The example I am about to quote is not a personal attack against another man. It is not a personal condemnation but his personal testimony of faith before the world given on Larry King Live. So I am not doing some expose of something said within his church as some have done who have disagreed with the preaching of a pastor or taking something out of context in a way such as to change its meaning and be deceptive. I have nothing personal against this man. This is the testimony of a false shepherd who has before the whole world denied the faith and the Word of God he represents in the pulpit. Anyone can tune into his TV program and listen to him preach for it goes worldwide on TBN so I am not dissecting his doctrinal teachings but only recording this personal testimony of his faith.
(This is only a section of the interview, there is a link at the end if you wish to read the entire program transcript as it was recorded)
(Partial Transcript from "Larry King Live" (CNN), Monday, June 20th, 2005. Interview with Pastor Joel Osteen.)
KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
JOEL OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
JOEL OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong....But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart.
KING: You don't call them sinners?
JOEL OSTEEN: I don't.
KING: Is that a word you don't use?
JOEL OSTEEN: I don't use it.
CALLER: I'm wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth.
KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?
JOEL OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way.
KING: What about atheists?
JOEL OSTEEN: You know what, I'm going to let someone -- I'm going to let God be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell.
Wow. Does it seem totally unbelievable that the pastor of the largest church in America doesn’t stand up for and preach the gospel to the unsaved or believe or is willing to tell the world that there is NO salvation outside faith in Jesus Christ and no one will get to heaven who does not believe in and serve the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Lord of Glory, the Great I AM.
It is this simple. Either you believe the words of the Lord Jesus Christ and you confess them or you do not. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). How can you confess Him before men, when you deny the truth of what He spoke about Himself and salvation?
Not many men get such an opportunity to witness for Christ and share the simple message of the gospel with so many and he totally blew his opportunity to stand up for Jesus and the truth because it seems that he doesn’t believe in that true or in standing for it before the world because he wants to avoid controversy. But let us look at this more closely.
First of all, the most important issue of life is simply, where will you spend eternity and that is determined by whether or not you personally believe the gospel and you personally repent of your sins and turn your life over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is that simple. 1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” If you have not receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior, then you do not have the Son and you do not have spiritual or eternal life. Everyone doesn’t go to heaven. In John 8:24 Jesus told the Jews, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” Unless you believe that He is the Messiah and go to Him for redemption, you will die in your sins for all men are born sinners. That is the very beginning of the gospel.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…” Ephesians 2:1-9 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Simply put we are all born sinners, dead in trespasses and sins before being born again of the spirit according to what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, 5-7 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the
.” Why? Because we have sinned and God said “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again
But Pastor JOEL OSTEEN says that he doesn’t call those who doesn’t believe in Jesus, those who haven’t put their faith in Him for salvation, sinners. He also said “I don't know if I believe they're wrong” speaking of Jews and Muslims asked if they were wrong if they didn’t accept Christ. So where is his stand for Christ? He doesn’t believe in saying that any man is a sinner, he doesn’t use the word.
Well, unless you know that you’re a sinner, then you don’t have need of either being saved from your sins or to repent of your sins. No one will repent of their sins if they aren’t convicted that they are a sinner in need of a savior. That is basic to the faith and that is the only way men can be brought to Christ, as those needing salvation for their sins.
In Acts 16:30-31 this conversation was between Paul and Silas and the Philippian jailer, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” But JOEL OSTEEN said that Jews and Muslims who did not believe in Jesus were not wrong, (which includes anyone else since there are only two kinds of people in the world, those who trust in Jesus for their salvation and those who don’t).
Even Jesus began His earthly ministry preaching “repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He spoke to His disciples, in Luke 2446-47 “And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at
” Mark 16:15-16 records these words of Jesus, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” That is what Jesus said and He is the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the redeemer of mankind, the one who said “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13), “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), “Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:36). John 11:26 “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Jerusalem.
Who are you going to believe? The testimony of Pastor JOEL OSTEEN, Larry King, Mohammed or Jesus speaking of Himself? Jesus told us that either we believe Him and that He is the Messiah and Savior or we will die in our sins. But of course it isn’t politically correct today to say that anyone is a sinner, and all men go to heaven, no matter what they believe or even if they claim to be an atheist. Can anyone in their right mind tell me why that God, if there is one that you don’t believe in and you are wrong, why He should allow you into His heaven when you don’t believe he even exists?
It is only rational logic, even of men to know that if there is a God who can give eternal life, then He is God and so He gets to determine who gets to go to heaven and have eternal life and not puny man. We can’t tell God what to do, whether we believe in Him or not, we don’t get to make up the rules and tell Him that He has to accept us on our terms. He says what is right and wrong and sin and who lives and who dies. If that choice is not His, then He cannot be God. It is simple logic, as simple as one plus one equals two, not three or four or one or anything else. The gospel is simple – so simple a child can understand it. It is not rocket science or physics and they are also logical and rational because physics is something can always gives the same results and is provable and repeatable.
If there is a God and a heaven and hell, then it only follows that the most important issue in life is how can I get to heaven and have eternal life and not spend eternity in hell. We know that we all die. We know that we can’t take anything with us for “naked I came into this world and naked I will leave it.” You take nothing physically with you. The only thing you can take is who you are, what you are, your character and your life. This is how we enter into eternity, whether to eternal life or death - Revelation 22:11-12 “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” A wicked man here, one who lies, steals, commits fornication, or whatever will not change and become a saint ready for heaven when he dies. You stay what you are and so if you are not holy, you will not go to heaven. It is that simple. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…”
Ephesians 3:5-7 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the
.” kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them
So that is just the beginning. So scripture tells us there are saints and there are sinners and no other kind of people. The saints are the same as those born again, those who believe in and obey the Lord Jesus. That is the core of what salvation is, repentance of sin and living a rebellious life for self and confessing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, which means that you turn over your life to His Lordship, which means that you don’t live just to please your self, but to please Him. That is basic and foundational to the faith that is in Christ, the “faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3).
To true believing Christians the foundation of our faith is a personal faith in and relationship with Jesus Christ. We read and believe and live by His Word. We are followers of Christ. And all that we stand for, Pastor JOEL OSTEEN denied before the world. It seems that He has forgotten many of the words of Christ besides ones above, as “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). Jesus and His Word are one, for He is the living Word, the word become flesh. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Verse 10-14 “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus only gives life to those who receive Him and are born of His spirit. We could give many, many verses about the gospel but I think we have made our point.
Jesus saves men so that they then will be a witness of Him in the world. All who give their lives to Jesus, have a calling to make Him known to others. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus said, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Need another witness of scripture? John 20:20 “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” What did the Father send Jesus to do? Preach the gospel and save sinners. John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” That is our duty as believers, as Christians to be a witness in this world for Jesus, to testify of Him and you don’t do that like Pastor JOEL OSTEEN did with Larry King. He left no testimony of the grace and power of God, to love and save repentant sinners. No testimony to the fact that there is no salvation outside of Christ. Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Mohammed can’t save and neither can anyone else or faith in anyone else – Only Jesus.
Nothing in life matters more than the truth of God’s Word and for it is the only thing in life that is not subject to change. All of this life and world is subject to change, but God and His Word will never change. Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not;” and “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). Jesus said it best in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
So Pastor JOEL OSTEEN doesn’t want to be confrontational or to say that those without Christ are sinners and will end up in eternal damnation and he wants to be politically correct and non-controversial. But that is the way to judgment. If we are Christ’s servants, then we are to serve Him and do His will and bidding. Jesus made it clear that you can’t be politically correct and inoffensive and stand for the truth. Again let us look to the words of our Master, the Lord Jesus.
John 15:18-21 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Matthew 10:22-25 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of
?” Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household
Luke 6:22-23, 26 “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets... Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
The gospel and standing for the truth and the for the Lord is not a popularity contest and will things are going to get worse and worse in this world as we approach the end, until we will be hated of all men, the scourge of the world. In the very end times, Jesus said it would be even like this; “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:9-24)
and much of the world, Christians are being despised and mistreated more and more. In numerous countries they are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed for their faith in Christ. We are in a spiritual war and the devil is fighting tooth and nail against every true follower of Christ. Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” If you have the testimony of Christ and keep the commandments of God, then you are the enemy of Lucifer. Those who compromise and work to please men are not the servants of God. America
Galatians 19-10 “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Anything else is another gospel and of another Christ. Anything to please men, to be popular and accepted by the world and to be non-confrontational and non-controversial is according to the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” We are not supposed to do that. Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
There is only one gospel, there is only one Lord and Savior, one Messiah, one deliverer and it is Jesus the Christ. Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” Again, as Jesus said, all men must “repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). To a group of people who asked Jesus about some who had died at the hands of Pilate, He replied, “Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in
Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-5). The message is those who will not repent, will perish in their sins.
Pastor JOEL OSTEEN was and is wrong about everything he said with Larry King. God has already determined and said who will have life and who will be damned to eternal hell, but Joel doesn’t seem to believe the Word of God he quotes in church when he stands before the world. Again, as Jesus said in Mark 16:15-16 “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Could it be any clearer than the words of Jesus?
Everyone loves to quote the words of Jesus in John 3:16, but then why don’t they ever quote the rest of what Jesus said in the following verses. John 3:17-21 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Let us believe Jesus. The problem with Pastor JOEL OSTEEN is the same as with most pastors in
today and that is he as most are not pastors because they were called by God to serve Him in the ministry, but because of other reasons. In Joel’s case it was because his father passed it on to him and the ministry is not something that is just passed down from father to son as any job or business. Sometimes it happens that God will call also a son into the ministry, but it is because God called them and chose them, not because a father chooses to pass it on to his son. America
If you don’t want to take a chance of offending people, you want them to all love and accept you, then you are not called of God into the ministry. The gospel is offensive to men who don’t want to hear the truth and who don’t want to be told they are sinners. If don’t confront men with the truth of the gospel, then you don’t give them the opportunity to choose Christ and the truth. How can I make a choice I have not been given the opportunity to make? If we do not set before people the truth and give them the choice of choosing life or death, then they will never be able to choose life. But that is what God did and wants us to do. Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” When we tell men that they need Jesus and that He is the way to forgiveness of sin and eternal life, we are giving them that choice so it is now theirs. Then they can choose to accept or reject Christ but it is our job to bring men to that place of decision.
We can’t save anyone, but we can tell them of Jesus who can save them. Yes, to many the cross is offensive. Telling them they are sinners and they must repent to be saved is offensive to those who don’t want to hear it. But that is what preaching the gospel is. Without the cross, without repentance from sin and turning from sin, there is NO gospel and NO salvation.
SALVATION WITHOUT REPENTANCE IS NO SALVATION AT ALL. Jesus came to save sinners from their sin. Do you want to be saved, turn to Jesus? Otherwise, you too will face eternal damnation. Not because I say so, but because Jesus said so. Those who tell others of Jesus are but as one beggar telling another where to get bread, the “bread of life” Jesus (John 6:35).
I am ashamed for JOEL OSTEEN because he was ashamed of the gospel in front of the world. Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” That hasn’t changed to those who truly believe. 2 Corinthains 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.”
Philippians 1:27-28 “…that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.”
Peter told us “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15).
May the Lord open Pastor JOEL OSTEEN’s eyes concerning the gospel that he will preach the gospel to the nations rather than just some pat me on the back, please me and make me feel good about myself false gospel. People don't need more false hope and empty hype. What they need is the unadulterated Truth of God's Word so that they can not only come to know Christ in the pardon of their sins, but live a victorious life here on earth. That ONLY happens when you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and you are willing to share the gospel of Jesus without Compromise. The most important decision in life is not your occupation, who you will marry or anything else but, what will you do with Jesus? Will you believe Him and turn your life over to Him, or live in rebellion and sin? The answer and what we do with that question determines our eternity. Why? Because God’s Word says so and He is God. “…yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;” (Romans 3:4).
Link For Entire Larry King Live Interview with Joel Osteen
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