Hardsheller asked a good and real question and the response is not one I want to bury on page seven or whatever of another thread. He asked a non-Calvinist to explain how we thought anyone could be saved apart from predestination, with particular reference to those who have never heard of Christ. Here is something I sat down this afternoon and wrote for you, Hardsheller. It is not Calvinist. It is not non-Calvinist. It is biblical and it is history. I hope it helps. In Christ, Helen Setterfield ******** If one is saved only through Christ, there is a legitimate question that arises: How were people in the time before Christ saved? How are people who have never heard of Christ saved? Or all they all doomed to hell? In Revelation 13:8 we read that Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation (or creation, depending on which translation you are using) of the world. Thus, the price for sin was paid from before creation in fact, although it was worked out in time in earth’s history. At the very least this indicates a potential for salvation from the beginning of creation. In Genesis 3, when God is pronouncing the consequences of disobedience to Adam and Eve, He tells Satan that there will be a Savior from the ‘seed’ of the woman (indicating a virgin birth). When Eve gave birth to Cain, her firstborn, what she said is NOT what is recorded in modern translations. In the Hebrew the actual words are “I have been given a man-child, YHWH.” In other words, she seemed to have thought that this was the promised seed which would crush the head of the serpent. We know she was wrong, and I can only imagine her horror when this child turned out to be the world’s first murderer. But the Promise was there, and known. We can only guess that when the Promised One did not appear (or was imitated by someone evil), that people gradually started to disbelieve the promise. Adam and Eve were, perhaps, thought by some of their descendents to be just crazy old people who didn’t know what life was really like (sound familiar?). At any rate, by the time of Noah, he was the only preacher of righteousness left on earth. All righteousness is in Christ, and so we know that Noah knew of the Promise and believed in it. He was saved both physically through the Flood and spiritually through his faith. His faith was in the Promise, which is how Christ would have been understood before the Cross. That this Promise was known by Noah and immediately after the Flood is clear. For Job, who was probably Peleg’s nephew – Joktan’s son Jobab (Gen. 10:29), declares “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27). Skip to Abraham. He knew the Promise, and was reminded of it by God in a way that shows us that the Promise was available to ALL men alive on earth before Christ. In Genesis 15, Abraham asks God about an heir and “Then the word of the Lord came to him: “…a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ Abram believed the Lord and he credited to him as righteousness.” It might seem that this is the second of three possible times God promised Abraham that many people would come from him. But although that promise is clear in Gen. 13:16 and then again later in Gen. 17:16, Paul himself writes what the meaning of the exchange in Genesis 15 was: “The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Gal. 3:16) There is a clue as to what went on with Abram and God in Genesis 15 in the word translated ‘count.’ It can also mean ‘recount’ as in ‘tell’. What was it Abram was to recount, or tell, in the stars? Although this is often argued, there is good evidence that the Gospel story itself was written in the zodiac – something which has been grossly perverted since then. But a strange piece of evidence regarding the peoples’ knowledge of the meaning is even today in Egypt. It is the sphinx. With the head of a woman and the body of a lion, she points to the first and last signs of the zodiac. The story started with the virgin and ended with the Lion of Judah. A further bit of evidence is in the fact that the meaning of the star names is the same in every ancient language. This is partially detailed in this article: http://www.ldolphin.org/zodiac/index.html (The fact that Abraham believed this to be reference to Christ coming from his body can be found when he took Isaac up on the mountain to sacrifice him. In Genesis 22:5, Abraham instructs his servants to wait "while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then WE will come back to you." He expected them both to come back, even though he knew he was going to slay his son. Nevertheless, possibly believing his son to be the Promised One, he also knew, then, that the boy would be resurrected and that death could not hold him.) A further bit of evidence regarding this being in the stars is found in the Bible. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; Night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language Where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, Their words to the ends of the world” Psalm 19 Paul makes reference to this in Romans 17-18: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’” And, in Isaiah, we read that although man named the animals, God named the stars (40:26). So when Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God, and their night after night they display KNOWLEDGE, and when Paul refers to this as people hearing the word of Christ, then we can presume that the ‘glory of God’ Psalm 19 refers to is not the pretty twinkling of the stars, but rather Christ, Himself, who, as the writer to the Hebrews tells us “is the radiance of God’s glory ad the exact representation of his being.” (1:3) We may add to all this evidence of people always knowing enough to believe the testimony of so many missionaries who have come back stunned to report that the people already knew something of what they were there to tell them. Whether it is Bruce Olsen with the Motilone Indians in Colombia, or Don Richardson with people in the South Pacific and Asia, or Gladys Alward with the Chinese, the story remains the same – God has left something – He has made sure something remained. Enough to believe in the Promise of God and that God Himself would rescue men from their condition. It’s in the ancient writings of other religions as well, such as Hinduism. Long since buried and ignored, the writings still exist in the oldest texts. And this should not surprise us. After all, the story of creation itself as well as the Flood can be found in legend after legend of the ancients. The message, the story, had been passed down. How much more so the very Promise of God, especially if God Himself had written it in the heavens? And Christ is that Promise. We have the name – Jesus, or Y’shua – to attach to it, and the history of the Incarnation. But the reality was there all along, just as Job declared. “I know my Redeemer lives.” And if a person believed in that Promise – that God Himself would rescue men, then that was faith in Christ. As Paul said, yes, they knew. They all have always known, at least in part. At least enough for salvation. For Peter was correct to write that God is not willing that one should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God has left no one out. All are invited. Provision was made for all. The invitation and message have been available to all.