Those who have not heard the Gospel

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Born_in_Crewe, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Born_in_Crewe

    Born_in_Crewe
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    What do you think happens to people who have not heard the gospel? I met a speaker at a christian festival earlier this year and he believed that those who have not heard the true gospel will be judged "according to the light that they have known".

    I think this could be partially true, as it would be unjust of God to punish people in Hell when they would have repented if they had been given the chance. Therefore, I believe that God will instinctively know whether each person would have come to Christ or not and therefore will judge accordingly. However, I should stress that this does not mean we should be complacent because it is still better for any individual if they become a Christian during life, and the sooner the better.
     
  2. webdog

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    Romans 1 states all have heard. The Law of God is written on their hearts and He is known through creation. Also, all men are created with a desire to live forever (Ecc. 3:11), and all are drawn to Christ (John 12:32). It is true that all have received some measure of Truth, and all will be judged on what they have received (think the story of the ten minas or talents).
     
  3. BobRyan

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    I agree - except the only way that someone has the "Law written on the heart" according to Heb 8 -- is the New Covenant.

    So when someone without access to the scriptures shows that to be the case-- (as we see in Romans 2:13-16) it can only happen via the New Covenant work of the Holy Spirit as Paul states in Romans 2 (circumcision of the heart is of the Spirit).

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Tom Butler

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    Here a verse which helps provide the answer to the OP question:

    Everyone has the law written on their hearts, but there are two problems. The law gives them a sense of right and wrong, but does not give them the source of the law, unless they have also been given the gospel. Without hearing the gospel, the law on their hearts helps them to develop their own personal code of right and wrong.

    The cannot be condemned for rejecting Christ, if they have never heard of Jesus. So the basis for their condemnation will be their own moral code. And they will acknowledge that they couldn't keep it perfectly. They will acknowledge God's justice in condemning them, since they will acknowledge their failure to meet their own standards.

    Before this thread is over, you will hear that every person has had access to the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will not know how, but it must be. Of course, every evangelical denomination sends missionaries based on the opposite belief.

    You mayl also hear that God will cut some slack to those who've never heard the gospel. Then let's call every missionary home, lest somebody hear the gospel and reject it, sealing their condemnation to hell.
     
  5. Born_in_Crewe

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    I agree with Tom Butler...not all have had access to the Christian gospel. There is a difference between having a vague sense of God and actually having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

    Other religions which do not accept Christ as Lord are an example of this. If you are raised in a strongly Muslim country, for example, then it is likely you won't have had the opportunity to hear the Christian gospel, unless you have met a brave Christian or you have travelled outside your home country, and a lot of people in some countries haven't done this.

    Also, there are tribes in Africa and South America who have never heard of Jesus or Christianity so not all can have heard. Hence the sending of missionaries.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    In Heb 8 we have the promise of the New Covenant "Law written on the heart" and in Romans 2 we are told that this is what makes you a true spiritual Jew -- one who is one "inwardly".

    Where is this idea coming from that "everyone has the law written on the heart"?? It would be like saying "everyone is a born again Christian".

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. John of Japan

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    The view that a person can come to Christ through the light of his or her own non-Christian religion is very naive. According to Romans 1, every religion is a degradation of the truth. Knowing Buddhism and Shinto, and having witnessed to many, many Japanese of one or the other or both religions, I can tell you that they are both degraded and wicked religions. Any truth they have in them is only enough to anesthetize the believer to the evil, not enough to bring the believer to righteousness.

    Example from Japanese religion: faith in Amida in Pure Land Buddhism may attain Gokuraku (Paradise) for the believer. However, it has been documented by John L. Young in By Foot to China (read this excellent work at: http://www.aina.org/books/bftc/bftc.htm) that this attainment to Heaven by salvation through faith was syncretized from Nestorian Christianity in China! But anyone believing in Amida Buddha won't search for the true origin of his faith, but will think he has it all in Amida. And believe me, they are arrogant about it!

    Take a look at the history of religion in China. The original religion of China was a monotheistic faith in Shang Ti, the only God. This was the faith of Confucious (though he doesn't talk about it much in his works), and it was similar to Judaism, probably coming down from Noah. Down through the centuries it degenerated into a terrible idolatrous religion that was eventually shoved aside by Taoism, Buddhism, etc. Man doesn't find God through false religions. He strays further from God!

    The "law in the heart" of a non-Christian, or some other form of natural revelation, is only enough to prepare the heart for a true presentation of the Gospel, not enough to bring one to salvation.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Please show that the "law written in the heart" promise of the Heb 8 New Covenant is a reality for the lost - rather than just those saved saints that have entered into the New Covenant.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Alcott

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    You must be a believer in what I call the inverse gospel. This is that one need not accept Jesus to be saved, but must reject Jesus to be lost. If that's true, then sending missionaries to those who have never heard the gospel is logically the worst thing we could be doing, because we are making it possible for them to be condemned, whereas before it was not possible. How does this coincide with the words of Jesus, "God sent his son into the world not to condemn it, but to save it," and then he [Jesus] commanded his followers to go into all nations to teach what they have been taught.

    How does all this make sense? Maybe it really comes down to the question: Is a person born saved or born lost? If it is the former, then with the "once saved, always saved" doctrien, everyone is saved. If it's the latter, then a still-born baby or a fatally runover toddler goes to hell. To solve this problem, something called "the age of accountability" was conceived. But that leads to even more horrid conclusions, such as: the best way to ensure children never 'become' lost and go to hell is to murder them young [and if "once saved always saved" is true, we cannot be condemned for committing murder, either].

    Maybe we should just drop all the bombs we have get this whole thing over with.
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Having some knowledge of God and His law in their hearts does not mandate that all have heard the gospel. Romans 1 in no way suggests that all have heard the gospel message. It simply states that they have had some light of conscience and therefore when they violate the light they have they are as such, without excuse.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    The law in the heart in Heb. 8 is speaking of the Jews, of course. It's pretty clear in the text. I was speaking generally of conscience as a form of natural revelation, not of any specific Scripture passage. It's late here in Japan, and perhaps being tired I wasn't using the best terminology.

    Good night.:sleeping_2:
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Ok --

    But that brings up another question for tomorrow -- can you show that the New Covenant is not for all Christians -- just Jews?
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, (KJV)

    John 1:9 That [Jesus] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (KJV)

    I tend to agree with the thought that every man born recives a certain measure of light. As he responds to that light he is given more light.

    Matthew 4:14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
    15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
    16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. (KJV)
     
  14. Rippon

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    Well , the scorecard is in . The current results reveal that Tom , John and H.P. are way ahead on points . They make the most scriptural sense .

    Those who have the witness of God's creation and the testimony of their hearts (which condemn them ) are storing up wrath against themselves .

    The majority of the world's population down through the centuries are condemned not because they rejected Christ ( as many on the BB insist ) , but because their own sins led them to perdition .

    And please , no one here should be talking about God giving folks "a chance" to hear the Gospel . You can reword it to say opportunity instead , but the same false idea is present . The hearing of the gospel is not a Lotto . It's not an issue of the fairness of God or His injustice to withhold the hearing of the Gospel from many over the last 2,000 or so years . It all lies in His sovereignty . Even from among those He chooses to hear the Gospel , He prevents a number from embracing saving truths . He cloaks the truth for His purposes .

    Those apart from the sound of the Gospel are under the wrath of God and the Lord gives those folks over to their evil devices . Their thinking becomes futile and their foolish hearts become more and more darkened .

    All of the preceding does not nullify the fact of our duty to spread the Good News to as many as we are able . God will work His good will out -- rest assured .
     
  15. webdog

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    I agree, but what one does with this revelation of God determins the amount of Truth granted. If they deny such simple truths, they will deny everything.
     
  16. webdog

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    It condemns them IF they reject these basic truths. What of those who accept them? They are given more light.
     
  17. Rippon

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    If one does not hear the Gospel , one still stands condened . None will accept the law written in their hearts "for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right." ( Romans 2:15 NLTse )
     
  18. BobRyan

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    Very true -- but where is this idea of the "law written on the tablets of the human heart apart from the New Birth" or apart from salvation etc coming from?
     
  19. Pastor_Bob

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    "The revealed law of God was written on tables of stone, and then recorded in the books of the Old Testament. This law the Gentiles did not possess, but, to a certain extent, the same requirements were written on their hearts. Though not revealed to them as to the Jews, yet they had obtained the knowledge of them by the light of nature, The word "hearts" here denotes the mind itself, as it does also frequently in the sacred Scriptures; not the heart, as the seat of the affections. It does not mean that they loved or even approved of the law, but that they had knowledge of it; and that knowledge was deeply engraven on their minds." Albert Barnes' New Testament Commentary
     
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I see this as avoiding the real question. The question is whether or not the light that Scripture states all receive encompasses the gospel message or not.

    On the issue of receiving more light, does this mean that one can respond favorably to the initial light one is given? Now in keeping with all the dead logs so many have painting floating down the stream, I am having a hard time understanding just how one can act favorably to the light when in fact they lack all abilities to do anything (according to many on this list) other than to sin and that continually.
     

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