I wrote this in response to someone who made the quippy statement that Prince is now in Hell because he did not know the Prince of Peace:

Were you there in the elevator, if it was an elevator, moments before Prince died? Do you believe that Prince knew the true Gospel message, whether he believed it or not? Do you believe that it is possible that he could have seen the light and believed the true Gospel moments before he died? Do you believe that deathbed or moment-of-death conversions are possible? Do you believe that God wants all men to be saved?

By his confession and religious affiliations, I would agree that he seemed to be an unsaved man, but can I say that Prince is in Hell with the authority and knowledge of God Himself? No.

When you make pronouncements like this, you seem not to have the graciousness or humility or kindness of Jesus, and you discredit the veracity, purity, and deep truth of the Christian message.

You can make the strong statement that if he did not believe in Jesus before he died then he is not saved. (Although many people in the Bible did not know the -Name- of Jesus and yet were saved and are in Heaven: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, many Israelites, and people from every tribe, nation, tongue and language (where the Gospel has never been preached), and infants, “for of such is the kingdom of God,” and retarded people, so even that is not a proper statement.

“He (or she) that “believeth” not shall be damned.” True. But all who cry out to God, “God have mercy on me” shall go down to their houses *justified* by the death and resurrection of Christ. Jesus Christ said so Himself. This is not universalism, and I do believe that most people will go to Hell, because the Bible says that many go down the highway that leads to perdition.

So, you cannot conscionably make the statement that you know for sure that Prince or anyone else was unsaved, and to my knowledge, nowhere in Scripture does God command you to make such a statement about any specific individual, except Judas, who the Bible specifically says is in Hell.

Making such a statement makes you appear judgmental, graceless, arrogant, and as if you think you are God Himself.

A strong and absolute statement of the condition of salvation is fine. A condemnation of a specific individual is not.

I think you are trying to say what the Bible says, and I used to make statements such as these myself, wanting to state things in clarity for everyone, but I think you should make a more modest statement such as: “If he believed what he said he believed, if he never believed the Gospel, if he never sought God’s forgiveness, then Prince died an unsaved man who is now in Hell.

-Curtis Smale