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December 15, 2011

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Great, Virgil. Thanks. Can I share it?

But is he in hell?!?!

Insert boring debate below.

ya what a bummer. he was friggin funny on tv. the only one of the brits with a sense of humor!

cest la vie said the fly

I don't know that i prayed for him... and now I wished I had or at least prayed for him where it was more memorable to me. I know that not all will choose to walk with God but it is always sobering to see a person who you have invested some time in, regardless of if they knew you, pass away without knowing God. I watched him in a debate in Dallas and I thought that this man if turned toward God would help out the kingdom a lot. Forced love is not love so there has to be a choice. I think he chose incorrectly... kind of like the archeologist in Indiana Jones when they were looking for the Holy Grail. He chose the glitz of the world instead of the simple cup of Jesus.

Hopefully this time Koukl will not be so eager as he was with Dr. Kevorkian to grace the world with casual speculations about just how shocked Hitchens will be to be thrown into hell.

He chose the glitz of the world instead of the simple cup of Jesus.

And you know that how, as a metaphor for Hitchens?

One of the great turn-offs to many non-Christians are the casual, damning judgements Christians pronounce upon others who do not share their beliefs.

We have ALL chosen the "glitz" of the world to some degree if we share the cup of Western culture. If you own a TV and wash your car, or are a woman and wear make-up, you are sharing in it.

Let's be a little more mindful of the plank in our own eye before removing the speck in others.

Peace to his family.
Christians have been very gracious toward Hitchens and many have remembered to keep him (and Dawkins et al) in their prayers.
Would that our Christians showed the same grace to one another.

Perry,

Sorry maybe I didn't use my metaphor in quite the right way for everyone to understand it. I used the word glitz because the cup in the movie was obviously beautiful and many people would choose it. Many people choose to accept the world and the explanations of how it came to be through natural processes instead of using God's word to understand how it came to be. To many the world without God and God's law is pretty because they can do what they want. Of course even this explanation of how to interpret what I am saying won't make a lot of non-christians like what I am saying anymore. No one wants to be told they are going to hell.. no one wants to be damned. Of course not wanting to be judged does not negate the fact that they will be and any who believe as christians believe must tell others that they are to be judged and what they will be judged for. We would not be honoring our God if we did not. Of course we ALL choose some of the glitz. Not ALL of us choose to ignore the consequences for it though and not ALL try to turn from it. I am not damning Hitchens to hell...thats not my job. I can rightly come to the conclusion that given his proclivity to denouncing christianity and other religions as evil that he did not have a life altering conversion before he closed his eyes for good... but I do not know for sure. I can say to others who see his example that more than likely if they choose his path... well they could go to hell... and I really do not want that for anyone. So I choose to voice an opinion rather than to be quiet about it. But maybe I need some lessons on how better to do that.

I think it is possible that Hitchens, others like him, and many who have never heard the Gospel awake in Heaven when they die. Simply because it is election apart from works, atonement by Christ, and regeneration,that saves.

We never saw any fruit of regeneration in Hitchens, but who's to say he or worse elements aren't brought to life as they pass from this world, even while in a coma.

It is not as if, except for some particularly spiteful individual, Christians would want that to be true. In this case, in my experience anyway, it is a matter of fact statement along he same lime as an evolutionist would state that an organism evolved. It is not a statement of whether they "want" the organism to evolve but a statement that from their vantage point that is simply a natural conclusion to all of the premises of the worldview.

Is he in hell? One could make an educated guess but you will never know until you die and take a look around and see if he is there. That is God's decision, and he will make it in whatever fashion wants to. Any objections aside, it isn't a decision where our opinion will have any impact.

Doug Wilson does a great job on this:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/decemberweb-only/christopher-hitchens-obituary.html?start=1

Dave, there's no indication in Scripture that there is salvation apart from hearing the gospel in this life (see Romans 10:14-17).

However, Hitchens certainly did hear the gospel, and Russell Moore offers some good words on his blog this morning:

Christopher Hitchens was a blasphemer, true enough, and a nasty character. Aren’t we all, in our different ways. Christ Jesus came for nasty characters like us. And the same blood of Jesus that can deliver us from wrath could do the same for Hitchens had he, if he, at any point, embraced it. It’s not likely, but it’s possible, and, if he did, then Christopher Hitchens’s past atheism would be no barrier to communion with God. It would be, like my sin, crucified with Christ, buried, and remembered no more.

I don’t know about Christopher Hitchens, about what happened in those last moments, but I do know that, if he had embraced it, the gospel would be enough for him. I know that because it’s enough for me, and I’m as deserving of hell as he is.

> Dave, there's no indication in Scripture that there is salvation apart from hearing the gospel in this life (see Romans 10:14-17).

>> John The Baptist was filled with the Spirit while in his mother's womb. Cornelius had the fruits of regeneration (eternal life) before ever hearing Peter preach. Regeneration precedes believing, as Paul says, the natural man doesn't perceive the things of God.
Elect infants go to Heaven according to Reformed views.

There's much more on this.

Dave, I agree that regeneration precedes faith, but I don't think we can look to Cornelius as a standard since he lived right at the time of the resurrection when the people who were lovers of God before the cross (by His grace) were entering the New Covenant as it began to be proclaimed. But even Cornelius, who clearly was being called by God, needed to hear the gospel. That's precisely why God sent Peter to him. And it wasn't until after hearing that He received the Holy Spirit.

Was John the Baptist in the New Covenant when he was in the womb? Jesus seems to say no in Matthew 11:11-15. Not that I don't think he was taken to be with God (by God's gracious choice), but he was the last prophet before the cross. God has always called people, by His grace, to faith, both before and after the cross. But after the cross, God calls through the proclaiming and hearing of the truth of the gospel, according to Romans 10.

Paul's words seem pretty explicit.

(I think it's possible the saving of elect infants might be a special case, for reasons I've discussed here before but don't have time to get into now.)

I am just now hearing the news. I find it very sad.

Thank you for the link to the video clip on Justin Taylor's blog. I loved that bit of honesty from him. I will watch the full thing when I have more time.

Amy, Regeneration is eternal life. It "stands to reason" that some are regenerated (saved) and die before ever hearing the Gospel. The thief on the cross for example. Also it is debatable if any in our time have even heard THE Gospel. I certainly don't think I've ever heard it. We've all heard A gospel of every wash, and many are no doubt saved in spite of it.

The thief expressed repentance and trust in Christ. Also, this goes back to the before/after cross split. There was no gospel yet at that point to proclaim.

Amy, are you saying that the blind and deaf, idiots and comatose can't be saved?

The blind and deaf can still "hear" the gospel, and the vast majority of the mentally disabled are able to understand the gospel. (For the rest, I would say if God chooses to call them, it might be similar to infants. I really don't know.)

Can the comatose be saved? Do you mean, can they hear the gospel while they're comatose? I suppose only if Christ appeared to them in a vision. (I actually know of somebody this happened to. He woke up to tell everyone what had happened, and then he passed away.)

But I don't have to come up with an explanation for every possibility. I can't speak with authority on these things the Bible doesn't address, and I don't determine what is true based on which possibility bothers me. We're only safe in affirming what the Bible actually affirms, and that's Romans 10.

Everytime something like this happens, I'm curious what people here think my chances are of going to heaven.

As mentioned, I think it would be in everyones interest to convert to one of the exclusive religions before death (as per pascals wager).

Muslims scare me. So if i was diagnosed tomorrow with a fatal disease, I would go full Christian (like my womanizing cousin did when he was diagnosed with cancer).

But I often wonder, if I get side-swiped and bonked on the head, and don't have time to convert, what will happen to me?

Will I go to hell? Or do I still get a shot at eternal life?

As mentioned, I think it would be in everyones interest to convert to one of the exclusive religions before death (as per pascals wager).
That's now, ToNy. If you aren't willing to serve Jesus and submit to His Lordship now why would you think you could sincerely decide to on your deathbed?

Heaven forbid, you might just get bonked on the head.

>> "why would you think you could sincerely decide to on your deathbed?"

why was Amy praying for Christopher Hitchens the morning of his death?

The greatest misconception is that God is a bully upstairs that threatens to torture people for ever with fire if they don't say "uncle" and accept Jesus. This is today's gospel, but not the Gospel.

If you decide for Christ, it's because God already saved you, and your acceptance of Christ, or whatever work you would like to conjure up throw in, is merely your acting in concert with your new nature.

I listened to my first Hitchens’ debate last weekend. I needed something, along with STR, on my iPod to entertain me during my evening jog. Even though I didn’t like the format of the debate (four apologists and Hitchens answering questions from the audience), I did really enjoy Hitchens. I agree with ToNy, the guy was friggin funny. In fact, he was like what I would imagine ToNy’s angry uncle would be like after a Christian stole his lunch money. I say that, not because I think their arguments are similar (ToNy doesn’t appeal to what I felt were emotionally charged skewed representations as did Hitchens), but because after laughing at Hitchens comments, I got the same feeling that I get after laughing at some of ToNy’s post - a tinge of guilt.

I prayed for Hitchens after I found out about his death not because I believe in praying for the dead (I’m not aware of any Biblical precedence for that), but more because of wishful thinking that I am wrong about praying for the dead and that God knew my prayer in the past and would add it to the other prayers for Hitchens’ change of heart while he was alive. I also prayed for Hitchens’ family.

>> "what I would imagine ToNy’s angry uncle would be like after a Christian stole his lunch money."

my whole family is christian

im the only atheist/agnostic

>> "If you decide for Christ, it's because God already saved you, and your acceptance of Christ, or whatever work you would like to conjure up throw in, is merely your acting in concert with your new nature."

oh then I guess I ain't gonna worry about it since the dominoes have already been set to fall as they will.

>oh then I guess I ain't gonna worry about it since the dominoes have already been set to fall as they will.

>>I had the same mind set and wasn't looking for salvation when God saved me. It is truly a miracle and especially meaningful when you know you didn't conjure it up.

alright cool then i'll just let nature takes its course then.

er... god take his course

hah

“my whole family is christian
im the only atheist/agnostic”

Just goes to show you how far off my imagination can be.

I may be reading this wrong, but I got the impression that Amy was praying for Hitchens prior to finding out about his death.

“I was praying for him just this morning and thinking how strange it would be when one of the “Four Horsemen” was gone.”

Yes, it was prior to his death. I wrote the post late last night, even though the date on it was today. It was posted just after midnight. Maybe I should change the date on this just to make that clear.

One of the reasons I really liked this guy was because of this video:

video

FINALLY a non-believer gives an HONEST answer to the meaning of life.

I get so pissed when atheists render some tree-hugging bull regarding the meaning of life.

So utterly annoying.

He was probably half kidding there. But at least one of the neo-atheists got up and said that life is ultimately just a funny joke - occasionally fueled by sex and alcohol.

*Claps*

Unfortunately I had to quit drinking in August.

*tears*

vodka i shall miss thee

It's just about the only pleasure a nihilist like me has!

Hi ToNy,

>> "why would you think you could sincerely decide to on your deathbed?"

why was Amy praying for Christopher Hitchens the morning of his death?


I wasn't talking about Hitchens; I was talking about you.
Your plan sounds like a man who says "I will hate my father right up until he is about to die and then I will love him and inherit his fortune". He might think so, but it is more likely he will be faking it. I have a feeling that if you do not believe now you are not going to be able to conjure belief at the last second.
oh then I guess I ain't gonna worry about it since the dominoes have already been set to fall as they will.
So don't.
Don't worry about it, just do the right thing. Do it now. Seek God while He will be found.

Or did you just bring it up so you could get all quippy for the rest of the night?

>> "Do it now. Seek God while He will be found."

I seek god more than the vast majority of Christians.

>> "Or did you just bring it up so you could get all quippy"

no

I would like to get opinions on "death bed conversions"

This isn't really a "oh that weird ToNy" kind of question.

Death bed conversions are exceptionally commonplace (ask a nurse), and often hailed by Christians as proof of Gods mercy.

Indeed it seems that, with Amy's post, and all the above-links in this thread, a death bed conversion was the EXACT thing so many were praying for with Hitchens.

It sounds like you're of the opinion that they are praying in vain.

I'd like to get some other opinions though.

I seek god more than the vast majority of Christians.
Tell us about your search.
It sounds like you're of the opinion that they are praying in vain.
You never pray in vain, ToNy. I am talking about you and not about those earnestly saying prayers in hope that they are a means to someone's salvation. I am asking why you think you can just turn belief on right when you think you will need it. If you are searching, search no more. You will seek Me and you will find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. Instead of playing games with Neandertal embryos and sock-puppets open your heart.

>> Tell us about your search.

By age 17 i wasn't sure that there was enough evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was the creator of the cosmos. At age 35 i'm even more convinced.

>> "I am asking why you think you can just turn belief on right when you think you will need it"

I dont know if i can. But since deathbed conversions are so commonplace, and heralded as signs of God's love, it seems that you guys think its possible.

So if you have any tips share them.

I have no tips. I have hope.
God is quite clear that people harden their hearts to Him and we are told there is a season to seek Him.
What's the point of playing around making fun of belief and believers? If you don't care go enjoy your nihilistic pleasures and your your precious seconds.

But you obviously do care, since this is where you spend those precious seconds. So what are you waiting for?
It's not like you have the answers.
Or that you really merely remain to be convinced of a rational concern about whether Jesus is the true Son of God (really? That's your "more than the vast majority of Christians" seeking? Weak.)
You can't save yourself, ToNy.
Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened. Fall on the mercy of the LORD and He will be gracious to save you.

But God will not be mocked.
The Creator of the Universe, the Person who gave Himself up to torture, humiliation and death on your account, is willing to embrace you and redeem your life (past present and future).
The greatest power and King of all Creation is humbling Himself, running to meet you, and you scorn Him.
You should stop it.

>> "If you don't care go enjoy your nihilistic pleasures"

if you only knew

>> "and you scorn Him."

no i don't. I like Jesus and Christians.

>> "Knock and the door will be opened."

arent i doing that now?

no i don't. I like Jesus and Christians.
If you do not acknowledge Him you scorn Him. He has given us the greatest gift possible. The only gift. And if we do not reach out and take it in humble gratitude we are scorning His life and His death.
arent i doing that now?
I pray you are and that I am never a stumblingblock.

>> "If you do not acknowledge Him you scorn Him"

oh...

well

I must be scorning him then.

Sorry Jesus.

That's a start.

Why do you like Jesus? I know you're aware of C.S. Lewis' Trilemma. Don't you agree with its implications?

i thought the table scene was nicely done

Fantastic. You're a movie fan. Me, too.

What about Jesus, though?

You asked me why do i like him.

I like him because he is a likable character - as nicely portrayed above.

Who couldn't feel a fondness for Jesus after watching that movie?

Mel Gibson might be insane. But damn he makes good movies - gotta admit.

Romans 2:4
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

This just came up on my feed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe3w44EpU2E&feature=player_embedded

I do admit it. I might be the only one, but Apocalypto blew me away. And I liked some of the fictional characters in it. But if you are saying Jesus is a fictional character you are scorning Him.
If you are merely fond of Him because He looks like a nice man in the movies you are scorning Him.

He claimed to be YHWH. If you think He is not then you are liking Him as an imbecile or as a liar. And you are scorning Him.

sometimes i do like the dalai lama more though...

tough call...

Yeah, he seems like a sweet guy.
He didn't die for you so that you could be one with the real Everything, though.

i dont think jesus did anything for me either, as i do not believe his claims.

but i like him anyway

But you're wrong.
He did die for you.
He did it while scoffers hit Him, spit on Him, mocked Him, and stole from Him. That's what you are doing to this Man you claim to like. And you do it pretending to think you are funny.

For you.

He's not building a table here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-CkjPKQwks&feature=related

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