David Bancroft: “To say that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is not a politically correct thing to say.”
13176 Mapleview Street, Lakeside
Pastor: David Bancroft
Born: Phoenix, AZ
Formation: Phoenix Christian High School, Phoenix; Biola University, La Mirada; Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX
Years Ordained: 45
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor David Bancroft: Jesus Christ. He’s the center of scripture and I teach the scripture — and you can’t miss him if you’re studying the Bible. Jesus is the heart of Christianity — if you take him out, you don’t have Christianity. You need to understand who he is, the Son of God, God himself, the eternal God.
SDR: What is your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PB: By and large, culturally, there is a turning away from the Bible being our authority. When I was growing up, years ago, you’d hear the Bible quoted in the news, in newspaper, and so forth, but not so much anymore. With the postmodernism that seems to permeate our culture, everyone’s views seem to have equal value, rather than the Bible being the authority. That’s a real struggle because there’s not much discussion about what the Bible teaches. People say, “That’s what the Bible says, but it’s not what I believe.” If we don’t have a final authority, then the sky’s the limit — you can go in any direction you want…. To say that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is not a politically correct thing to say, but it’s certainly what the Bible says. So, if you say the Bible says that is the case, it doesn’t mean anything to many people. But scripture says very clearly, “I am the way.” Not “a way” but “the way.”
SDR: What is the mission of your church?
PB: The mission of the church is what Jesus said — we’re going to make followers and learners — disciples of Jesus Christ. There’s a lot that entails doing that — but the bottom line is to introduce him to people as their savior and teach them to observe the things that he has commanded. Matthew 28 talks about that. The main command there is to make disciples. We’re not disciples of Baptists or Presbyterians but of Jesus Christ.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PB: I understand that as soon as I take my last breath here I’m going to be in the Lord’s presence. John 3:16 makes pretty clear the two alternatives. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whoever believes in him will not perish.” That’s the only alternative for having eternal life. Now, there is hell — the Bible does speak of it as a place for those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior will spend eternity there. That’s not my word; that’s what the Bible says. That’s why a lot of people don’t want to accept the Bible. They don’t want to accept that teaching. I didn’t make that up. In fact, I had a lady come by one day and she asked, “Do you people here teach about hell?” I asked her, “Is it in the Bible?” She says, “Oh, yes, it’s there.” I said, “Well, we teach the Bible here.” That was my answer to her. We can’t pick and choose, and it’s an awful lot to think of people being separated from God for eternity — that’s part of the urgency we have in sharing the message of Christ with those around us.