“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I’m almost finished reading Rob Bell‘s Love Wins. I don’t think there is anything particularly shocking or troubling. There isn’t anything new either. Those who have studied a bit of the church fathers, esp. Origen and Irenaeus, will know what he is talking about.
Actually I think the video above perfectly illustrates what he is arguing for. He’s not arguing for the traditional exclusivity. He’s not arguing for radical inclusiveness either (which means he’s not arguing that there are other paths of access to God.) Rather, he’s arguing for “an exclusivity on the other side of inclusivity”, which insists that “Jesus is the way, but holds tightly to the assumption that the all-embracing, saving love of this particular Jesus the Christ will of course include all sorts of unexpected people from across the cultural spectrum.” (155)
He furthers, “As soon as the door is opened to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Baptists from Cleveland, many Christians become very uneasy, saying that then Jesus doesn’t matter anymore, the cross is irrelevant, it doesn’t matter what you believe, and so forth.” (155)
And he responds to this kind of response by saying: “Not true. Absolutely, unequivocally, unalterably not true. What Jesus does is declare that he, and he alone, is saving everybody. And then he leaves the door way, way open. Creating all sorts of possibilities. He is as narrow as himself and as wide as the universe. He is as exclusive as himself and as inclusive as containing every single particle of creation.” (155)
So what is the eternal destination of this compassionate Brahmin guy? I can’t say for sure, because 1) he is still living and he may have many more years ahead to get to know this ultimate source of love (i.e. Jesus), and 2) I’m no judge. I am only told to spread the good news of Jesus whenever and wherever I can.
What I can be sure about is that he is definitely serving Jesus as he serves the hungry, the sick, and the needy. I can only say let the King and the Judge decide who’s righteous or not when he comes in His glory. Meanwhile, we should get busy doing what we have been commanded and stop speculating about other people’s destination, for the Lord has His own plans for every person (John 21:21-22).