Dr. John MacArthur, in his message covering Romans 2:11-16 (mp3 45-20b), gives a summary of those who did not have the written law and have not heard the specifics of the gospel:
“Creation, conduct, conscience, contemplation, what they do, how they deal with the good and bad in their own life and how they deal with it in the lives of others indicates that they know the law of God as written in them.
Now, here is the most important thing I’ve said yet. The sum of it is this: If they live up to that much light, and they accept that much light, God will reveal to them the full light of Jesus Christ.
I believe that with all my heart. You see, that’s what it says in Acts 17, “He is not far from us if we would feel after Him.” You see? If they would just take what they have and accept that. John 7:17 – mark it down. “If any man wills to do My Father’s Will, he shall know of the teaching.” If the willing heart is there, he’ll know. ” – John MacArthur
MacArthur goes on to read a testimony of a young man raised in a remote village of Libera who did not know the specifics of Jesus but who prayed to God continually for two years prior to finally hearing the gospel. MacArthur seems to indicate that this young man “lived up to the light of general revelation so as to receive the full light of Jesus Christ.” This was all to demonstrate MacArthur’s point that “God’s judgements are impartial.”
This seems to be precisely what Dr. Flowers has argued on a number of podcasts, but is that “inclusivism?” Not by the strictest definition, no it is not. The specifics of Christ are indeed proclaimed to those who believe in this view. So, unless one is willing to label John Macarthur (of the early 80s) an “inclusivist” they really shouldn’t label Dr. Flowers as such.
If one does not take the time to learn the facts and have an objective, rational, adult conversation then they may fail to make the distinctions between pluralism and inclusivism–or they may fail to see the stark differences in the various theories regarding the fate of the unevangelized.
You can hear the message for yourself along with Dr. Flowers’ rebuttal against some of the false accusations made by a so-called “discernment ministry” that has become notoriously known for playing fast and loose with the facts as well at their “Westboro-Baptist-like” bullying tactics. Watch it here:
These “Mid-Westboro Baptists” have written three articles about me in the last three days and everyone of them has a blatantly false title.
1) “Leighton Flowers Teaches Salvation Without Jesus.”
Untrue. I have always maintained that no one is saved apart from the atoning blood of Jesus. I have even maintained that since the cross, God would “bring the full light of Christ to those who live up to the light of revelation they have been given” (MacArthur’s words not mine).
2) “Leighton Flowers AGAIN Teaches Salvation Without Faith”
Untrue. Faith in God during the OT times is still faith. Not sure what this was about? Just really bad journalism.
3) “Leighton Flowers Accuses MacArthur of Inclusivism”
Untrue. I compared my views with that of MacArthur in his sermon to demonstrate how the label “inclusivism” (when rightly defined) would no more apply to me than to MacArthur. Asking a question about MacArthur’s view and quoting statements he said with which I agree is not an accusation.
At least they are consistent. Three for three are blatant lies. Do they even listen to my videos? Really listen?
They wrote, “To do so, he invoked a 38 year-old sermon from John MacArthur, alleging that MacArthur similarly believes it’s possible to be saved without ever hearing the Good News.”
I never said this. Read the article above. I said quite the opposite! I never said MacArthur believed the boy in Libera (or anyone else) was saved prior to hearing and believing the gospel. I said (like MacArthur) that God would send the full light of Christ to those who lived up to the light they had received. Again, this is just blantantly incorrect.
Also, my original quote regarding Cornelius was about what God COULD do not what He DOES do. Just as He could save the OT saints or infants that die who didn’t know specifics about Jesus, God COULD justly show mercy to Cornelius in the same way. I went on to explain my view however was more like that of MacArthur in the sermon, and I believe God chooses to send the full light of Christ.
How about we discuss Jesus’ words on the topic and not just MacArthurs?
“To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” -Matthew 13:12 NLT
Spread the truth to counter the lies. 🙂