Schuller: Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?
Graham: Well, Christianity and being a true believer–you know, I think there’s the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ. And I don’t think that we’re going to see a great sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in
And that’s what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.
Schuller: What, what I hear you saying that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?
Graham: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.
Schuller: I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.
Graham: There is. There definitely is.
Dr. John MacArthur, in one of his mailings, said this about Graham and Schuller’s conversation:
This has certainly leaped from Aristotle to the Catholic Church into evangelical Protestantism. Now we have a kind of Protestant viewpoint that says Muslims and Hindus and whoever are going to be in the Body of Christ, in the Kingdom, in Heaven, with salvation whether they ever get a Bible or whether they ever hear the Gospel or whether they ever know about Jesus Christ. The Billy Graham organization affirmed that this position is the same as the one articulated in an article in Decision magazine which Billy wrote in 1960, so this is not something new.
Very interesting …