Q. How does one defend the faith of the Bible when it is not taken literally, when someone doesn’t accept the divinity of Christ, hell and eternal punishment, Christ’s substitutionary Atonement, His Miracles, the Virgin Birth, and probably doesn’t even acknowledge OT and prophecy? Also some of my friends believe all manner of false teachers could be saved because we can’t really know about a man’s so called ‘last moments’. How do I argue this? Of course I don’t know about anyone ‘s last moments but this seems to open a very wide door excusing false teachings and doctrines and gives false hope to the person’s family.
A. In my experience people adopt a non-literal interpretation of the Bible because they don’t want to believe what it really says. This is especially true of end times prophecy. It’s hard to defend a literal interpretation to people like this because by agreeing with you they would have to accept something they don’t want to accept.
As for what happens during a person’s last moments, I agree with your friends. No one knows about those last moments but God and the dying person. The rest of us will have to wait until the rapture. I believe all manner of sinners have uttered death bed confessions and even experienced death bed conversions. God doesn’t want that any should perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). From the eternal perspective, if this happens with a person’s dying breath, it’s the same as if it had happened years previously. Jesus confirmed this in the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16). Though some worked all day and others only one hour they all received the same reward.