Read through the following transcripts to see how John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in California, interacted with King and his guests. Outstanding!
- Who Was Jesus? (December 24, 2004) Panel included Deepak Chopra, Pastor John MacArthur Father Michael Manning, Dennis Prager and Jon Meacham
- What Happens After You Die? (April 14, 2005) Panel included Pastor John MacArthur, Father Michael Manning, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dr. Maher Hathout, Mary Ann Williamson and Ellen Johnson.
- God and Good vs. Evil (April 22, 2005) Panel included Dr. John MacArthur, Deepak Chopra, Father Jim Keiter, Plus Char Margolis and Roger Depue
LARRY KING: John MacArthur, what happens had you die?Why couldn't Joel Osteen say that?
JOHN MACARTHUR: Well, when you die, you go to one of two places. According to scripture. You go out of the presence of God forever, or you go into the presence of God forever.
MACARTHUR: Depending upon your personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is according to the Bible the only way to enter heaven.
KING: So therefore a Jew or a Muslim or a Buddhist will not go to heaven?
MACARTHUR: Christian theology and the Scripture says that only through faith in Jesus Christ.
Then we have this exchange:
WILLIAMSON (the "spiritualist"): . . . All the great religious systems speak about life after death, speak about the fact that the goodness with which we live our lives -- you know when Ellen talks about how important it is to live well on the earth, the great religious systems agree with her. Life is for the living. And it's not that we are to concentrate on death rather than life. It's that while we live loving lives and try our best to be the people that God would have us be, then after we die, and also while we're on this earth, I think that the condition of the state of God's love isn't as different after as it is -- as we think. . . .Be sure to read the second one, it gets real good. Here's a part where they talk about 9-11 and God's role in that:
JOHNSON (President of "American Athiests"): However -- however, to Mr. MacArthur, the price for eternal life and life after death is obedience to church doctrine. So you must live a certain life in preparation for that life after death. That I totally reject. I am not going to...
MACARTHUR: So do I.
KING: What do you think?
MACARTHUR: I reject that completely.
JOHNSON: There is a way to get...
KING: Hold it, hold it, Ellen. What is -- you said you have to believe in Christ.
MACARTHUR: Well, yes -- the only way to heaven -- and at this point I respectfully disagree with the rabbi. Nobody can live a righteous life. The Bible says that no one can obey the law of God. No one.
KING: So no one is going to heaven?
MACARTHUR: So no one can go to heaven on their own merits or on their own works. I don't care how many good works they do. The New Testament is crystal clear on the fact that...
KING: So a bad guy who believes in Christ, he's going to heaven, and the good guy who doesn't is going to hell.
MACARTHUR: But when he truly believes...
KING: That don't sound just.
MACARTHUR: But when he truly believes -- Larry, we don't want justice. Justice...
KING: You don't want justice?
MACARTHUR: No. It sends everybody to hell. We need grace. We need forgiveness. We need mercy. Only those who ask...
KING: Don't you question it, John MacArthur -- when 9/11 occurs -- don't you question your faith?Finally, here are some amazing statements from the athiest (she has great faith to believe this is true!):
MACARTHUR: No, I don't question my faith.
KING: The guys who took the plane into the building didn't question theirs either. And they....
MACARTHUR: I don't like that association too well.
KING: Wait a minute. They didn't give their ultimate gift?
MACARTHUR: No because...
KING: They did not give their life?
MACARTHUR: I understand that God allows death. That does not mean that I take the side of a perpetrator of murder and slaughter.
KING: I'm not telling you to take their side. I'm saying is, did they have a belief?
MACARTHUR: Oh, sure. Sure. A misguided, a severely misguided one.
KING: In our opinion it was misguided, of course. But why is the death tragedy if death is good? Why is tragic used in the word death.
MACARTHUR: I'll answer that very simply. Nobody died in those towers that wasn't going to die anyway. Death is a reality. And the message is Jesus told the story, he said there were some people worshipping in the temple: pilots -- soldiers came in, sliced them up, their blood mingled with the sacrifices, it was Passover. They said to Jesus, were they worse than anybody else? Jesus said you better repent or you will also die and perish. And they said, a tower fell and killed 18 people in Saloam (ph), were they worse than everybody else because they were crushed? And Jesus said, you better repent or you'll likewise perish. The Bible says you die and after this the judgment and then heaven and hell. And you're not going into eternity as energy, you're going as a person.
KING: Ellen, how does an atheist view 9/11?
JOHNSON: If you are a person who thinks that there is a creator who is -- it is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent and then you make excuses for this all-powerful being for allowing 9/11 to happen, for allowing TWA flight 800 to plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, for allowing over 100,000 people to die in -- with the tsunami. If you can then excuse your God for being asleep on the job, then when a member of the clergy, the same members of the clergy ask you to pray, to pray for anything because God answers prayers, forget about it.
KING: We got to take a break. Ellen, what do you believe about Jesus Christ?
JOHNSON: Well, I'm here to give the reality point of view, I guess. Because the reality is there is not one shred of secular evidence there ever was a Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and Christianity is a modern religion. And Jesus Christ is a compilation from other Gods: Horas, Mithra, who had the same origins, the same death as the mythological Jesus Christ.
KING: So you don't believe there was a Jesus Christ.
JOHNSON: There was not. It is not what I believe. There is no secular evidence that JC, Jesus Christ, ever existed.