On July 21st of this year, in response to the death of his close friend, Vincent W. Foster, Jr., President Bill Clinton is reported by the New York Times News Service to have said,
My deepest hope is whatever drew Vince away from us this evening, his soul will receive the grace and salvation that his good life and good works earned.
Clearly Mr. Clinton is not a candidate for membership in GES! He views eternal salvation as something which is earned by works.
He has forgotten the teachings of the Bible concerning the Gospel:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
- (Eph 2:8-9)
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.
I wish that the President had instead said something like this:
I know, because he told me directly, that Vince was trusting Jesus Christ and Him alone for eternal life. Since the Lord Jesus is completely dependable, I know that Vince is now with the Lord. Even death by suicide, as tragic as that is, cannot separate one from the love of God in Christ. Eternal life is indeed eternal.
Of course, I do not know whether Vince Foster believed in Christ or not. However, that is the only legitimate basis upon which President Clinton or anyone else can assert that we know that someone is with the Lord. For regardless of how good one’s works might appear, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). No one comes to the Father except by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).