Return to Class Topical Index

Is there a “Wideness”

in God’s mercy?

Central Issue:

  1. 356 million Buddhists worldwide

  2. 800 million Hindus worldwide

  3. 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide

  4. Do they need the gospel?

  5. Can they be saved in their present religion?

Here are some Billy Graham quotes that might surprise you:

  1. Muslim, Atheist, etc. – On “Hour of Power” TV program with Robert Schuller, “I think that everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are members of the body of Christ … [God] is calling people out of the world for his name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something they do not have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven.”
    Schuller said, “What I hear you saying, that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they have been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that correct?” Graham answered, “Yes.”
    Schuller replies, “I’m so thrilled to hear you say this: ‘There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.” Graham added, “There is. There definitely is.”

  2. Catholic – Speaking at Abby College (a Catholic school), “A time when Protestants and Catholics could meet together and greet each other as brothers. --- The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way of salvation.” “If a Catholic steps forward there will be no attempt to convert them and their names will be given to the Catholic church nearest their homes.”

  3. Jewish – In San Francisco News interview, “Anyone who makes a decision at our meetings is seen later and referred to a local clergyman, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish.”

  4. Infant Baptism – “I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant,--- I believe that a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christian, through infant baptism.”

  5. Pagans – “I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost – were going to hell – if they did not have the Gospel of Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. … I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God – through nature, for instance – and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying ‘yes’ to God.”
    ”And I think that there is that hunger for God and people are living as best they know how according to the light that they have. Well, I think they’re in a separate category than people like Hitler and people who have just defied God, and shaken their fists at God. … I would say that God, being a God of mercy, we have to rest it right there, and say that God is a God of mercy and love, and how it happens, we don’t know.”

  6. Blood of Jesus – “Mr. Graham believes that we are saved through the blood of Christ, however, this aspect of Christian doctrine he does not emphasize in his messages.”

  7. Virgin Birth “Q. Do you think a literal belief in the Virgin Birth – not just as a symbol of the incarnation or of Christ’s divinity – as an historic event is necessary for personal salvation? A. While I most certainly believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, I do not find anywhere in the New Testament that this particular belief is necessary for personal salvation.”

  8. Theology not important “World travel and getting to know clergy of all denominations has helped mold me into an ecumenical being. We’re separated by theology and, in some instances, culture and race, but all that means nothing to me any more.”

These statements are disturbing, even to fundamental denominations

  1. Baptists, Christian Church, and Pentecostals – used to support Graham crusades – are now dropping him.

  2. Most believe the changes in teaching are driven by financial backing. If Billy Graham preached strong “Baptist” doctrine, the Catholics, Jews, and liberal denominations would not support him.

  3. These statements reject the need for mission work and evangelism.

  4. He accepts Jews (who flatly reject Christ) and does not seek to convert them.

  5. Some have thought that his illness was the problem. This is not the case. Some of these quotes are from as far back as 1967. Many are from the 70’s and 80’s.


Questions raised from these quotes

  1. How ‘wide’ is God’s mercy? Will He save pagans, Hindus, Muslims, etc.?

  2. Is doctrine (theology) important?

  3. Can one be saved if they received infant baptism?

  4. Does our view or faith in the virgin birth affect or salvation?

  5. If Billy Graham believes all these others religious people will be saved, why does he travel to these countries and conduct campaigns?


Biblical issues to discuss:

Is Jesus necessary for salvation?

  1. Acts 4:12 – salvation in no other name

  2. John 14:6 – no man comes to the Father but by me

  3. Ephesians 2:12 – without Christ, no hope, without God

Is infant baptism acceptable?

  1. Mark 16:16 – believe and be baptized

  2. Acts 2:38 – repent and be baptized

  3. Romans 10:9-10 – confession with the mouth required

Is doctrine (theology) important?

  1. Matthew 16:12 – beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees

  2. John 7:16-17 – Is this doctrine from God?

  3. Acts 2:42 – continued in the apostle’s doctrine

  4. Romans 16:17 – mark those who are contrary to the doctrine

  5. Ephesians 4:14 – carries about by every wind of doctrine

  6. 1 Timothy 4:16 – hold to the doctrine, continue in them

  7. 1 Timothy 6:3 – if any teach otherwise, not words of Jesus and doctrine

  8. 2 Timothy 3:16 – all scripture is inspired for doctrine

  9. 2 Timothy 4:3 – time will come, not endure sound doctrine

  10. Titus 2:1 – speak things which become sound doctrine

  11. 2 John 1:9 – everyone not abiding in the doctrine, has not God

Is the blood of Christ important?

  1. Matthew 26:28 – blood of New Testament shed for remission of sins

  2. Luke 22:20 – being poured out for you

  3. John 6:53 – eat his flesh, drink his blood, or have no life in you

  4. John 6:54 – my blood has eternal life

  5. Acts 20:28 – purchased the church with his blood

  6. Romans 3:25 – made righteous though faith in his blood

  7. Romans 5:9 – justified by his blood

  8. Ephesians 1:7 – redemption through his blood

  9. Hebrews 9:14 – blood of Christ cleanses our conscience

  10. 1 John 1:7 – blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin

  11. Revelation 1:5 – washed us from our sins in his own blood

Is mission work necessary to save those in other religions and pagans?

  1. Matthew 28:19 – Go teach all nations

  2. Mark 16:15 – Go preach the gospel to every creature

  3. Romans 1:13-16 – I am ready to preach in Rome

  4. 1 Thessalonians 1:9 – turned from idols to serve the living God

  5. Ephesians 2:12 – without Christ, no hope, without God

  6. Galatians 4:16 – am I your enemy because I preach the truth?

Is belief in the virgin birth necessary for salvation?

  1. Matthew 1:23 – (from Isaiah 7:14) – a sign (proof) that this is Immanuel

  2. If NOT virgin born, then his is not Immanuel, not the Son of God

  3. John 8:13-18 – Jesus came from the Father

  4. John 14:9-12 – Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me?

  5. Just belief in Jesus in not the requirement.

    1. We must believe that Jesus is God (deity) in the flesh. (John 1:1-3; 14; Colossians 2:9)

    2. We must believe that Jesus came in the flesh. (1 John 4:2-3)

    3. We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 4:15)

    4. We must believe that Jesus is from heaven. (John 8:23-24)

Return to Class Topical Index