Christianity's Perspective Can Be Depressing
The opposite of salvation
Christians rejoice to know they have eternal life in Christ, but for everyone that chooses Him, there is another who refuses to believe. If you truly have accepted that Jesus is the one and only way to eternal life, then you must also accept that eternal damnation awaits those who do not accept His free gift of salvation. This reality is depressing when you realize that not everyone will see the pearly gates, I thought about this when I heard that Stan Lee passed away at age 95. In 2002 Lee was asked if he believed in God and he answered that he just did not know.
In Mark 16:15-16 Jesus gave some parting words to His disciples before He ascended to heaven. He said:
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
If you believe this then Stan Lee has fund eternal damnation. Many Christians find it difficult to acknowledge this aspect of faith. When someone dies who did not accept Christ they will say that perhaps the individual had a death bed confession or only God knows for sure. I find it interesting that believers have no problem saying they believe faith in Christ gets you to heaven, but they shy away from the other half of what He said which is that those who don't believe will perish.
I understand that from 2002 until his death in 2018 that Stan Lee could have chosen to accept Christ, but without any evidence, I have to take him at his last word regarding belief in God and it saddens me. Here is a man who lived nine decades, was rich and successful and made millions happy with his work but if he never confessed Jesus as Lord, the Bible says in Mark 8:36- 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Chills down the spine
I accept that everyone has the right to believe or not believe whatever they choose, but if you are a Christian you must understand that if everyone made a death bed confession of faith in Christ, then no one would be in hell. I had this on my mind recently when I read Sidney Poitier's book entitled In his forward, he makes a statement about "past" teachers such as Jesus and Budha. As I read that statement, a cold chill went all over me. I knew that if I believed the Bible, Mr. Poitier had not received salvation. With all of his success , he was hell-bound at least at the time he wrote the book. In I Corinthians 12:3 NIV version, the Apostle Paul says the following. The Measure of a Man.
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. Sidney Poitier's words sent a chill down my spine because he referred to Jesus as in the past, and compared him with teachers who died but did not rise from the dead. No one who has the Holy Spirit would make such a statement. This is why you hear believers talk about Christ in the present tense because they believe He is in heaven and will soon come again.
Christians need to be unified in faith
One of the reasons that nonbelievers do not take Christians seriously is because we often do not agree on Biblical tenants. Everyone who believes Christ rose from the dead and gives eternal life should also believe there is a hell awaiting those who do not believe. Having said that I do not know for a fact where Stan Lee is spending eternity or that Sidney Poitier has not received everlasting life. I state again for the record that as of 2002 for Lee, and when Poitier wrote his book that the words they spoke indicated they did not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. If nothing changed it is wishful thinking to hope they had a death bed awakening.
I do not have a heaven or hell to put anyone in, but I stand by what Jesus said in His word. Yes, this is a hard saying and strong medicine but Christians need to be unified in our faith. Once you say you have eternal life through Christ, you automatically imply that without Him there is eternal damnation whether you speak it or not. This is a sad, depressing reality and it is difficult to discuss because people say you are judging. That is probably why many churchgoers will not talk about hell. Stan Lee had the right to say he did not know if there was a God and Sidney Poitier likewise can believe that Jesus was just another teacher who died. Even so, John 3:16 still indicates: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You believe and receive life eternal if you don't believe you perish. That is the bottom line to Christianity. No one wants to believe that two men who were loved by the world and entertained millions have not earned their way to heaven by their good deeds. It's a frightening prospect, but either we accept Christ's words or not.