Q. I see on many occasions you get a lot of flack for stating that people are saved if they have accepted Christ. Could I suggest that you include the words “have accepted Christ and are born again believers” because being born again I feel seals it. My daughter accepted Christ, but will not read her bible and argues with me on what right do I have to say that a certain person who passed away has not gone to be with the Lord as he never darkened the door of a church or ever spoke about the Lord. The minister who conducted the service stated that this person was now with God. Unless you are born again and are led by the spirit of God you are dead in your trespasses and sin.
A. Accepting Christ and being born again are equivalent terms, because accepting Christ as our Savior who died for our sins is how we become born again. And in a way your daughter is right. We can never know the true condition of another person’s heart. There are many born again believers who don’t attend church just as there are many church goers who aren’t born again. I believe it’s a mistake to evaluate another person’s spiritual condition based on either the presence or absence of signs we think we should see in them. Jesus warned us against judging others (Matt. 7:1-2) and Paul advised us to leave that to the Lord (1 Cor. 4:5).
I personally don’t know any pastors who would stand in front of a group of mourners and tell them that their departed loved one is now in Hell. No one can know what went on between the deceased and the Lord in the last moments of his or her life, so out of consideration for the bereaved most pastors will give the deceased the benefit of the doubt.