My response was, "Wow, Paul Crouch died!" First, let me say I was not surprised that he died. The bible says all men will die and then comes a judgment. (Hebrews 9:27) Second, it is not because I have any interest, affiliation, affection, or connection to Paul Crouch.
See, my first thought was, "Where is he?" "Did he make it?" "Where will he spend eternity?" Why did I think of such things? Simply because if there were a "poster-child" for Matthew 7:21-23, I believe it would be Paul Crouch.
He was a false teacher. He was a heretic. He preached a false gospel. I do not believe that Mr. Crouch really knew the gospel of Christ and the New Testament. I believe Crouch regularly said, "Lord, Lord!' But I do not believe he knew the Lord. Let me say, I do not know his heart or anyone's heart. I am not a judge of or for redemption. But I do know how to observe fruit and I do know how to recognize, mark, and avoid a heretic. (Romans 16:17)
What is my point? It certainly is not to cast more pain in the direction of the Crouches at this time. However, I think we can learn four things from his (life) and death.
First - Not everyone who claims to be a believer, preacher or miracle worker is truly such. Matthew made that clear - prophesying, casting out demons, and doing wonders or miracles does not justify nor demonstrate justification.
Second - it behooves us to study diligently the doctrine of salvation and to understand it as God gave it. Eternal life is to know God, the one true and living God. (The Gospel of John)
Third - it should grieve us tremendously when the Enemy is able to deceive and trap in darkness a precious soul. If in fact God never redeemed Paul Crouch in spite of his hideous doctrine, my heart is heavy with sorrow for his soul, Christ's glory, and his family.
Fourth - Life is short and it is fragile. It needs to be handled with prayer. The apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthians to examine themselves in order to be sure that they were actually believers. They were to examine the evidence and be "convicted" by it that they were of the faith.
How about you? Do you really know Him? Has God converted your soul? Are you counting on your race, your ritual, your religion, or your results for eternal redemption. Turn from your idols to the living and true God/