Q. I watched a program on (a Christian TV network) last night and had some serious concerns that I wanted to get your feedback on, as it was very disturbing. The program’s premise was the near death experiences where people come back describing hell and / or heaven and the things they witnessed while there.
One of the gentlemen stated that they had traveled with an angel to heaven and then to hell, where the angel told him that he deserved to be there. The man responded, “No I don’t, I’m a born again believer and a pastor, I don’t belong here”, to which the angel said, “before you died you had unforgiveness in your heart for your wife (they had gotten into an argument just prior to his death) and therefore you belong here”.
Is there ANY scriptural evidence that would suggest this could EVER happen?
A. Just because something is on TV, even Christian TV, doesn’t mean that we’re relieved of the responsibility to “search the Scriptures daily to see if those things be true.” (Acts 17:11)
What this program is asking you to believe is that several very clear and precise statements by the Lord Himself are untrue. For example, John 3:16, 6:28-29 & 39-40 all say that the only condition placed on our salvation is belief in the Lord’s death as payment for our sins. This is supported in half a dozen other places in the New Testament as well.
His use of the Lord’s prayer is especially deceptive, because there He’s saying that the Lord contradicted His earlier claims about the sufficiency of His death.
The truth is that failure to forgive someone is a sin that places us out of fellowship with the Lord here on Earth until we confess. When we do we’re immediately restored. (1 John 1:9). It has nothing to do with our eternal position with Him, because when He went to the cross He took all the sins of our life with Him. Hebrews 10:14 says that by that one sacrifice He made us perfect forever.