What happens to those who haven't heard the Gospel?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by neal4christ, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. neal4christ

    neal4christ
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    Okay, here you go. I would like to know what you think. I have my own ideas, but I would like to see what everyone thinks happens to those who have not heard the Gospel, such as many Muslims (from another thread), or the tribes in the jungles of Africa, or those who can't comprehend the Gospel, such as babies, handicap, etc.

    Thanks everyone!
    [​IMG]
    Neal
     
  2. Helen

    Helen
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    Hi Neal,

    Just about to turn in for the night and up pops this one!

    In Romans 1, Paul talks about those who suppress the TRUTH being subject to God's anger. So we know that everyone has been exposed to at least enough truth to make him either desire more or hate and suppress it, prefering wickedness.

    Jesus said "I AM the way, the TRUTH, and the life..." And that means that is someone wants the truth ("Seek, and you will find..."), that the Father Himself will lead them to Christ, whether Christ is known as the Promise of God, as He was in the Old Testament, or as Jesus Christ, the known historical fulfillment of that Promise.

    Part of this is here:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=35;t=000406

    In addition, the babies and children and retarded belong to Christ full stop. Matthew 18 deals with this as does 19:14. You can see I am not Calvinist! But the Bible is quite clear that the little ones are His. I think the explanation lies in, among other places, Romans 7:7-11, where Paul describes himself as alive before he knew the law. Being a Jewish man, He was taught the law growing up and bar mitzvah'd at somewhere around the age of 12 or 13. It may have been then or it may have been later that the impact of what the law was finally hit him and, intentionally rebelling, he then died spiritually (until then his sins would have been considered unknown sins to him and therefore covered by Christ's sacrifice, as a good many of the sacrifices in the ancient sacrificial system were for unknown sins). But at whatever age Paul was, it is clear that he did not know the law as a babe or little one so, even when he sinned, he could not be held accountable for his sins, as he did not know he was sinning -- there was not any conscious rebellion against a known law.

    Anyway, Paul explains it better than I do.

    Now, brace yourself, because our resident Calvinists go into hysteria when I look at Romans 7 that way! But read it for yourself and see what the clear meaning of it is to you.

    At any rate, God never left anyone out... [​IMG]
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Neal God saves ALL his children by the Living Gospel... And the written gospel is to explain more fully what the Living Gospel accomplished!

    John 5:[39] Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

    The scripture were never meant to give eternal life only testify of the Son Of God... Lamb Of God... Jesus Christ who did!... If you don't believe it... Search the scriptures!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    This has come up several times in various threads over the last few months. The answer I always give is to look up Romans 8 v 29-30.

    Every single one of God's elect will be saved, even if they are living in the heart of the jungle, or in a Muslim country, God will ensure that He gets the Gospel to them.

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  5. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver
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    Bro. Glen

    Ditto. Fully agree.

    Jeff
     
  6. Monergist

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    Could the Bible speak any more plainly to this?

    Romans 2:9-12 (ESV)
    There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, [10] but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. [11] For God shows no partiality.
    [12] For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
     
  7. wjrighter

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    hummmmmm? toughy ain't it, Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost, better question is -
    what & or who was lost ????
     
  8. Daniel David

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    A person who never hears and believes the gospel goes to hell.

    Inspite of the Primitive Baptists on this forum who deny a person must believe the gospel, Scripture teaches it ( 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 10:17).

    Also, inspite of some who think people are born neutral and somehow "become" dead, Scripture teaches that people are conceived with a sin nature that has put that person at cross-purposes with Christ. That is why every person needs the gospel.
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Why did it take so long to get here?? This should have been the first answer put forth.
     
  10. Helen

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    See what I mean... [​IMG]

    It's as though God didn't really love the world, only a select few out of the world...

    I know people go to hell, but they go to hell because they don't believe. And they don't believe because they reject the truth. But the truth has, to some degree or another, been revealed to all men, Neal.

    Salvation is not universal, but God's love has been. He said so...

    [ November 20, 2002, 09:27 AM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Who said anything about whether God loves the world or not? I happen to believe that he does. But what PTW and I pointed to was the scriptural teaching that those who do not hear and believe will go to hell. Are you arguing with that on Scriptural grounds or on the grounds of your own inability to reconcile how God can love the world while sending people to hell? I cannot, in my finitude, completely square that question. But I can, in my finitude, simply accept what God says is true and trust that God has worked out the details.
     
  12. Kiffin

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    Preach the Word said,

    Amen! Your statement hits the bullseye. People are not lost because they haven't heard the Gospel, they are lost because they are sinners. If we follow the logic of some on this issue, the worst thing we can do is preach the Gospel to the lost in that we make them accountable the moment they hear. Why not stop all missionary work so they will not be accountable and go to Heaven. This extreme Arminian/Pelagian view that those who never hear the Gospel go to Heaven has at it's core a denial of total depravity and a lack of understanding of orginal sin. God owes none of us salvation and would have been just to let us all go to Hell.

    This really is not a issue of Calvinism vs. Arminianism since classical Arminians such as Arminius and Wesley did not hold a Pelagian view of original sin as many Baptists and Protestants do today and would reject the Finneyite Arminian-Pelagian theology that God gives some a pass to Heaven without the cross. Very dangerous theology.

    [ November 20, 2002, 10:41 AM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  13. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    And ignorant, and rebellious, and arrogant, and unloving, and meanspirited...
     
  14. tyndale1946

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    Seem we have a disagreement on two gospels... Thank you for acknowledging the Primitive Baptist on this forum... I know Brother Jeff and I and the rest of the Primitive Baptist brethren appreciate it... Now to the question!

    Two Gospels... The written one... Made out of paper, ink, and bound in book... With the written word of God!... Now which one has the power to save... The KJV... NKJV... NIV... ASV... NASB... ESV... TLB... Go ahead pick one brethren or do they all have the same power if they do have any at all.

    The Living Gospel... The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!... "I AM THE WAY... THE TRUTH... AND THE LIFE!... NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER BUT BY ME! Christ and him alone!... The written gospel is used to feed sheep... feed sheep... feed sheep!... teaching them how to be obedient children who are already saved by the Living Gospel. Preach it and teach it about the Lord our righteousness to the hungry sheep that are ready to receive it and whose heart was changed before you got there!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  15. Daniel David

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    Glen, please do not misunderstand me. I would agree with your position if it didn't contradict Scripture. Since it does, it must be rejected with all other false doctrine. Remember, a false gospel is heresy (Galatians 1:8-9).

    1 Corinthians 1:21:

    NKJV
    it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

    ESV
    it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

    NASB
    God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

    So, according to Paul, people are saved through the proclamation of the written gospel.

    Glen, you and the other primitives are wrong. This is the Scripture we are talking about. Let us not brush it aside.
     
  16. Helen

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    And ignorant, and rebellious, and arrogant, and unloving, and meanspirited
    Thanks, Preach...

    Meanwhile, no one is saying that people get to heaven without the cross. However, are you willing to say that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. KNEW about the cross? Or did they trust in the Promise of God for Him to take care of reconciliation? Job said "I know that my Redeemer lives." Did he know about the cross?

    All these people knew was that God would take care of things. If Gospel in the Stars is true, then they also knew that the Savior had to die and would then be resurrected. But even if they didn't know that, they knew that they could trust God to save them.

    But crucifixion was not known until the time of the Romans.

    Trusting in the Promise of God is trusting in Christ. One does not need intellectual knowledge of the historical Christ for that, or there would be approximately 4000 years of people before Him who were hopelessly lost, full stop.

    The historical Jesus clarifies the Promise, fulfills the Promise, and shows us how God has worked it all out for us. It is a wonderful message to take to all those who have only clung to the vague memories of a Promise as passed down in their legends. But it is there. It has always been there. God has left no one without a witness of some kind.

    I also believe in the simplicity of a straightforward reading of the Bible, Larry and Preach and Kiffin and others -- things like "He is not willing that one should perish"; "Choose this day whom you will serve"; "Come to me ALL ye that labor and are heavy-laden", and hundreds more.

    Mercy triumphs over judgment, remember?

    I am grateful that we were born at a time to know who Jesus of Nazareth was/is. I am grateful for the knowledge. But we are the minority and Christ, slain from the FOUNDATION of the world, has thus atoned for all sins of all men from all time, right from the beginning. Thus, as John 3:16-21 says, it is through belief in Him we are saved or lack of belief that we are condemned. It is not because of sins. He took care of those. All of them forever.

    And so people from all time have always had the chance to say, along with Job

    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

    Job is probably the earliest complete book in the Bible, as the majority of Genesis was finished after Job lived. He was within a few generations of the Flood and knew perfectly well about the Promise.

    It came down from Eve, the mother of all the living, to all men who have lived. It's as simple as that. Accept or reject God's Provision is up to the individual. His provision is Christ Jesus, but only known as the Promise of God before about 2000 years ago...

    [ November 20, 2002, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  17. tyndale1946

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    Preach the word I will not argue the point and stand on what I have written... The Primitive Baptist brethren have been here long enough and you know exactly where we stand!... Like I've said before... "Consider what I say and the Lord giveth the the understanding in all things."... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Helen,

    No one is saved apart from Christ but neither is anyone saved apart from the conscious response to the revelation of God. The OT believers were saved by responding in faith to the revelation of God that they had. The OT did not believe in Christ for salvation because Christ had not yet been revealed and he had not yet been made the content of saving faith. To say that he was would be anachronistic.

    However, to suggest as you apparently have done, that people can be saved in the NT era apart from the knowledge of and conscious faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God is heresy. It admits to a way of salvation that Scripture does not teach. I realize that heresy is a strong word but I use intentionally (not towards you) but towards the position that you have apparently, and hopefully unwittingly, espoused. Salvation in the NT is by conscious acceptance of the cognitive truth of Jesus Christ. Nothing less is acceptable. If someone does not hear and respond to that message, they will spend eternity in hell. They will not go there unjustly. They will go there because of their sin.

    The PBs are back on the false dichotomy between the work of Christ and the message about him. Scripture clearly explains that the message must be preached for people to be saved. You guys are making a false dichotomy with this "real gospel/written gospel" line.
     
  19. Johnv

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    Jesus is very clear on one thing: When he stands at the door and knocks, whoever opens the door and lets him enter is saved. No arguement here.

    But what of those who never heard the knock on the door? What of those who are deaf (figuratively speaking)? What of those who are prevented from getting to the door? We as Christians often assume that everyone has heard the Gospel. The truch is, we often live next door to people who have never heard the Gospel, and don't have a clue as to who Jesus is. Driving by a church is not hearing the Gospel. Neither is seeing a billboard that says "Peace on Earth", or "Jesus loves you". Neither is watching an episode of "7th Heaven" or "Touched by an Angel". We assume that hearing about Jesus is the same as hearing the Gospel.

    No, I think we too often assume that everyone's heard the Gospel to sidestep our own responsibility that Jesus commands (to proclaim the Gospel, not just to tell people about it).

    That being said, let's think about Jesus' time on earth. How long after His ascension to Heaven were the desciples given to spread the Gospel before those who had not heard were considered lost? immediately? 1 hour? 1 day? 1 year? 1000 years? There were people then who, because of their remoteness, would never hear the Gospel in their lifetimes. I don't recall any of the desciples travelling to China, or the Americas. Northern Europe, possibly.

    So were those people who never had the opportunity to accept Christ on earth truly consideres lost eternally? I would sway on the same side as children and the infirmed. Not having an opportunity is not having an opportunity. Whether they be unable by age, unable by mental or physical incapacity, or unable by geographic or opportunistic incapacity.

    So do people without that opportunity on earth ever get that opportunity before final judgement? I don't know, perhaps when they die, God reveals to them what man did not do. Not a clue. One of those many questions to ask the Savior when we die (along with 'did Adam and Eve have navels', and 'what did you write in the sand by the adulterous woman').

    [ November 20, 2002, 02:23 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
  20. Helen

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    Larry, that means God would be depending on us to help Him save people. That is not acceptable to me. He is perfectly capable of working His way without us, and does. He knows what He is doing and He is the judge. I'm content to leave it at that.

    And to say that anyone goes to hell for their sin (except for the sin of rejecting the truth from God) is a heretical teaching. Jesus declared "It is finished" on the cross. The Bible says He died for the sins of all. Those sins are ALL atoned for, according to the Bible.

    All sin is an insult to God. He did not leave that cumulative insult only partially taken care of.
     

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