1. Joined
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    13 May '07 23:154 edits
    to the people who have never heard of God or the bible. They have never had the opportunity to read the bible, given their remote location. They have never met a Christian in their life. What will happen to them? Basically, there's a whole lot of people you have to consider. As soon as Jesus died and left his message, everyone had to believe or perish. So, only a select few will go to heaven in the beginning, due to their good chance of location near Jesus. Is this a just and loving God, or a God of luck?
  2. Melbourne, Australia
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    13 May '07 23:19
    Originally posted by Zander 88
    to the people who have never heard of God or the bible. They have never had the opportunity to read the bible, given their remote location. They have never met a Christian in their life. What will happen to them?
    The same thing that will happen to you and I.
    Absolutely nothing.
  3. Standard membergenius
    Wayward Soul
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    14 May '07 09:532 edits
    Originally posted by Zander 88
    to the people who have never heard of God or the bible. They have never had the opportunity to read the bible, given their remote location. They have never met a Christian in their life. What will happen to them? Basically, there's a whole lot of people you have to consider. As soon as Jesus died and left his message, everyone had to believe or perish. So, ...[text shortened]... e to their good chance of location near Jesus. Is this a just and loving God, or a God of luck?
    it's a hard question, and i'm not compltly sure of the answer. but if we take Romans 2:12-16 a bit out of context we get some clues...

    "(12)All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (13)For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (14)(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, (15)since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (16)This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

    it's taken a bit out of context i know, but the gist is the same-you don't have to have heard about Jesus to be saved. If you have never heard about him then you shall be judged through your faith and your deeds. even if you have never heard about Jesus, but you still love your neighbour, you feed the hungry and clothe the poor, you shall be saved. i mean, matthew 25:31-46 gives a rather vivid description of judgement day with a clear message of what we must do. it's simple. feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, invite the stranger into your house and look after the vulnerable.

    show love, and you shall recieve love. love covers a multitude of offences! 🙂
  4. Cape Town
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    14 May '07 10:011 edit
    Originally posted by Zander 88
    Is this a just and loving God, or a God of luck?
    Justice and forgiveness are incompatible concepts.

    Also knightmeister in another thread argues that if you have enough knowledge of God or Jesus to make an informed decision then your decision will be caused and thus not free. So he claims that God must keep you in the dark in order to maintain free will.
  5. RDU NC
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    14 May '07 17:12
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Justice and forgiveness are incompatible concepts.

    Also knightmeister in another thread argues that if you have enough knowledge of God or Jesus to make an informed decision then your decision will be caused and thus not free. So he claims that God must keep you in the dark in order to maintain free will.
    As a Believer, I absolutely agree with you that "justice" and forgiveness" are completely incompatible.

    Justice must be satisfied before there can be forgiveness.

    That is why Jesus is called, for Believers, the Propitiation. He bore the wrath that was do the Believer for his/her sins. Justice was therefore satisfied, and forgiveness was made available.
  6. RDU NC
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    14 May '07 17:15
    Originally posted by genius
    it's a hard question, and i'm not compltly sure of the answer. but if we take Romans 2:12-16 a bit out of context we get some clues...

    "(12)All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (13)For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those wh ...[text shortened]... able.

    show love, and you shall recieve love. love covers a multitude of offences! 🙂
    I can't agree with this.
    If people start taking the passages of the Bible out of context, then they could twist them to mean whatever they wanted.
    I'm sure that's how you arrived at your idea of a strictly works-based salvation.
    The Bible as a whole tells us that salvation is a free gift of God's grace obtained through faith, so that we may participate in good works.
  7. RDU NC
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    14 May '07 17:26
    Originally posted by Zander 88
    to the people who have never heard of God or the bible. They have never had the opportunity to read the bible, given their remote location. They have never met a Christian in their life. What will happen to them? Basically, there's a whole lot of people you have to consider. As soon as Jesus died and left his message, everyone had to believe or perish. So, ...[text shortened]... e to their good chance of location near Jesus. Is this a just and loving God, or a God of luck?
    There are many people who are Believers that would differ on how to answer this.
    As a Believer, I must rely on the Bible to tell me of these things. My desire would be that everybody goes to Heaven, especially those who have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, the Bible does not support this.
    I'm sure you've heard some of these passages before, but these are the ones I'd use to support nobody goes to Heaven apart from the hearing of and believing in the Gospel.

    Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. Noone comes to the Father but by me." So, with Jesus, one cannot go to Heaven.


    "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" (Romans 10:13-15) Good news is the modern rendition of the old English word "Gospel" which in Greek evangelion from where we get the word evangelism. Therefore, according to the Bible people must go to these people who have never heard and preach the gospel to them or they cannot be saved.

    Part of the good news, however, is that we are told in Revelation that all peoples will be saved. Notice I did not say all people, but rather people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. This goes way beyond current political borders. It breaks it down to families, languages (dialects even), and countries. This means, that at some point, the Gospel will reach all these people groups, and some of all them will be saved.
  8. Joined
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    14 May '07 18:02
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    There are many people who are Believers that would differ on how to answer this.
    As a Believer, I must rely on the Bible to tell me of these things. My desire would be that everybody goes to Heaven, especially those who have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But, the Bible does not support this.
    I'm sure you've heard some of ...[text shortened]... nt, the Gospel will reach all these people groups, and some of all them will be saved.
    If God is a loving and just being, why doesn't he give everybody an equal chance to believe in him? With your answer, you accept that God doesn't care about those unfortunately born away from Christianity's message. You do say at some point the gospel will be spread in every corner of the world. I guess it's too bad for the others who got screwed for being born in ancient times.
  9. Joined
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    14 May '07 18:23
    Originally posted by genius
    it's a hard question, and i'm not compltly sure of the answer. but if we take Romans 2:12-16 a bit out of context we get some clues...

    "(12)All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (13)For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those wh ...[text shortened]... able.

    show love, and you shall recieve love. love covers a multitude of offences! 🙂
    I know it's a tought question, but I feel it's best to answer them rather than avoid them. Thanks for your time.

    You do believe God is loving and just. Only problem is you accept that a person can be saved without knowing Jesus, without understanding his message. You admit religion is not needed to go to heaven. You only need to live a loving and compassionate life.
  10. RDU NC
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    14 May '07 18:37
    Originally posted by Zander 88
    If God is a loving and just being, why doesn't he give everybody an equal chance to believe in him? With your answer, you accept that God doesn't care about those unfortunately born away from Christianity's message. You do say at some point the gospel will be spread in every corner of the world. I guess it's too bad for the others who got screwed for being born in ancient times.
    I do not accept that God doesn't care about them. I do, however, believe the other things I wrote, specifically that "justice" must be met, or God cannot forgive. If He forgave without satisfying His justice, then He would not be just. He poured his Justice out on Christ instead of on those who believe.
    It's not unfair that they haven't heard the Gospel yet. It's unfair that Christ had to die for us. We do not deserve this gift.
  11. Joined
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    14 May '07 18:523 edits
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    I do not accept that God doesn't care about them. I do, however, believe the other things I wrote, specifically that "justice" must be met, or God cannot forgive. If He forgave without satisfying His justice, then He would not be just. He poured his Justice out on Christ instead of on those who believe.
    It's not unfair that they haven't heard the Gospel yet. It's unfair that Christ had to die for us. We do not deserve this gift.
    Are you saying God created us to burn in hell? Is that love?

    Let's go back to the Adam and Eve story. Basically, God is condemning all of mankind because of what they did. Let me ask you a question. Do you think we should punish an innocent child for what their parents did? Is that justice?
  12. Standard membergenius
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    14 May '07 20:12
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    I can't agree with this.
    If people start taking the passages of the Bible out of context, then they could twist them to mean whatever they wanted.
    I'm sure that's how you arrived at your idea of a strictly works-based salvation.
    The Bible as a whole tells us that salvation is a free gift of God's grace obtained through faith, so that we may participate in good works.
    perhaps, but i don't think it is taken completly out of context and so should definatly be looked at and pondered over
  13. Joined
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    15 May '07 01:532 edits
    Originally posted by genius
    perhaps, but i don't think it is taken completly out of context and so should definatly be looked at and pondered over
    Look at the message brought by Jesus. One is to live a life of love, compassion, justice, etc.. while denying desires of the self(pride, greed, lust). If an individual lived such a life, whether or not the individual had acknowledged Jesus as his saviour, he still lived a righteous life.

    However you might want to rethink the bit about love overcoming a multitude of offenses. It seems repentance is absolutely required.
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    15 May '07 06:312 edits
    Originally posted by Big Mac
    I can't agree with this.
    If people start taking the passages of the Bible out of context, then they could twist them to mean whatever they wanted.
    I'm sure that's how you arrived at your idea of a strictly works-based salvation.
    The Bible as a whole tells us that salvation is a free gift of God's grace obtained through faith, so that we may participate in good works.
    A “free gift” ... “obtained through”? That’s a transaction, not a gift. Or do you mean that faith is the act of accepting the gift?

    ___________________________________

    >> NRS James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

    Now, James is not dispensing with faith. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews (11:31) said: “ By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had received the spies in peace.” James, however, can be read as context for Paul, as well as the other way around.

    Faith is not just “believing” (in the general contemporary sense of assent to a proposition). In the example that genius was responding to, the person had no access to such belief; and genius did say “your faith and your deeds.”

    _________________________________

    With regard to John 14:6—

    >> NRS John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through (Greek: di/dia) me.”

    In it’s causative usage (as opposed to spatial or temporal usage) dia can mean by means of, on account of, for the sake of, or on behalf of.

    In addition, if the person in Zander’s example acts as genius outlined, he could be considered as acting according to “the way, the truth and the life” in his deeds. In that manner, he is demonstrating faithfulness—not to a creed, but to the divine way, truth and life.

    Many scholars also take the Johannine “I am” (ego eimi) statements of Jesus to reflect his divinity as the pre-existing logos of God, who is God (John 1:1), and through whom all things were “begotten” (egeneto—John 1:3). In that way, Jesus is not speaking of himself “after the flesh.”

    As the early church father Justin Martyr (d. 165 C.E.) put it—

    “Christ is the first-born of God, his Logos, in whom all people share. That is what we have learned and what we bear witness to ... All who have lived in accordance with the Logos are Christians, even if they have been reckoned atheists, as among the Greeks Socrates, Heraclitus and the like.”


    _________________________________

    The purpose of evangelism is, as Paul said, “the message of reconciliation”—

    >> NRS 2nd Corinthians 5:10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. 12 We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    The message of reconciliation for “all,” is of a reconciliation accomplished by God. Those who are not “in Christ,” for whom everything old has not passed away, are those who choose to believe that such reconciliation for all—including themselves—is not possible. They want reconciliation based on their own merit—whether merit of deeds or merit of faith.

    Note, here, however, that even “believers” (“For all of us...” ) receive recompense (or “receive back” ) for their deeds, good or bad. Justice is included if the recompense is just. But the reconciliation will not be defeated by the wickedness or stubbornness or lack of knowledge of people. The euaggalion is complete.

    Or, I should say— Either the euaggalion of God’s reconciling all the world to himself in Christ will be complete, or not. If you are correct that those who never hear the Gospel are excluded—or even if those who die physically while still refusing cannot be reconciled after death—then all the world will not have been reconciled. Scripturally, how you come down on that question depends largely on which texts you use to contextualize others, and how.

    Epiphenehas has argued cogently from scripture that I am wrong. It is his view (if I am not mis-interpreting him) that “all” refers only to the “elect,” chosen by God from the beginning. Others view “all” as referring only to those who accept Christ in this life. I view “all” as all; and that, if the recompense for all can take place after death, so can the reconciliation for all—though perhaps not until after the recompense.
  15. Standard membergenius
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    15 May '07 08:44
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Look at the message brought by Jesus. One is to live a life of love, compassion, justice, etc.. while denying desires of the self(pride, greed, lust). If an individual lived such a life, whether or not the individual had acknowledged Jesus as his saviour, he still lived a righteous life.

    However you might want to rethink the bit about love overcoming a multitude of offenses. It seems repentance is absolutely required.
    1 peter 4:8

    "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
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