Christianity – orthodox Christianity – teaches that when you draw your last breath you have lost the last opportunity for reformation. Christianity teaches that this little world is the eternal line between time and eternity, and if you do not get religion in this life, you will be eternally damned in the next. That is Christianity. They say: “Now is the accepted time.” If you put it off until you die, that is too late; and the doctrine of the Christian world is that there is no opportunity for reformation in another world. The doctrine of orthodox Christianity is that you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ here in this life, and it will not do to believe on him in the next world. You must believe on him here and that if you fail here, God in his infinite wisdom will never give you another chance. That is orthodox Christianity
And why is it that Christians now say this is not orthodox Christianity? I have made them ashamed of their doctrine. When I called to their attention the fact that such men as Darwin, such men as Emerson, Dickens, Longfellow, Laplace, Shakespeare, and Humboldt, were in hell, it struck them all at once that the company in heaven would not be very interesting with such men left out.
Orthodoxy says that the best man in the world, if he fails to believe in the existence of God, or in the divinity of Christ, will be eternally lost. Does it not say it? Is there an orthodox minister in this town now who will stand up and say that an honest atheist can be saved? He will not. Let any preacher say it, and he will be tried for heresy.
I will tell you what orthodoxy is.
A man goes to the day of judgment, and they cross-examine him, and they say to him:
“Did you believe the Bible?”
“Did you belong to the church?”
“Did you take care of your wife and children?”
“Pay your debts?”
“Love your country?”
“Love the whole world?”
“Never made anybody unhappy?”
“Not that I know of. If there is any man or woman that I ever wronged let them stand up and say so. That is the kind of man I am; but,” said he, “I did not believe the Bible. I did not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, and, to tell you the truth, I did not believe in the existence of God. I now find I was mistaken; but that was my doctrine.”
Now, I want to know what, according to the orthodox church, is done with that man? He is sent to hell. That is their doctrine.
Then the next fellow comes.
They ask him: “Where did you come from?”
And he looks off kind of stiffly, with his head on one side and he says: “I came from the gallows. I was just hung.”
“What were you hung for?”
“Murdering my wife. She wasn’t a Christian either, she got left. The day I was hung I was washed in the blood of the Lamb.”
And they say to him: “Come in! Let the band play!”
That is orthodox Christianity.
Every man that is hanged, there is a minister there, and the minister tells him he is all right. All he has to do is just to believe on the Lord.