Can a person be saved apart from access to the Bible or a Church or Religion?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by beameup, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. beameup

    beameup
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    For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;
    to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
    as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
    Romans 1:16-17
     
  2. Alive in Christ

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    Why, of course they can.

    All are given the understanding that there is a God that they are accountable to...


    (many others of course)

    All men and women know that there is a God.


    In addition, God gives potentially saving "light" to every person who is born into the world...

    Glory to God
     
  3. Mark_13

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    I personally would say yes. The purpose of the gospel is making it explicit, proclaiming unequivocally to all who have not heard - "You're sins are forgiven through Christ, as attested by the Apostles through miracles, etc", so that all who have faith may believe.

    But this does not rule out certain individuals who already have faith in the true God, in spite of perhaps being in a setting wherein the official religion of their culture is essentially demonic, being somehow able to sift through all that and follow through faith the true God, as evidenced by a life of righteousness, love, etc.

    The verses that seem to me to speak to this matter are the following.

    (John 14:19-23) "After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

    (Rom 2:14-16) For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.


    I could be wrong, honestly, regarding at least the Romans passage above, which may not be implying that people who have never heard the gospel can be saved, but it sounds that way.
     
  4. MB

    MB
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    All anyone needs to be saved is to hear the gospel and believe it.
    MB
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    Let me throw in a couple of questions to stir the pot.

    We all agree that the heavens declare the glory of God. But what do they declare about Jesus?

    The gospels declare the glory of God, and of His Son, Jesus. But what if you've never heard the gospel?

    We all agree that Jesus is the Light of the world. But how does that potentially saving light become a real saving light to those who don't know about the Light?
    How does that work?

    If people can be saved independently of the gospel, what's the point of sending missionaries? (I know, we're commanded to do it by Jesus himself. But why, if people don't need the gospel to be saved?).

    If, as Paul says, people are saved through the foolishness of preaching; if the gospel is the "power of God to salvation," how can we conclude that God will by some other way save people who've never heard the gospel.

    Are there two ways to be saved? One for those who hear the gospel and another for those who don't.

    If one takes the view that all have heard of Jesus, or all have heard the gospel, please explain how that happened without a preacher?
     
    #5 Tom Butler, Feb 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2012
  6. Tom Butler

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    Actually, there are two other ways to be saved besides repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

    One, you must live a perfect life without sin. Jesus commanded us to do that in Matthew 5:48
    Basically, that's keeping the law perfectly.

    So, if you can live a sinless life, you're home free.

    Two, Romans 2:14ff gives the other way. Live perfectly by your own personal moral code. That's what Paul meant when he talked about the Gentiles being a law unto themselves.

    Since the law is written on their hearts, their conscience warns of the existence of a law. So if they can obey perfectly their own moral code, they're home free.

    Of course, there are problems. None of us has ever been able to perfectly obey Jesus' command to be perfect. Oh, shoot, I'm in trouble then.

    And no on has been able to live up to their own moral code. When their conscience kicks in, it's because they've violated the law written on their hearts. Oops, we all know how that works. Maybe I'm the only one who knew what was right and didn't do right.

    Of course, even if we could get to the point where we no longer sin (some folks think they're there), it's too late. We're already sinned before.

    So, the conclusion is obvious. Those who have never heard the gospel will not be judged for rejecting Jesus, of whom they have never heard. They will be judged against their own moral code.

    And they will have no excuse.
     
  7. Mark_13

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    Because its more efficient and efficacious than someone having to figure it out on their own.

    The Gospel is explicit confirmation from an outside source what perhaps the Holy Spirit was already conveying to certain individuals. Its about making it public. There's also a warfare analogy here - going into a foreign culture and helping to dismantle their false religions and the demons they harbor by proclaiming the true gospel for all to hear.
    --------------
    That last part may be overstating the case - Paul wasn't concerned with overthrowing cultural paganism I guess. He wasn't going around saying, "tear down all your idols". So I don't know.
     
    #7 Mark_13, Feb 16, 2012
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  8. Amy.G

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    I assume this is sarcasm?

    Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved. "I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by ME."

    The Law was never intended to save. It is only the schoolmaster that shows us our sin.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    How refreshing! :thumbsup:
    We should all say that more often. There wouldn't be nearly as many fights. And we might actually learn from one another.
     
  10. 12strings

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    I think Romans 10 gives some strong evidence that those who do not hear the gospel will not be saved. Consider the following:

    -Paul prays that his fellow Jews, who have a zeal for God, would be saved. Why doesn't he think they are saved? Because their zeal is misplaced, not according to true knowledge of reality. They have a zeal for God that motivates them to pursue good works and "establish" their own righteousness...Paul wishes they would be saved, that is come to true knowledge that righteousness comes from God through Christ.

    -Believe and confess Jesus...you will be saved.

     
  11. Mark_13

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    Tom Butler #6 -

    Your points considered.

    However, do you think that prior to Christ, (B.C.) that aside from a certain number of Jews and gentile converts to Judaism, that the remaining population of the World all went to Hell? If not, who among them were saved and how.
     
  12. Mark_13

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    Note that it doesn't say, "No one who does not call on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    ------
    And also, I think its highly significant that the rest of the passage is phrased as questions, as opposed to assertions. Its not saying flat out, I don't believe, that no one who has never been preached to or read the scripture will be saved.
    ---------
    That's a lot of negatives to parse - hopefully that's not confusing.
     
    #12 Mark_13, Feb 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2012
  13. Tom Butler

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    Amy, you and I are in total agreement.

    The point I was trying to make is this: If we could live a sinless life from birth to death, God would let us into heaven-----but we can't, we don't and our disobedience is willful.

    If we could live up to our own moral code, God would let us into heaven----but we can't, and we don't and such violation of one's own moral code is willful.

    That's why Jesus came, died and rose again, taking the punishment we all deserve.

    One might argue that God would not command us to be perfect, if it was impossible to be perfect. My response is that God can't say, "i know you can't keep this commandment, so I'll cut you some slack. A little sin, ah, that's okay."

    That's why you are so right that the law is a schoolmaster--to show us beyond a shadow of a doubt that we can't, and our only hope is to turn to the Lord Jesus.
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    If would be helpful if you would explain how one figures it out on his own.

    It would also be helpful to explain how the Holy Spirit conveys to individuals how to be saved.
     
  15. Mark_13

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    (John 3:8) "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

    Also, did everyone prior to A.D. 33 aside from Jews and Gentile converts to Judaism all go to Hell. If not, who was saved and how.
     
  16. Tom Butler

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    Galatians 3:6
    Genesis 15:6
    God imputed righteousness to Abraham as a result of his faith.

    Translation: Abraham was saved by faith, just as we are.

    Conclusion: Those who do not have faith in God........(fill in the blanks)
     
  17. Skandelon

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    Dang it! I was soooo close!! :smilewinkgrin:
     
  18. Skandelon

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    I suppose we could ask the thief who hung next to Christ? :)
     
  19. Tom Butler

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    If this is your proof text for the Holy Spirit's saving work independently of the gospel, it would be strongly bolstered by instances in the scriptures where this actually happened.

    See my post #16.
     
  20. Tom Butler

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    I hope you'll forgive a slight diversion from the discussion for a story:

    A preacher was going strong one Sunday. In the midst of his message, he asked the question, "Have any of you ever lived a perfect life? Do you know anyone who is or was perfect?

    "Anybody?"

    In the back, a hand slowly went up from an elderly fellow.

    Uh, yes, brother, you on the back row. You know somebody who was perfect? Tell us then, who was it?

    The elderly gentleman said timidly, "My wife's late first husband."

    Okay, back to the discussion.
     

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