What if it turned out that the final destination of other people is none of our business?
If that turned out to be a correct, it would not necessarily imply that we’re not meant to work at spreading the truth. It seems to me that if we take Jesus seriously, we are meant to talk about him. But having this responsibility doesn’t imply that we are part of the decision-making process.
In fact, this whole thing is actually analogous to behavior we expect all the time. We might want our sons and daughters, or students, or whatever to encourage each other, to teach each other etc. But even if we did, hopefully we wouldn’t consult the kids (or students or whatever) in assigning punishment, consequences, etc.
For obvious reasons, Christians have sought to figure out what the entrance requirements are to get to heaven. Similarly, we have wanted a cut-and-dried formula for escaping Hell.
Though understandable, it seems to me that this is the wrong question to ask. In some ways, it’s a bit like asking the question, “How much X can I get away with and still be following Christ?” How drunk can I get? How high can I get? How greedy can I be? How judgemental can I be?
There is an element of legalism in all this.
But more to the point I want to make today, it is certainly more sensible that I try to determine the issue of eternal salvation for myself than for somebody else.
I can’t speak to the content of someone else’s heart. I can’t directly experience what God is doing within them. So many sins, and fruits of the spirit are really about our heart-condition, not the actual external things we can be seen doing or not doing.
It is of course easy and fun to shift the focus to others. Analyzing the nature of their problems and going on to solve their problems gives us the appearance of someone pious with out calling on us to do the hard work of change.