September 12, 2010
Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
As someone who has taught the Bible for many years, I use many different resources, one of which has been Barclay’s Daily Bible Study Series. I began using this series about 25 years ago, and I then one day I noticed that William Barclay’s autobiography was for sale at a discount, and I bought it. I read the short book in a few hours, and it left me quite grieved, because I realized that Barclay had left the faith and become a universalist – which is a person who believes that everyone will go to heaven, regardless of what they believe in.
Barclay stated that he used to believe in a literal heaven and hell, and that those who did not believe in Jesus Christ went to hell, but over the years he had changed his mind. I was shocked that this man, who spoke Greek fluently, and wrote commentaries on the whole New Testament, had lost his faith. I told my wife that this man must be the saddest case in hell.
Around the same time, a neighbor I had been trying to bring to Christ brought over a videotape of Mother Teresa, whom she greatly revered. I normally would not have watched this tape, because I was quite busy, but she insisted so I agreed. In the tape, Mother Teresa stated that as long as a person is a good person he or she will go to heaven regardless of what religion they believe in – they can be a good Hindu, a good Moslem, or whatever, and still they would go to heaven. Again I was saddened, and thought that surely Mother Teresa might be as sad a case as Barclay.
But just today, I had a greater shock than these two. I was looking on the internet for something else, when I ran across many websites stating that Billy Graham had denied Christ. I thought they were probably bogus, but after watching two interviews with him, and then researching what he has been saying for the past twenty years, I realized that it must be true. I have been to Billy Graham’s crusades and felt the anointing of God and witnessed people being saved. Nevertheless, Billy Graham stated in one interview with Robert Schuller (Crystal Cathedral), who I know has denied Christ, that people from different religions and even non-believers can be saved without becoming Christians. He also would not defend the true Gospel in an interview with Larry King, and a link to both of these videos is below.
I must admit that I am shocked and grieved over this, and it has affected me all day. Surely we are in the end times and the great apostasy is upon us when Billy Graham, of all people, denies the faith. He mentioned that he used to think differently, but has become more loving now that he is older. I never thought I would have to put Billy Graham on my prayer list to be saved, but that is now the case.
If there is anything that we can take from this for our own admonition, it is that we must guard our hearts very carefully and not think that we are too spiritual to be led astray, regardless of how long we have been Christians or how much we have studied the Bible.
Perhaps very few of us can grasp the fact that although God is loving and gracious and merciful, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ and repent and serve Him are eternally condemned and will live forever in the misery of hell. We may not be able to understand why humans deserve such punishment, but if start to doubt it, let us beware, for our own salvation is at stake. We are now under the veil of the flesh, and we can understand very little about God and His ways. Moreover, our own sins blind us to the depth of the depravity of mankind and make us unable to grasp the magnitude of the Fall and the sin that so easily entangles us. Let us not allow the enemy to deceive about the truth of the Gospel, and become some of the saddest cases in hell – those who knew the truth and then fell away because we reasoned against it.
If anyone reading this questions what I am saying or does not understand it, please email me and I will explain it to you.