Dr. Randy White
I’ve never had the joy of meeting Dr. Robert Lightner face-to-face, but I’ve come to deeply respect him as a Christian scholar and theologian, as well as a pure Christian gentleman.
Over the past year, he and I have had numerous long-distance conversations concerning his just-released book, Heaven and Hell: A Biblical Guide. In each of the conversations, I walked away feeling like I had been in the presence of a giant. And Lightner is a giant of theology, having taught, preached, written, and guided the thinking of untold masses through his own Biblical thinking.
For this reason, and so many more, I am thrilled to introduce a small little paperback book that is a Biblical guide to Heaven and Hell.
A complicated subject
The eternal state of man is simple on the surface but much more complicated in the details. Were we able to simply say, “Believers go to heaven and unbelievers go to hell,” we wouldn’t need a book on the subject. But, while the fact remains that believers go to heaven and unbelievers go to hell, the world doesn’t so neatly fit into those two categories. What about an infant, for example? And what of someone who is born so mentally incapacitated that, despite long life, they could never fully comprehend nor communicate a faith-in-Jesus concept. And what about a person who at one time committed their lives to Jesus Christ but now commits suicide—does he or she go to heaven? These are questions which all of us ask. Some are content with simplistic answers, but most of us want these questions dealt with Biblically, not simplistically. I believe that is exactly what Dr. Lightner has done in his masterful little book.
A lot of content in a little book
The book, only 99 pages of reading material, is short but thorough. The book speaks of Heaven, who goes there, and the hope it holds for believers. The book also speaks of Hell, and the fact that an alarmingly increasing number of evangelical preachers and professors are denying the eternal punishment of unbelievers. The book dives into the issue of suicide, admitting that the Bible does not directly address the matter but that there is plenty of indirect material to give insight into a troubling issue and perplexing question. The book also addresses the judgments and has an insightful section on Where will you spend eternity?
The presentation of Salvation
Though Dr. Lighter is a Dispensational Calvinist and I am personally strongly anti-Calvinistic, his section on salvation is both dispensational in viewpoint and insightful and valuable for study. One need not agree with every statement to
recognize that the outline of God, man, sin, and Savior is presented well, including questions of salvation in this dispensation compared to the previous dispensation of the Law. Without doubt, a lost sinner could read Heaven and Hell and come to accept the gift of God by grace and through faith, and heaven would be their home someday.
A valuable witnessing tool
The book is a valuable tool in witnessing because it is a topic which is, at one time or another, on everyone’s mind. DPH is offering the book at a great price (regularly only $9.95, and available for $6.95 through December 31) so that you can have several copies on hand. Use it as a comforting gift to one who has lost a child in death, or lost a friend to suicide, or struggles with questions of faith and eternity. The book is written in a pastoral style, seeks to be faithful to Scripture, is easy-to-read and yet thorough in response to questions of eternity.
God bless you, Dr. Lightner, for your decades of ministry and for this latest contribution to dispensational thought.
Coming from DPH in 2018, Christ: His Church, His Cross, His Crown by Robert P. Lightner.
“Though Dr. Lighter is a Dispensational Calvinist…” I don’t understand something here: how can Dr.Lighter be a Calvinist when at the same time he has written a book The Death Christ Died (a book against Calvinism/TULIP)? Unless Dr.Lighter has changed his view…
Dr. Lightner is not a five-point Calvinist. He rejects Limited Atonement and has written great works on this subject.
Pastor Randy, in all due respect, I am genuinely puzzled by something. I just read an article that you wrote criticizing ecumenical initiatives that blur doctrinal distinctives. Yet here you are promoting a book written by a Calvinist on the subject of who goes to heaven and to hell, yet you have a strong doctrinal disagreement with the “unconditional election/ irresistible grace” teachings of Calvinism on the answer to that question. Does God genuinely want everyone to be saved, or did God deliberately leave some people in a state of total inability to respond to the gospel because He is glorified by sending them to suffer eternal torment as a demonstration of His holiness? If you and the author of this book disagree on a question of such enormous, overriding importance, why would you promote his book?
As one of Dr. Lightner’s friends and students, I want to assure Elizabeth Bush (and anyone else who may be unsure of Dr. Lightner’s views) that he is a thorough-going Dispensationalist, with a capital “D!!!” Anyone who doubts this may read his excellent book, “Last Days Handbook,” which is thoroughly dispensational, and which can be purchased, in any of its various editions, on Amazon. As a student of his, in one of his classes that I had with him–I believe it was his class on “Ecclesiology,” which is the doctrine of the Church–one of our textbooks for the class was Dr. Ryrie’s book “Dispensationalism.” Dr. Lightner was a personal friend of Dr. Ryrie. Dr. Lightner certainly believes in unlimited (NOT limited!) atonement. His views on this are set forth in his book, “The Death Christ Died,” subtitled, “A Biblical Case for Unlimited Atonement.” Again, this book–and I suggest the Revised Edition, published by Kregel–is also available on Amazon. Dr. Lightner is a committed Dispensationalist, in the mold of Dr. Ryrie, Dr. Walvoord, and Dr. Pentecost. I know this for a fact!