I recently spent 4 days and 3 nights at Mount Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara to get some much needed rest (at the urging of my wife). This is a Benedictine Monastery and the “Brothers” are of “The Order of the Holy Cross” which numbers about 40 men who live in various homes in the U.S. and Canada. Their Order is a very liberal offshoot of the Episcopal church, but I was undeterred in my commitment to give out the Gospel everyday. The question I had was: Are the monks saved? I think I found out…
At supper (lunch to us), I sat with 81 year old Brother Alan and a man named Michelle(!). They found out that I was a Pastor and a “Fundamentalist/Evangelical/Charismatic”, according to one of the books from their booksore. As I explained that I was an evangelist, Brother Alan asked how I start a conversation about the Gospel.
ME:” Well, I ask whether a person is going to Heaven or Hell.”
ALAN:”Then I’m a heretic. I don’t believe in Hell. What about the people in China that never heard of Jesus?”
(The man named Michelle nodded his head but stayed out of the conversation.)
ME:”God has revealed himself through creation and the heavens declare the glory of God. Also, He rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (I usually don’t travel down this rabbit trail because no answer that I can give will satisfy this question, but I had some time at the supper table.)
ALAN: “How can God send people to Hell? What kind of a God do you believe in?”
ME:”He’s a God of justice. Sin must be punished.” (I explained the sin of Adam and Eve and that no one can do enough good to merit God’s favor.) “Not only is God a God of justice, but He’s also merciful. All of us deserve Hell, but in His mercy He saves us!”
(The man named Michelle got up to leave.)
ALAN:”There’s another quality that God has…”
ME:”Yes. He’s a God of love.”
ALAN:”A God of love.”
I wanted to explain the full extent of God’s love, but Brother Alan politely excused himself, complimented me on my zeal and left to do the dishes. I asked if he needed any help. He said no.
The next day Brother Alan said I will be surprised when I get to Heaven and see Muslims, Buddists and Jews there.
I thought to myself, “Yes. If they have accepted Christ as their Savior.”
By: Pastor Steve Sanchez