The magazine Christianity Today published an article titled, “Will My Lost Neighbor Have Another Chance to Receive Jesus After Death?” The article is a book review of James Beilby’s book, “Postmortem Opportunity: A Biblical and Theological Assessment of Salvation After Death” in which Beilby makes an argument for “postmortem conversions.”
This issue arises from the idea of what will happen to those who may have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and had an opportunity to trust Him in this life; will they have an opportunity to trust Him in the next. Can such a one convert after death?
I have been told that those who study currency can easily spot a counterfeit bill, not because they have studied the different counterfeit bills that have been produced and circulated, but because they have studied what an actual bill looks like so carefully it is easy to spot a counterfeit.
I read the article in Christianity Today,I have not read Beilby’s book, but I have read the Bible. The Scriptures are the Word of God and is the truth by which all teachings are compared. If those teachings do not agree with what is taught in the Scriptures, that teaching is a counterfeit.
I am not aware of a single verse in the Bible that teaches “postmortem” conversion. I have no idea what Beilby has written in his book, but I know the Scriptures give no support to his idea of “postmortem” conversions. He is kicking that can down a dead-end road.
My chief concern with his thesis is that people will be so distracted by the nonsense of “postmortem” conversion that they pass up their “premortem” opportunity to trust Christ. The Scriptures declare “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,” Hebrews 9:27. Death is not followed by an opportunity to convert; it is followed by judgment.
Christians everywhere are concerned for those benighted souls who have not seen the Gospel light or heard of Jesus Christ. That is why Christians so strongly support missionary efforts to bring the message of salvation to those who have never heard. I am also convinced that Father God is even more concerned for them than we are.
But that still leaves us with the question of what eternity holds for those who have never heard the Gospel. The Scriptures do not address the matter. But Abraham reminded God in a rhetorical question, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” Genesis 18:25. Certainly Father God will treat every individual right.
I do not know what eternity holds for those who have never heard the Gospel; but I do know that the Judge of all the earth who holds eternity will treat every person justly.
Do not let concern for those who have never heard the Gospel interfere with the decision you need to make with what you have heard.