I thought you might want to see the dialogue from the Larry King show on June 20, 2005. Larry was interviewing best selling author Joel Osteen the Pastor of one of the largest churches in America. The topic was whether non-Christians go to heaven. Here are excerpts from that exchange:
King: What if you’re Jewish or Muslim, you don’t accept Christ at all?
Osteen: You know, I’m very careful about saying who would and wouldn’t go to heaven. I don’t know . . .
King: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They’re wrong, aren’t they?
Osteen: Well, I don’t know if I believe they’re wrong . . . But I just think that only God (will) judge a person’s heart.
Later in the show . . .
King: What about atheists?
Osteen: You know what . . .I’m going to let (God) be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. I just–again, I present the truth, and I say it every week. You know, I believe it’s a relationship with Jesus. But you know what? I’m not gong to go around telling everybody else if they don’t want to believe that that’s going to be their choice . . God’s got to look at your heart, and only (God) knows that.
Seriously, this is the best that one of the most famous ministers in the country can do? Do you respect a friend who won’t tell you the hard truth? Wouldn’t you sue a doctor who failed to inform you that you are dying of cancer because he doesn’t like to share bad news? It is spiritual malpractice for us to ignore what the Bible says about God’s wrath, hell, eternal punishment and Judgment just because the culture doesn’t like it. Be courageous! Tell people the truth.
Under His Mercy,
Derek Dickinson, Minister
P.S. While I watched this interaction on TV my source for this blog was the new book Hell Is Real But I Hate To Admit It by Brian Jones on page 75-77.