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Another way; inverse gospel

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Alcott, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Alcott

    Alcott Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Dec 17, 2002
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    On another recent thread a "discrepancy" was pointed out by a poster concerning what is commonly called the age of accountability. This discrepancy rather obviously is the belief that children are not going to hell if they have not come to the maturity level to understand what sin is. So if they don't go to hell they go heaven-- or in my preferred words, if they don't go into eternal torments, they have a place in the world to come. But this (at least the poster contended) must contradict the words of Jesus, that only by Him is there a way to the Father. And many, of course, extend this same dilemma to people born into a culture in which the gospel is not told-- are they 'accountable' for not believing something no one ever told them? I call this the "inverse gospel"-- that one must reject the gospel to be lost, rather than accept the gospel to be saved. Since this does present a problem, what is your answer?

    [This is not a poll function because, in my view, the matter is more urgent and complex than simply checking an opinion box; explanations are needed.]

    1) Those not told the gospel and young children, even still-born babies, go to eternal torment, as the inevitable conclusion from the citation seems to indicate.

    2) The words of Jesus are certainly true, but as in other biblical examples, it is understood in context of who He was speaking to in what particular situation-- i.e., it's not absolutely true with no regard to other scriptures, such as "...of such [children] is the Kingdom of Heaven."

    3) Since without the sacrifice of Jesus there would never have been forgiveness of sins [Hebrews 10:4]-- meaning in the Old Testament era anyone saved was saved by Jesus with no verbatim understanding of the gospel-- it was, and is still, possible to seek a Saviour, according to one's own level, without such understanding. Thus, it is still through Jesus that such a one comes to the Father.

    4) Predestination settles it all-- if one dies a young child, or is never told the gospel because of circumstances of birth, that means any such person is not predestined to be saved anyway, so it doesn't matter.

    5) Differs 'slightly ' from #4-- since God knows who [which soul] will come to Him and who won't, he allows those that won't to be born into a situation of ignorance of the gospel or to die very young.

    6) This is just a copout dilemma-- from an objective human viewpoint it is horribly unfair for a baby to suffer eternal torment... but we can't understand the mind of God, whose ways are not our ways.

    These are the basic 'answers' that I can see-- eliminating, of course, that the Bible is untrue or corrupted, or that there is no God. How do you answer this question?
  2. skypair

    skypair New Member

    Jun 25, 2006
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    I hope I broke down the issues right.

    Rom 7:9 - "For I was alive without the law once:..." Every person is still spiritually alive (though pretty much ignorant in that state) before "conviction of sin... righteousness and judgment" by the Spirit. As such, they are neither saved nor lost but INNOCENT.

    Do you contend that God condemns the innocent? I don't. So what does He do with them?

    Jesus is the only Way! So God resurrects the innocent with the "just" (OT saints "just" if God) into Christ's MK where they may choose Him as Savior.

    Once one is convicted of sin, righteousness, and judgment (so that they are "without excuse"), God gives them enough "light" to either come to Him to "glorify" and "thank" Him in belief or to reject and become "vain in their own imaginations" (hence all the idol worship we see worldwide), Rom 1:19-23).

  3. johnp.

    johnp. New Member

    Oct 25, 2004
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    JOB 9:15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy. :)
    JOB 9:20 Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty. :)
    JOB 9:23 When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent.
    PS 58:3 Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies.
    PS 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    I would contend that you do not care for scripture. RO 5:18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men...

    What if He condemned all those people just to show us, the Royal Priesthood, what we might have got but for His mercy? Rom 9:22-24.

    Heb 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...

    When Christ returns it's all over man. :)

    The bible does not say babies will suffer. I think all men will be at their prime age come the resurrection, I don't think there's scripture for this though Alcott.

  4. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jun 20, 2002
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    What is actually at stake is a certain interpretation of Jesus' words, not Jesus' words themselves.

    No one can go to the Father except through Christ, but that does not necessarily mean that those who are mediated to the Father through Jesus have a thorough knowledge of Him at the time of their rescue. People come to God through Christ with widely varying degrees of knowledge, yet all who truly enter in receive more truth.

    God is much more merciful and holy than many theologians allow.
  5. Christlifter

    Christlifter New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
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    here is how I read it in Scripture!


    Look at the website first, and then read the commentary - God Bless!

    Friends and Family,

    Believe it or not, what is said about children, is also the process for adults.

    HOW God brings people to conviction (convinced by THE EVIDENCE) of sin and "sinnerdom" or being a sinner, and puts the Gospel in their life, to cause repentance (change of mind) and faith (trust/belief) is as varied as there are created individuals.

    BUT, there are GENERAL PRINCIPLES to be kept in mind on how a genuine salvation actually occurs.

    In the general principle mindset I make the following statements:

    No one is ever truly born again without trusting Christ as their Saviour that trust being based upon the FACT that He shed His Blood and died for their sin.

    However, no one ever truly trusts Christ in this manner, until they are shown BY GOD (however He brings it about) that they are in fact, LOST, SINNERS, and ON THE WAY TO HELL due to their condition.

    This (Conviction and Repentance) is called an "awakening" by the "old-schoolers", and whether it is for 30 seconds, or 30 years, it always precedes salvation.

    We adults also, must be "awakened" convicted/convinced (cause to see - convinced by the evidence) our sins and sinfulness by the Holy Ghost. This will cause us to acknowledge that God is JUST to send us to Hell, for our rebellion.

    Only strong preaching against sin, OR using the 10 Commandments to show sinners their sins, OR/AND the Holy Ghost of God can cause conviction.

    The Holy Ghost is the Author of Biblical Conviction, and He uses the Conscience OR the Law, or His Own Power to convict.

    Only these can "convince one as to the evidence against their hopes of Heaven" Any singular one or ALL of these can do it.

    Holy Ghost Conviction (sin, righteousness and judgment in a real salvation experience) causes us to REPENT (change our mind), about our sins as ok, and our sinfulness as excusable. This will generate a TRUE desire to be free from sin (aka lifestyle) and receive Christ.

    I AM NOT SAYING WE ARE SAVED OR PROVE OUR SALVATION BY WORKS. What this is all (Conviction of the Holy Ghost and Repentance) is referring to is the HEART-ATTITUDE, of the individual towards God, Sin, and Self.

    Implied in this however is that we would also stop TRUSTING anything else (including a past profession of "faith" or false supernatural "experience" from Satan AND THOSE ABOUND IN THE LAST DAYS) and turn from our own way.

    Salvation is not received by "asking Jesus into your heart", or merely "praying a sinners prayer" when one is not convicted of being a sinner. When you are convicted, you desire to repent.

    There is nothing in Scripture about "asking Jesus in your heart", or any of those other pithy sayings that come to mind, when dealing with cruddy and wicked "mass evangelism" tactics. That is not to say the Holy Spirit does not indwell the heart of the believer (REGENERATION), and bring assurance, but He is not allowed to come in this way. The way of the cross leads home!

    Once one is convicted and desires to repent, then they must TRUST the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, based on The Gospel that He has DONE for all sinners.

    The Gospel: Christ shed His Blood for all sinners, to wash their sins away/blot them out, Died for all sinners-taking their Hell and punishment upon Himself, was buried, and Rose again (as the Perfect God-Man who never sinned) for all sinners, to give out eternal life, to those who repent from their sin (as convicted by the Holy Ghost) and trust Christ as their Saviour. They then receive eternal life, justification, righteousness, and assurance, by this simple act of faith. (YOU NEED TO LOOK UP THESE BIG WORDS!)

    That, in turn leads us to truly trust Christ as Our LORD and SAVIOUR. This does not mean the Christian in now sinless, but He/She does "sin-less" than before CONVICTION AND REPENTANCE, and desires (though is not perfect in completing) to do God's Will, not the self's. Desires (heart-attitudes) change!

    This ACTUAL AND ORIGINAL LEGITIMATE SALVATION EXPERIENCE is evidenced to the heart of an individual by I John...Read the Book of 1st John to see the portrait of a believer.

    Some of the subjective experiences, mixed in with Biblical truth could be experienced as follows:

    The indwelling Holy Ghost in the heart, the "lifted load" of sins, heart-belief that Jesus Christ is God, the awareness of the nearness of God, the desire to know God from His Word, the desire to pray, the Scripture opened and understandable, the desire to hear preaching, the desire to be around other saved people, the desire to see others saved, the hunger and thirst for righteousness, sin becomes painful and "icky" and once done, causes unalleviable grief until dealt with biblically, God using the person to reach others as he/she was reached, and he/she slowly changed (or changing) personality traits, where as things that were once acceptable, are no longer are.

    Also, the heart of the person will no longer be "empty", and there won't be a "void" in the heart/life like "something’s missing", because the Holy Spirit will have taken up residence in that persons body, soul, and spirit. Sin will no longer satisfy, ONLY JESUS CHRIST!
    There is such a "thing" as a carnal Christian. Conviction and Repentance, Faith and Salvation, continue in the life from point of origin (salvation), until death. Also the Christian will be absolutely miserable in acts of sin, and will have "stuff happen" in their life, even maybe death, to cause them to "get right". A real Christian, when walking in the flesh, for days or weeks or any indeterminate period of time will be the most miserable person on Earth.

    Regardless of how deep (not as in a period of time, but actions/attitudes) into sin a real believer may go, they have always been convicted and repented in the beginning, and will always come back to the Lord Jesus Christ in humility and contrition, desiring to make it right, and have His pardon. They don't "leave and never come back". In the South they say "Well, if he is really saved, he'll be back." In the South too, it's said a lot, "You gotta get lost before you can get saved!"

    HOWEVER, 75%-90% of people who think they fall into this category, or define themselves as that (and are for months and years), have never gone through these general salvation principles and Holy Ghost led experiences in their own life, and have merely a false "faith" or a simple head-knowledge about salvation. THEY NEVER FORWARD-SLID TO BACKSLIDE! They have never been convicted, repented, and trusted Christ. John 3:17-21 states that. Read it!

    Only God knows (and that individual) if a "carnal" Christian is really saved or not.

    Search the scripture about the purpose-work of the Law and Conscience in Paul's Epistles (Romans 2:14 - 8:30; The Book of Galatians) and read the Law (10 Commandments) in Exodus 20

    Read up about the Holy Spirit and his work in John (14-17) regarding the lost and sinners, and read up on repentance and faith in Luke and Acts (Various verses).

    Also, when reading about people being saved by faith in Christ, in the Scripture (The Gospels and Acts), notice their attitude (not work - I am not a hyper-Calvinist, faith and repentance are heart attitudes, not works) of Repentance when they come to Christ.

    Remember, once a person is genuinely saved, they are no longer slaves to sin, or the Law. That's why we don't use the 10 commandments on true Christians, or anything else out of the Decalogue.

    Try out what has been said here in dealing with yourself, your adult friends and family, and your children. Salvation is too serious to play games with, or get wrong. Eternity depends on it. Salvation is not complicated, but it does require some understanding of these things, IN THE HEART!

    Too many people have grown up in Bible-Preaching churches, or been "evangelized" and are worse for it, because of the various reasons listed here and in the article submitted.

    God Bless you all, and Jesus Saves sinners (like me/us!)

    The Tomlin Family