Q: Do you think it is possible that the soul is evangelized at the point of death?
A: One of the great challenges facing the 21st century Church is the cultural theology of universalism. It presumes that God will give everyone a salvation gift card that they can redeem inside the Pearly Gates. But that is contrary to Scripture.
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Salvation involves a conscious decision to put one's faith in God's Son as the only hope of living eternally in heaven.
Two thieves were crucified alongside Jesus. One consciously gave his allegiance to Christ and was promised a place in paradise when he died. The other rejected Christ's love and forgiveness"and died without that hope. There is no free pass. "The wages of sin is death (spiritual separation from God), but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Acceptance of Christ as Savior is absolutely essential.
Stan A. Toler is a general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene.
Holiness Today, May/June 2012