proclaimg the Gospel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    In a discussion with my father, he believe the "great commission" is the only tool used to spread the Gospel today, and therefore, some will never hear the Gospel message preached. I believe this tends to make men responsible for the salvation of others, limiting God's power. My father believes due to this very reason, some will never hear the Gospel due to geographical location, and die in their sins. Thoughts on how and who will spread the Gospel to those in remote locations? Do you believe there will be some in hell who have never heard the Gospel preached to them?
     
  2. canadyjd

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    webdog

    I Cor. 1:21, "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe."

    The message is Christ crucified. The method is preaching. That is the plan of God. How and who will spread the Gospel to these remote locations? As my missions prof said...Why not you?

    And yes, it is abundantly clear that most in hell will never have heard the gospel preached to them.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  3. LorrieAB

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    Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

    Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

    2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
    2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
    2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

    Looks to me from Scripture that the faith and the Gospel will be spoken of and preached throughout the whole world and it is because of willing ignorance that lack of knowlage will destroy His people; then shall the end come.

    We are not responsible FOR their salvation but to tell them OF it when we have a chance, then hopefully the Holy Spirit will convict them:

    Eze 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
    Eze 3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

    Hope this helps you and your dad.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Absolutely, there will be untold multitudes in Hell who have never heard the Gospel preached to them. If there were some way for the Japanese to get to Heaven without hearing the Gospel, then why did I leave my beloved family, a good job in a Christian ministry and my homeland 24 1/2 years ago, giving it all up to give the Gospel to the Japanese?

    I know Buddhism and Shintoism better than most Japanese (they don't often study their own religions), and I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing in these religions or in this society or culture to draw the Japanese closer to God. On the contrary, everything they know serves to drive them away from God, just as Romans 1 teaches, so that "they are without excuse."

    The sovereign God has, through the Great Commission, entrusted believers and churches to get the Gospel out into the whole world. This is the method He has chosen. Nothing else is said in the Bible to be the "power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). There is no other name but that of Christ by which we must be saved. He is the way, the truth and the life (definite articles on all three of those in the Greek). There is no other way, truth or life.

    So, to all who read this, have you ever offered yourself to the Lord to become a missionary if it is His will? If not, you need to kneel and pray and offer your entire life on the altar to Christ. Nothing else is worthy of Him.
     
  5. webdog

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    If there are people in hell who have never heard the Gospel message...those people in essence were created for hell. What do you do with Revelation 14:6?
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, webdog.

    I simply cannot agree that if people are in Hell who have never heard the Gospel message, then that means they were created for Hell. The Bible is very clear here.

    (1) No one was created for Hell. In fact, the Bible teaches that hell itself was created "for the devil and his angels.
    (2) All people were created in God's image and to glorify Him. But we are fallen and sinful.
    (3) All of us deserve Hell, even if we go to Heaven. To God, even the "righteousness" of a lost person is as "filthy rags" (Is. 64:6). We can only go to Heaven by God's grace.
    (4) No one can blame God that people go to Hell who have not heard the Gospel. Each person, whether he or she has heard the Gospel, is responsible for acting upon what light he or she has. If they do not do so, Romans 1 teaches that they are "without excuse," since they have a conscience but do not obey it, and the heavens declare the glory of God but they ignore it.

    Concerning Rev. 14:6, I have no problem with this passage. It prophesies something that happens in a different dispensation. (I am a reluctant, unwilling adherent of dispensationalism. ;) ) God is perfectly able to send out an angel with the Gospel in the tribulation period when He has chosen not to in the church age.

    God bless.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    By the way, webdog, I think it's great you are discussing theology with your Dad. I believe that's my favorite activity with my own son. We two just got our MA's in Biblical Studies together this past furlough, only he is now working on his M. Div. and will thus soon pass me. He wins these discussions more and more. ;) [​IMG]
     
  8. Linda64

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    Hell was not created for man, but for the devil and his angels:

    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41)

    With the technology today and missionaries going out all over the world, I think the Gospel will reach to the uttermost parts of the earth. Those who hear and reject salvation are without excuse:

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (Romans 1:18-20)

    Nobody will be in Hell because he/she has not heard the Gospel--people will be in Hell simply because they choose to be there, by rejecting the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.
     
  9. webdog

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    I guess my question is...where does it say in the Bible that God has not chosen to use anyone/anything other than believers to spread the Gospel? Revelation 14:6 shows that an angel will preach the Gospel during the tribulation, however, it really is silent on the roles of angels during this age in regards to preaching the Gospel. The Bible does say that angels are God's ministers...I'm sure they are all around us everyday and we do not know them. I tend to think that if someone needs to hear the Gospel and they are actively searching, God will provide a way being man, angels, whatever.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi again, webdog.

    I thought about your question long and hard while I was out distributing tracts today. Here's what I came up with. Based on angelology in the Bible, I don't think angels are really equipped to effectively share the Gospel. I think the angel in Revelation gives the Gospel just as a last warning to people, a way to say to humans, "Look, you wouldn't get saved even if an angel gives you the Gospel! You're hearts are too hard!"

    Angels don't love humans, they don't start or continue relationships with humans (as would be required for follow-up), they are not noted for compassion.

    I knew an old-time Gospel singer named Billy, who was blinded by a grenade in WW2. Strangely enough, he couldn't sing until he was blinded! He used to sing a song with his beautiful lyric tenor voice with this line in it: "Holy, holy, is what the angels sing. But angels never felt the joy that our salvation sings."

    Webdog, you care about the world getting saved, as your posts so far indicate. I don't think angels care! Most people are saved through some kind of relationship, especially here in Asia, where the society is based on Confucianism. But angels can't have a continuing relationship with us humans. We are too different, we have almost nothing in common.

    As for people searching for God and God saving them, yes, that happens, but God sends a human to win them. I wrote on another thread about that, so I'll look for it and post again, since supper is almost ready.

    God bless!
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    So, your way of thinking says that God's justice, mercy, kindness, kind of evolved from the beginning of time, to this day.
    In the beginning of time, there were no technologies to speak of, no missionaries to go out, and so, if hearing the gospel preched to them by missionaries is the way to their salvation, then, how were men saved then ?
    You're of course going to point to Romans 1 and to nature, but that would make the way of salvation a little bit more complicated than one responding on his own to the gospel.

    And then, if hearing and believing the gospel saves one, then we come back to the unanswered question of how then can God be a God of mercy and justice, if babies who cannot understand and respond accordingly die before they are able to do so ?

    Are all babies automatically sent to hell if they die before they are able to understand and believe the gospel ?

    What about the imbeciles ? How will they respond and believe ? Are they also all automatically hell-bound ?


     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    To continue my questions, if a full possession of one's intellect is required in order to be able to understand, and believe, the gospel, then it appears God is One who cares only about those who have such qualities, and all who do not have possession of intellect or understanding are doomed to hell.

    Then, if hearing the gospel is the ordained means of salvation, and preachers the ordained means for this means, what do we do about those who lived before God revealed Himself to His people Israel, indeed, what do we do about those who lived in parts of the world not mentioned in the Bible as the parts of the world where God is or made Himself known ?

    John of Japan's Japan, for example. Or the continent of Africa, for another, or the continent of North America.

    Did God save NO ONE from these places ? Did He evolve His salvation in conjunction with the evolution of His people or His word ? Did knoledge about Him, fear of Him, guilt and the consciousness of punishment start in the Middle East ? Were there none of these, and no people in possession of such, in other parts of the world ?

    If in answer to the above questions, one will point to the preponderance of evidence of God's existence and presence in the entire universe, then does it not follow that man has to have the qualities of a philosopher ? A thinker ? Is every man a thinker ?

    Yet, we have had thinkers in almost every age, and one of the questions they are unable to answer is who, what, and why, is man ? All that most of their philosophies and thinkings did about the question of God is to muddy up the issue.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    Here is what I wrote about this on another thread:

    Let's suppose that there is a heathen person who knows not the name of Christ, but is drawn to believe there is a righteous God through natural revelation (Psalm 19). However, he is depraved and cannot come to Christ by himself (Rom. 1). The Holy Spirit puts a longing to know the truth in his heart. "Seek and ye shall find" the Spirit says (Matt. 7:7).

    There two possibilities here. Either way there must be a human proclaimer of the Gospel for the seeking soul to be saved. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Rom. 10:14-15).

    Here are the two possibilities from Scripture. (1) God will send someone to him like He sent Peter to Cornelius (Acts 10), or (2) God will lead the seeking soul to where he can hear the Gospel, as God did the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).

    I know illustrations from the mission field of both cases. In the first case, the story comes from Cowboy Boots in Darkest Africa, by Evangelist Bill Rice, the younger half brother of John R., and founder of the Bill Rice Ranch, the first ministry to deaf people in history.

    Bill Rice took a trip to Africa way back in the early '50's. At one point he travelled with a missionary and a tribal translator to be the first ever to give the Gospel to a tribe of pygmies in the jungle. The whole story is fascinating, but the relevant part is that after hearing the Gospel, an old pygmy man stood up and said, "I thought it must be something like that. When I was young, I used to climb a tree, look at the stars and say, 'God, if you are up there, show yourself to me.'" Many of the pygmies trusted Christ as Savior.

    The second illustration is from Japanese history. In the early 1850's, two Japanese seamen were rescued from a shipwreck and taken to Singapore. This meant they could never return to Japan on pain of death, it being before Commodore Perry's "Black Ships" sailed into Yokohama harbor. In Singapore, the two met Karl Gutzlaff, a German missionary to the Chinese. There they met Christ and helped Gutzlaff translate Matthew into Japanese, which he then had printed in Singapore. This was the first translation of any book of the Bible into Japanese, and there are only seven original copies left. I recently was privileged to be given a facsimile of one of the copies. Fascinating.

    We want so badly for there not to be a Hell, and for God to be so nice and kind that it is possible to be saved without Christ. I know this exact feeling, and struggled with it earlier in my ministry. However, divine revelation says that there is a Hell, and there is no way to Heaven but through Jesus Christ. This is why there is a Great Commission and why I am a missionary. If people could be saved without Christ, there would be no need for the Great Commission, and I would be a fool to offer my entire life upon the altar of God's service to win the Japanese to Christ.
     

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