Will God raise non-Christians from the dead?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by BWSmith, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. BWSmith

    BWSmith
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    Last night I was having a conversation with my pastor and some pacifists about the morality of the death penalty, and one of the pacifists responded that it would be immoral for an evangelical to kill anyone before they had a chance to accept Jesus as their Savior.

    I responded half-jokingly that God could just raise them from the dead in the End Times and they could repent then. They looked at me like I was crazy, and that bothers me.

    It seems to me entirely clear that, if the Biblical narrative represents God's way of acting, then we can think of what God did with Israel and the gentiles in the OT/NT sequence as an example of how God will act to save his people within our lifetimes (OT) and when we are raised (NT).

    Stated another way, I think my acceptance of Jesus as Savior empowers me with eternal life that has already begun, continues through death as my soul is "held in the Hand of God" in heaven, and on through to the general resurrection.

    Presumably, anyone who did not accept Jesus would have the opposite fate (eternal separation from God forever).

    However, that's not the picture we get from the NT. If that were the case, then Jesus would come only for the Jews, and the early church would continue preaching only to the Jews right up to the end of the nation (destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD).

    So if God's way of acting in restoring the Kingdom involved not just the Jews, but inviting in some subset of gentiles as well who had never heard of Israel's god, then it makes sense to me that after the general resurrection, and before the final judgement, there will be a certain number of people who never accepted Jesus in their lifetime, who had been separated from God for a near-eternity in death (possibly in "Hell"), who could be raised and invited to join in with God's people.

    (I think Revelation itself is based on this scheme, with a similar understanding of Israel's whole national history being a "roadmap for the End Times", with the first and second Jerusalem destructions corresponding to the "first & second death".)

    Am I missing something? Is there a flaw in this logic somewhere?
     
  2. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    Luke 16:20-31
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Several flaws.

    First, people who die without faith in Christ do not do so beause they didn't konw, but because they rejected what they did know. They are therefore without excuse (Rom 1:19ff.)

    Second, Heb 9 says it is appointed to man once to die, and then the judgment. There is no resurrection to a second chance.

    Third, your link between God acting in the OT and NT seems to not be of the same type of argument here. God did not raise any OT people to give them a second chance in the NT. When you die, you die in the spiritual state you were in ... either believing or not believing.

    Fourth, restorign the kingdom is an end times deal that does not involve the resurrection of dead unbelievers.

    Fifth, the first and second death refer to physical death and hell.

    Lastly, the Bible does that God will raise non-Christians from the dead for judgment (John 5; Dan 12).
     
  4. MB

    MB
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    Hi BWSmith;
    The idea that there are second chances after death isn't in scripture. It isn't logical to assume there is with out a scriptural reason.
    MB
     
  5. skypair

    skypair
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    It makes sense to you because it is close. First off, there is a "subset of Gentiles" but they will be raptured pretrib to NJ in heaven. As for the "general resurrection," that is postrib and Mt 13:43-49 show Jews and Gentiles resurrected into the MK on earth in your "general resurrection" -- the Bible calls it "the resurrection of the just."

    In this latter resurrection, there will be many raised who are "invited to join in with God's people" -- but they are infants and infirm who could never have made a decision for Christ and who are "just" according to innocence (they never committed a sin). These, for the information of your detractors, will receive their FIRST chance to receive salvation in Christ!

    There won't be "a certain number of people who never accepted Christ in their lifetime" resurrected to this judgment, however. Those who knowingly never accepted Jesus wil be resurrected postMK to the GWT.

    skypair
     
  6. Jkdbuck76

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    BWSMITH,

    I had an argument with a liberal theology student about the death penalty.
    His statement was that ALL KILLING IS IMMORAL.
    Which, to me, is absolotulely ridiculous.

    Know what I said to him? "When God commanded the Israelites to kill, was THAT wrong?"

    He wouldn't answer with a yes or no--said something which basically amounted to "people put words in God's mouth". So, asks I, what part of the Bible is God and which part is mankind putting words in His mouth?

    "oh, well, the New Testament...." blah blah blah grace grace grace God would never kill anyone because Jesus blah blah....

    To which I asked, "Was it immoral for God to kill Ananias and Saphirra in Acts, YES or NO?"

    I never got a yes or no answer. I was told that I didn't read right and that "I KNOW what I believe...YOU can follow whatever wrong doctrine you want."

    It seems when people are wrong, they do that "You don't read right/ I know I'm right" thing.

    MY POINT: All killing is NOT immoral....God has killed in the past and will do so in the future.


    EDIT: it was Chesterton that said the 20th Century was the century of pacifism, but not peace.

    Think about THAT one.
     
  7. Jon-Marc

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    Everyone will eventually be raised from the dead, some to life everlasting and some to eternal condemnation.
     
    #7 Jon-Marc, Jan 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2007
  8. DeeJay

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    Second chances after death is a fundimental LDS doctrine. BWSmith, any relation? :tongue3:
     
  9. BWSmith

    BWSmith
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    Yes, but doesn't the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus only deal with the "intermediate state" of souls, and not the End Times?

    I would agree that disembodied souls do not get a chance to repent, but I'm wondering whether this breaks down when God starts raising people from the dead?
     
  10. BWSmith

    BWSmith
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    Right, the OT does not talk about individuals rising from the dead, but it does speak quite a bit about the nation of Israel coming back from exile.

    And then the metaphors like Ezekiel's valley of bones seem to suggest that Israel's return from exile should also be taken literally as a signpost for individuals coming back from the dead.

    Hence:
    a) if Israel's return from exile matches up with the picture of the eventual general resurrection, and
    b) given that Israel's real return from exile in Christ involved both a remnant of Israel and a large number of gentiles, and
    c) since all Christians alive and dead constitute the new "Israel",

    then would it stand to reason that the "final call" might allow for an open door to a few "gentiles", that is, "special cases" of righteous people never formally invited into Christianity?
     
  11. skypair

    skypair
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    WRONG! Please read Job 14:13-15, 19:25-28, Psa 50:3-5, Isa 26:19-21, Dan 12:2, 12:11-13, etc.

    I'm not sure where you get your info but it is wrong.

    skypair
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The OT does talk about individuals rising from teh dead (Dan 12:2) and the nation of Israel coming back from exile. Those are two different things however.

    Not at all. Israel is the dead bones that will come back to life.

    It doesn't

    Incorrect. Israel's return from exile is just that ... Israel's return. It does not involve a large number of Gentiles.

    They don't. Israel constitutes Israel.

    We operate primarily off of revelation, not reason. Reason teaches us how to correlate and understad revelation. Revelation does not teach what you suggest, and in fact, explicitly denies it.

    That shuld seem to settle it.
     

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