and its place in His plan for man's redemption.

What difference does it make what people think about something that is God-determined? The writer pits his death-bed story against "normal circumstances" as though he or anyone else could decide on exceptions to God's revealed will. He was critical of some preacher who told the "dying (?) man" he would go to hell if he was not baptized; but the article was far more than a judgment of the man's judgment. It delved into God's judgment, and gave Him a hint as to what that judgment should be. For shame!!

God knows if that man had rejected salvation in Jesus Christ past the "point of no return." God knows his true heart now, as compared to many possible less-than-noble motives. God will make exactly the right disposition of the matter. If it was not the business of one preacher to consign the man to Hell, it is even less the business of another preacher, armed with letters from the brethren, to fish for another conclusion. AND MORE, whether intended or not, a writer who seeks to influence public opinion should know that such tactics as this give comfort to those who reject the will of God in what the writer called "normal circumstances."

God has said what He wants said on Grace, salvation through Christ, and at what point one comes into Christ. It is our business to preach it the way God said it, including eternal destruction for those who "obey not" or fail to do His will (2 Thes. 1:8-9, Matt. 7:21). It is not our business to look for other than "normal circumstances" and take brotherhood polls on matters not subject to man's vote.