As always, a very studied (both biblically and otherwise) response. Thanks, Heath.
I'm concerned your message here leaves a gap. Those of us hearing this know the name of Jesus and have been given the opportunity to clearly make a decision to either follow him or not. I don't want people to not make a decision to follow Jesus because this gives a feeling of "you don't have to". If you have heard and make the decision not to admit you are a sinner, believe Jesus died on the cross & rose, and accept his sacrifice as a gift of atonement for our sin, YOU ARE DENYING HIM. I will be the first to admit I don't know how God handles the situations of people who haven't heard the name of Jesus or haven't understood. I believe He is all knowing, all powerful and absolutely just. He has it under control and me, a humble human, aren't expected to understand all his ways. Inclusivism is not an out for your own lack of decision. DO YOU KNOW HIM? All one has to do is ask. He is always listening.
First off, when people write in ALL CAPS I feel like I am being yelled at, so if we could keep it all lower-case I would appreciate it. Also, I have never suggested that I haven't made a decision to follow Christ. I make that decision everyday (well, at least most days). To answer your last question, I would say I am getting to know him. He keeps surprising me though.
Sorry. My intention certainly wasn't to yell at anyone. Just wanted to provide emphasis. It is difficult to do in these text boxes since we can't underline or use other text formating options.My emphasis was really for those hearing/seeing this who don't know Jesus (expecting that the pastor knows Him as savior!). Thank you for posting my comments and for your response. Praying all who see this blog, or hear the name of Jesus, come to know Him! I want everyone to know how amazing it is to know His forgiveness and have the relationship that comes with accepting Him as their Savior! We have heard His name so no excuses.