I wrote a post earlier this week about seven celebrities who do not believe in God, and after thinking about it for a while, I could have entitled it: 7 Celebrities Who Are Destined for Hell When They Die. I know, it sounds harsh. But these are the implications of these celebrities’ lack of belief in the living and true God.
I realize that God could work in their lives at some point, bringing them to faith in Jesus Christ and repentance for the wickedness of sin in their lives, but as it stands now, all seven are not bound for the promised land. The seven are bound for the eternal torment of hell. There is no basis by which we can say otherwise. Those who are outside of Christ have no hope of entering into heaven. Just listen to the most quoted Bible passage, and the often overlooked verses that follow, of all time:
“For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
I underlined the portions we need to focus on. The first is that God sent Jesus to save some, not all. Some might be saved, not all. So there is no room for universalism in Scripture. Secondly, the verse states that those who do not believe already stand condemned. This is a judicial declaration. In other words we need not wait until judgment day to discover the eternal destination of these seven actors. Unless God shows them grace, opens their eyes to their sinfulness and need for Christ, works faith in their hearts, and makes them born-again believers in Jesus Christ, the condemnation has already been proclaimed upon them.*
This truth does not just apply to these seven actors, but to anyone who rejects Christ as Savior and LORD.
Now I would like to raise two possible objections. First, some will point to the good that these seven actors supposedly do in their acting career. After all, who was not absolutely riveted to the screen when Morgan Freeman played a convict in Shawshank Redemption? We were all entertained by his voiceover, his presence, and his ability to truly act out the part of a convict “who can gets things.”
On one level, his performance was a good work for society because he entertained us. But is this enough to bring about salvation, especially given that Morgan Freeman, by his own admission, does not believe in God and thinks himself a god? (See the article here.) What we are really asking is: don’t the works of Morgan Freeman count for something on judgment day?
In light of the verses above, we already know the answer, for we are not saved by our good works, but by faith in Christ alone. Paul declares this to us in his letter to the early church in Ephesus: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Please realize that Paul is writing to the believers in Ephesus and today, not to those who are not saved. We can see from his words that even the true Christian is not saved because of some work we have performed, but by God’s grace through faith, which is a gift of God.
Morgan Freeman, denying the God behind this gift, doesn’t stand a chance on his own merit. And neither do we. If we are saved, it is by God’s grace alone. Otherwise, our destiny is the same as Morgan Freeman’s.
Another objection is that someone might say that I don’t know Morgan Freeman’s heart. I guess the assumption here is that there is some aspect of Morgan Freeman’s heart that would render him acceptable before God. But that would fall under the “works” category and we see the rejection of that from God’s word. Others might say there is a seed of faith there leading to his salvation, but Jesus said very plainly that if we reject Him before men, then He would reject us on judgment day. So there is no hope in that category since he is denying even the mere existence of God.
But we can also see what the Bible declares about the heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” The LORD is telling us through His prophet Jeremiah that we are not to trust the heart because it is deceitful. This applies to all our hearts. The heart is not a place to go for our beliefs or our faith, we must turn to Christ and His word. Read more on this here.
These are just two objections that I thought of. There are probably more. The point is that as long as these seven actors continue in their disbelief in Christ and the Triune God, they have no real hope on judgment day, since they stand condemned already. I would hope that all seven would come to know Christ, repent, and believe. But given that I’m a skeptic about such things happening in the lives of the high and mighty, I’m not going to get my hopes up.
My real hope is that this article will help you think more clearly about what it is that people are saying when they claim to be atheists, agnostics, or gods themselves. Their beliefs, and lack of saving faith, have consequences that are truly grim. This is why the preaching and teaching of the gospel is so vital. We have not come to some point in human history where we have evolved past our need for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have not advanced where all we need are little pick-me-up sermons on Sunday to make us feel good about ourselves. We need the declaration that Christ died on the cross for our sins, and rose again on the third day, and presently sits at the right hand of the Father, until He comes again to bring final judgment.
These are all serious issues, and we need to treat them as such.
*Please note: this condemnation that rest upon them is not something that I am declaring for them. It is what the final Judge, Jesus Christ, is saying about those who reject Him. He is our final Judge and has every right to make such a declaration (John 5:26-27). So please do not hit me with the “Do Not Judge” meme. That would just show your ignorance of Scripture and the truth of the gospel.