If a Freemason Died Today…

“Freemasonry teaches that salvation may be attained by ‘good works’ and not through faith in Christ alone.”  The North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

If you are a Christian you have probably asked this question to someone at least once in your life:

“If you died today, do you know if God would accept you into Heaven?”

Every Sunday, in churches all across the world, this is a question that preachers ask as they prepare to give a gospel invitation to their audiences.  This same question is asked during the rest of the week as God’s people go throughout their cities to evangelize the lost.  Faithful Christian evangelists communicate the answer to this question clearly – those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will perish in Hell.  The correct answer to this question is easily supported by the Bible:

“Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.’” Acts 4:8-12

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.’” John 14:5-7

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14-15

This question is one of eternal consequence.  It is perhaps the most important question that can be asked.  The Christian answer to it is clear, but how do Freemasons answer this pivotal question?  The Masonic answer to this question is apparent from their official policies and funeral rights.

When any Master Mason dies, he is entitled to a Masonic burial.  Funeral rites are prescribed by Masonic handbooks and include readings, responses, and prayers.  Clearly, Masonic funeral rites (which are led by the “Worshipful Master” of an individual lodge) are religious services.  Yet, these services are not particular to any one religion.  A specific religious affiliation is not required to be a Freemason.  According to Cartersville Masonic Lodge 63 F&M[1] an absolute requirement for becoming a mason is to “have belief in a Supreme Being (of any faith. No particular religion or faith is required or excluded. All are welcome.)”  The Cartersville lodge claims that “Masonry is universal in its ideals.”

Any Master Mason is entitled to a Masonic funeral and Christian belief is not required to be a Freemason.  Thus, deceased non-Christian Freemasons can (and do) receive Masonic funeral services.  According to God’s word, non-Christians suffer for an eternity in Hell.  Yet, Masonic funeral rites do not indicate such, in fact, they indicate the opposite.

The funeral ceremony of the Mount Scopus Lodge A.F & A.M. includes the following language:

“My Brethren, the roll of the workmen has been called, and one Master Mason has not answered to his name. He has laid down the working tools of the Craft and with them he has left that mortal part for which he no longer has use. His labors here below have taught him to divest his heart and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting his mind as a living stone for that spiritual building — that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Strengthened in his labors here by faith in God, and confident of expectation of immortality, he has sought admission to the Celestial Lodge above.”

Clearly, there is an expectation that the dead Freemason (whether or not he accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior) will reach Heaven, or what the Freemasons call the “Celestial Lodge” of the “Great Architect of the Universe”.  Akin’s Lodge Manual, which was published by John W. Akin of Cartersville, GA, includes the following funerary language:

“Most glorious God, Author of all good and Giver of all mercy pour down thy blessings upon us…may we be induced so to regulate our conduct here that when the awful moment shall arrive that we are about to quit this transitory scene, the enlivening prospect of thy mercy may dispel the gloom of death; and after our departure hence in peace and in thy favor, may we be received into thine everlasting kingdom, and there enjoy, in union with the soul of our departed friends, the just rewards of a pious and virtuous life.  Amen!”

From a Christian worldview, this language is profoundly disturbing.  A dead non-Christian has no hope of receiving mercy from God.  He has no hope of being received into God’s kingdom.  His Christian friends will never again unite with him.  He is forever under the curse of sin, destined for Hell.  To make matters worse, the language of the funeral rite implies that getting to Heaven is the result of living a “pious and virtuous life.”  In other words, getting to Heaven is the result of living a good life and doing good works.  Scripture clearly and absolutely teaches that good works do not and cannot save.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

The language of the Masonic funeral rite cannot be said or believed by a Christian in good conscience.  It is a lie.  It contradicts God’s word.  This lie is more insidious than the Christian friends of Masons might know.  Akin’s manual actually includes alternate funeral language which is to be read when a Masonic funeral service is held at a church.[2]  The language designed for readings in front of a body of Christians does not include the language which indicates that works save.  Thus, Christians may be unaware of the unbiblical practices of their fellow church members who participate in Freemasonry…because they have been hidden from them.

Freemasons have one answer to the question “If you died today, do you know if God would accept you into Heaven?” at church and another at their lodge.  They are double-minded men.  Scripture teaches that a “double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, like the surf of the sea and driven and tossed by the wind.”  Unchecked, such men are dangerous to the health of a church.  If there are Freemasons at your church, scripture makes your duty clear.  Members of this secret society must be dealt with according to biblical standards:

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.” Ephesians 5:6-12

“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

As a Christian, it is your moral responsibility to call Freemasons to reject freemasonry in repentance.  If a Freemason refuses, thereby proving that his loyalty to his lodge is greater than his loyalty to Christ’s church, then he must be treated according to the prescription of 1 Corinthians 6:

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

This will not be easy…but then again taking up your cross and following Jesus is not supposed to be.  The most loving thing to do is call sinners to repentance.  The most Holy thing to do is to remove the wicked from the body.  Like the Israelites who suffered from the secret sin of Achan, the work of the local church will be hindered by the secret sins of its Masonic members.  The more Freemasons that infiltrate a church, the greater influence they have.  Freemasonry is not harmless.  It has temporal and eternal consequences.  It literally teaches a different, works-based gospel than the faith-based gospel taught in the Bible.

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Galatians 1:8

Because church membership is so prevalent among Freemasons, potential pastors should inform church pulpit committees that they will not countenance Freemasonry under their shepherding.  Church members should support their pastors and fellow church members who insist on exercising Biblical fidelity and church discipline in regards to Freemasonry.

After reading this you may be saying to yourself, “There have been Freemasons in my church for years.  They seem like good men.  I’ve never heard any of this before.  I didn’t know any of this.”

Well…you know it now.  Faithfulness to Christ is paramount.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

For an additional, first-hand resource on Masonic funeral rites, see the video below from Chrisitan Apologist John Ankerberg of Chattanooga, TN:

*I have resided in Cartersville, Georgia since 1996.  I write to you from the very town where Akin’s manual was written and is practiced.  This is a small town.  Pray for me that the Lord will protect me from any persecution that comes as a result of my taking of this biblical stand against an influential group.  If you need any help with this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  If you are a Freemason, I adjure you to abandon the craft.

**Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

[1] “F&M” refers to “Free and Accepted” masonry.  It is the mainstream form of masonry.  Free and Accepted lodges operate under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodges.  Cartersville #63 operates under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

[2] Many pastors do not allow Masonic funeral rites to be held in their church buildings.  Many of these same pastors, however, do not initiate church discipline on Masons.  This action is contradictory.  If a Mason can be a member in good standing, why can he not have a Masonic funeral in a church?

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@gsethdunn

Seth Dunn

Editor at Pulpit & Pen
Host of the Christian Commute Podcast
Member, Evangelical Theological Society
@gsethdunn

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