Q. I have worked this around in my head for 4 years since his death. It is driving me slowly mad.
My father told me once 30 years ago that he could accept Jesus as God, but not the virgin birth and Jesus’ bodily resurrection. My dad attended a liberal Presbyterian church when he went at all which was not very much.
I went over the gospel with him. He told me that no one had ever sat him down and explained these things to him. A little later he fell on the garage steps and looked up at me and said “I am going to have to put off this Christianity stuff until later.” Later never came, to my knowledge.
Did he die saved? Can he deny the virgin birth and bodily resurrection and be considered saved?
By denying the virgin birth isn’t he saying that Jesus was not the Son of God, and was born with the same sin nature as the rest of us us. That would make him unfit as a sacrifice for sin. Right? And I am not sure about the bodily resurrection denial. What does that mean?
I really need help on this one, it has bothered me for years. Until I get an answer it will not be laid to rest in my mind.
A. You are correct in saying that unless Jesus was born of a virgin, He couldn’t have been born without a sin nature and therefore couldn’t have qualified to die for our sins. And in Romans 10:9 Paul said that believing in the resurrection is necessary for salvation. Paul didn’t include the word “bodily” but there’s so much evidence to support it, I think it’s safe to assume that’s what he meant.
You say that you fully explained all these things to him before he fell, so he had the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision. Whether he died saved or not is impossible to determine from what you’re told me, but in my experience dying people can have moments of spiritual clarity that allow them to make peace with God. Even if your father asked for salvation with his very last breath, then he received it.