General Revelation Two

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    A very good question was asked in the prior thread, can a person be saved through General Revelation?

    The answer depends on whether we stick to what scripture says, i.e. scripture alone, or whether we make arguments based on "God's character" requires He would do this or that not mentioned in scripture.

    If we stick with scripture, then no, a person cannot be saved by General Revelation. We are saved by grace through faith, and faith in the name of Christ cannot be gleamed from General Revelation.

    The orthodox view is that of Exclusivism, where a person's faith in Christ must be credited as righteous in order to be saved under the New Covenant in His blood.

    Some folks seek to expand the application of Christ's atonement to those who faithfully acted in accordance with the light they had been given. The idea that folks would die in unbelief without an opportunity to trust in Christ would result in being carried to Hades was thought to be inconsistent with God's character. Thus an argument from silence, rather than the orthodox scripture alone doctrine everyone gives lip service to.

    None of the "inclusivism" arguments hold water, they simply ignore scripture. They turn faith in Christ into faithfulness to the whatever light was available. Many verses however teach no one goes to the Father except through Christ. The only and therefore exclusive way to heaven is through faith in Christ which provides our access to the grace we stand in.

    But what if God sends a dream or vision to those who were "faithful to their light" just as they are dying, so as to avoid the verse that says we die then face judgement, rather than a last chance offer of salvation. This is simply another argument from silence, asserting something that the Bible does not address, and therefore a violation of the scripture alone doctrine. Doctrines based on what the Bible does not preclude is like the claim God put invisible pink elephants in orbit around Mars. You can say with God anything is possible, and that God puts stuff in the heavens, and nowhere does scripture say God did not do it. All doctrines based on this idea it can be advocated because scripture does not deny it are without merit. Speculation is the mother of false doctrine.
     
  2. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    The categories of revelation commonly accepted are general, what we can discern about God through what He has made, i.e. creation; and special revelation, what God has revealed through his inspired words, visions and dreams to individuals chosen to be His prophets. This excludes what God has revealed to you or me with the light of the Holy Spirit, because God has not authenticated those insights such that they are meant for others to accept as His word. Rather they are limited to your or my understanding of God's revealed word found in scripture.

    So lets back up to the good guy born and raised where the gospel was never presented in any form understandable to him. He is condemned already because of unbelief, and how can one believe without a preacher? They cannot. This person faces perfect justice in the after life, no more and no less. He will not be punished for rejecting Jesus, but instead will be punished for doing what He knew was wrong, i.e. treating others differently than he would want to be treated.
     
  3. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    We should be clear as to what we think has been revealed by what God has made. What are the "invisible attributes" of God, what is His "eternal power" and his "divine nature." Is it not that God exists, that He is, and therefore creation declares "I AM!" Does creation not declare that God is good, lighting the day and providing for our needs. Yes wicked fools say there is no God but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

    But even though we knew God existed, and provided for our needs, did we give thanks? Nope. Instead we engaged in "speculation" and darkened our hearts. We became great theologians, professing to be wise, why I have greater knowledge than the other guy, we exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for man-made images. Our man-made gods allowed us to be proud, and seek the lusts of our heart, even to dishonoring our bodies. Unloving, unmerciful, greedy, arrogant and on and on. Therefore every man is without excuse, even though they never heard the gospel or were tutored by the Law.

    God will render to everyman according to his deeds, providing perfect justice for those with the Law and those apart from the Law.
     
  4. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Many Baptists believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Jesus. On the other hand, we have folks claiming God saves folks who die in unbelief because of their God's character or attributes or some other word for wholesale revision of God's stated revelation. The heaven's declare God's glory, but do not tell men to trust in Christ for salvation from the wrath of God because He is the Son of God and because He rose from the dead. To claim its in there, is akin to claiming a right to abortion is in the constitution. Merely an invention of men.

    Some assert "we are NOT saved by Grace through knowledge of correct doctrine, we are saved by Grace through faith. That grace is made possible by Christ's work and that FAITH is in God and his promises (God includes Christ obviously, but not all are made privy to the full doctrine of the Trinity)." So the claim is not that God credited the faith of OT saints as righteousness, which of course He did, the claim is God accepted that OT faith as sufficient and acceptable for God to make the person righteous by the blood of the Lamb. This of course has no support in scripture, it is an argument against scripture's revelation in Hebrews 11:39-40, where the OT saints had to wait in Abraham's bosom, until Christ's died as a ransom for all. They were not made perfect apart from the New Covenant saints.
     
    #4 Van, Oct 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2012
  5. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Anyone God places spiritually in Christ is reconciled to God, anyone not in Christ will be punished in the afterlife for their volitional sins. But prior to the incarnation of Christ, before the mystery of Christ had been revealed, God provided a way for believers to obtain salvation. OT saints were taken to Abraham's bosom, a place of comfort, until Christ's atonement for the sin of the world. Jesus preached the good news to them and then those that believed in the name of Jesus were taken to heaven, i.e. captivity led captive. But this one time opportunity is no more, Acts 17:30-31, because God has furnished proof to all men by raising Jesus from the dead.
     
  6. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Salvation is based on whether God credits our faith in Christ as righteousness or not. It is not based on doctrine, but on a genuine love of Christ and a willingness to march through fire for our Lord. However, there is no other name under heaven whereby a person may be saved.

    Now the idea of "believing in the name of Jesus" means we believe in what we have learned about Jesus from second hand sources, rather than from interacting with Jesus in the flesh 2000 years ago. Thus Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One chosen to redeem us as the Lamb of God.

    Would God send someone to Hell (i.e. Hades and Gehenna) due to unavoidable ignorance? Nope. How about being conceived in iniquity, and spiritually dead, separated from God. Yes. My view is not supported by a generalized assertion, i.e. a loving and just God would not do this, but on specific scriptures, i.e. John 3:18 says we are condemned already because of unbelief. Therefore before you believe, you are not uncondemned, but condemned already. When did this unbelief, i.e. lack of belief in the name of Jesus occur? At conception. We were "by nature" children of wrath before we were chosen.
     
  7. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Lets look at some of the verses thought to support Inclusivism:

    John 1:9: There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. The assertion here is that this verse means God gives the gospel light to everyone, including those who never heard the gospel. The actual message is the world did not know Him. Therefore they had not been enlightened. Thus as many as received him, even those who believed in His name, to them He gave the right to become children of God. So the context of the verse clearly teaches the assertion, universal enlightenment, is mistaken doctrine.

    Titus 2:11: 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, The assertion here is that to bring salvation to all men, it means all men understand and either accept or reject it. However, once again this assertion is mistaken. The first soil of Matthew 13 had the gospel presented, yet it remained unknown. So again the actual idea is the gospel of Christ provides the means of salvation to all men, but not all men are able to avail it. For example no one comes to Jesus unless drawn by the Father, and therefore, if you do not hear or learn, i.e. accept, embrace, the gospel, you are not drawn, just as the first soil was not drawn. John 12:32 says if I be high and lifted up, I will draw all men. But again, the idea is the men must "behold" Christ dying for them on the cross, and that insight escapes those who have hardened their hearts, and those who never "behold" i.e. never hear the gospel in the first place.

    Romans 2 teaches we condemn ourselves by treating others differently than we treat ourselves, we do not do unto others as we would have them do unto us. So even though we never heard the gospel, we piled up wrath against ourselves. Verse 6 teaches God will render to every one according to his or her deeds. Thus if a child dies before doing anything good or bad, (see Romans 9) he has not stored up any wrath. But he or she remains condemned and separated from God due to unbelief, John 3:18.

    Now verse 7 must be understood to apply to folks who have been born again, thus able to do good. Before that, all our works of righteousness are filthy rags.

    In verse 13 we have another verse that teaches we can be justified by being "doers" of the Law, which refers to "love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. The only folks able to keep those commandments and thus be doers of the law, are born again folks, made perfect in Christ.

    At the end of the passage we see that folks without the Law violate the law written on their hearts, and those with the law violate it, so everyone is under condemnation, and ignorance of the Law does not provide justification.

    Bottom line, there is no actual support for salvation of the innocent in scripture, but there is support for God rendering to the innocent such as babies and the feeble minded according to their deeds, which suggests a lack of punishment because they have not done anything bad.
     
  8. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    what is it that condemns a sinner though?

    is it they did not hear, or did not belive in Jesus?

    is it that they are found by God to be in Adam, and so are seenas condemned regardless if and when they hear of Jesus?
     
    #9 Yeshua1, Oct 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2012
  10. humblethinker

    humblethinker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is an interesting read. This was interesting quote by the author :

    "The inclusivist position has a long and distinguished history in the church. Such widely divergent thinkers as Justin, Thomas Aquinas, John Wesley, C. S. Lewis, and Pope John Paul II have affirmed it.[40] Today, it is the dominant view of the Roman Catholic Church and of mainline Protestants. Though the Eastern Orthodox Church has no officially sanctioned position, the inclusivistic views of Justin and other Greek fathers are widely cited with approval and many of the arguments for inclusivism are employed.[41] Inclusivism represents the closest thing to a consensus among Christians today."
     
  11. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Yes, lots of folks buy into the extra-biblical inventions used to support Inclusivism, but as we have seen, if we go back even 50 years, then the "closest thing to a consensus" was Exclusivism. Popular opinion does not make something true, only fidelity to God's word. BTW, did you note the statement excludes Evangelicals and Baptists? :)

    No one agrees I assume with the "extreme view" of universalism. Therefore those that buy into some parts of Inclusivism buy into

    1) Universal sending. However we know that lots of people never heard the gospel, i.e those that lived in the New World before 1400. I would be surprised if any of these ignorant folks became believers in the name of Christ via dreams or visions or that their faith based on the light of General Revelation was credited as righteousness. What do you think, Humblethinker?

    2) Some say the opportunity for post Mortem salvation is provided under the New Covenant. What do you think?
     
    #11 Van, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2012
  12. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    roman catholic Church provides for God to save other faith/religions, as they see catholics/Jews/Muslims worshipping same God, and hold that IF one is sincere intheir religion, that God will forgive their ignorance, for He sees that they would have embranced the catholic church as trure church IF they would have just known it!
     
  13. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Pitchback

    I think Baptists often disagree with RCC doctrine. You did not say what you believe, as a Baptist.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    that ALl who are saved is by the basis of the Cross of chrsit, that he died to secure salvation for His own, ALL those the Father granted unto Him!


    That in the Cross, God made provosion to have applied effectual grace towards infants/mentally challenged/small children salvation, and that for those who are accountible to him for sins, he has chosen to elect out a people unto himself, so he will make sure that they will somehow hear or read the gospel!
     
  15. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Extra-biblical doctrine divides our body

    1) We agree, everyone who is saved is saved on the basis of Christ being the Lamb of God.

    2) We disagree that Christ only died for the Elect and did not lay down His life as a ransom for all. My view is supported by scripture, yours is not.

    3) We disagree that God made provision for unbelief. Whoever believes, yes, but those in unbelief are condemned already. My view again is supported by scripture, yours is not.

    4) We disagree that God has chosen individuals before they believe, because scripture says we are chosen through faith in the truth. My view is supported by scripture, but your view is not.
     
  16. convicted1

    convicted1
    Expand Collapse
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    3
    General revelation doesn't save anyone. It can, and probably does, lead us to the One who does save. I knew that there was God from an early childhood. I was taught what Jesus did, and that there was/is God, Son, and Holy Ghost. These revelations did not save me, but it taught me that God did exist. Now, when God showed me how vile I really was, I knew this because of Who He really is. So, general revelation doesn't save, but it helps to a certain extent.
     
  17. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,023
    Likes Received:
    47
    Unbelief is NOT what condemns any, it is shown and evidenced by those who are still spiritually dead to God, seperated from Him!

    God saves us by His Will and choosing, based upon the Cross, and received by us thru faith!
     
  18. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    I did not see any reference to the Bible, just assertions that the Bible is not true. John 3:18.
     
  19. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Spot on, Convicted1!!
     

Share This Page

Loading...