As George W. Bush recounts in his memoirs, Dr. Billy Graham says they are - and thus denies the Gospel.
If anyone is going to be angry at what I preach, I pray it will be for the right reason.
Simply put, there is no Christianity without confession of the Lordship of Christ.
We do not, as so many teach today, "make Jesus Lord" as though it were our decision. Every true believer confesses the fact that Jesus IS Lord.
What does it mean to truly confess Christ as Lord? To begin, we must understand what it does not mean.
J. C. Ryle comments, "If we search the Bible through, from Genesis to Revelation, we shall never find a more striking proof of Christ's power and mercy than the salvation of the penitent thief."
"This," comments J. C. Ryle, "is a point in the penitent thief's story which is fearfully overlooked."
J. C. Ryle's exposition of this account is a model of faithful exegesis of the text, and pastoral application to the needs of both saved and lost.
The nebulous term "encounter with Jesus" has largely replaced the precise language of the Biblical Gospel in postmodern Evangelicalism's vocabulary.
In just nine words in our English Bibles, the prayer of the dying thief gives us the vast height, breadth, and depth of the Gospel message.