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Can People of Other Faiths Be Saved?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Marcia, Sep 14, 2005.

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  1. Yes, adults of non-christian faiths who never hear about Christ can be saved and go to heaven. (Plea

    86.8%
  2. No, adults must hear/read the gospel and have faith in Christ to be saved.

    13.2%
  3. Unsure.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. blackbird

    blackbird Active Member

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    That isn't what I'm saying---all of those characters of Hebrews 11 were the same as Abraham---how James 2:23 calls a "Friend of God" and that his belief in what God said was "counted unto him as righteousness"

    Their faith looked forward to God coming as savior and redeemer of the soul and body

    Our faith looks backward to God coming as savior and redeemer of the soul and body

    That's in a "nutshell" of course----Enoch's faith looked beyond our time---to the time where Christ would come the second time with ten thousands of His saints.

    Job's faith looked forward past the virgin birth---past the death, buriel and resurrection of Messiah as "First Fruits" to the redemption of both soul, spirit, and flesh at the last resurrection---when he declared "yet in my flesh I shall see Him"

    Every soul that has ever been saved in both the Old and the New Testament were saved by "grace through faith"----"and that not of works lest any man should boast!!"

    Amen???

    Bro. David
     
  2. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Amen Bro. David!
     
  3. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    The Jews were special in that they were created by God to bring the Messiah into the world. But they are not the only people God loved before Christ! The word of the Promise came through Noah and passed into every culture in every time, one way or another. Anyone who had faith in that Creator God and His Promise was believing in Jesus.

    I think we may well be surprised by some of the people we will meet in heaven.
     
  4. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

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    Amen, Helen!
     
  5. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303 Active Member

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    Amen...I am even surprised some days that I will be there. ;)
     
  6. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    This is true, but hardly relevant to the topic here, so far as I can see.

    On what basis can we say this? I know of no way to prove that all cultures have had the revelation of God that leads to salvation. All cultures do have the general revelation of God that leaves them without excuse (Rom 1).

    Again, on what basis can we say this?

    In the OT, there was no concrete salvific revelation about Christ. That is a distinctly NT phenomenon. The OT gives us some information about Christ, and that information grows over time, but there is no biblical way to say that OT believers "believed in Christ" for salvation. And it was not necessary. It was necessary to believe God and respond to His revelation in faith.

    Today, we have the revelation of salvation in Christ alone. Anyone who is mentally competent who does not believe in that revelation and trust in Christ for salvation is not saved. The Bible is clear about this in John, Romans, and a host of other passages. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10). Salvation is only by faith in the revelation about Jesus Christ.

    Helen, again, I have to question your lack of biblical support. So far, it seems you have used absolutely none, at least that I can recall.

    This is no doubt true, but again, hardly relevant.
     
  7. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Larry, for God so loved the WORLD that He gave ....

    In Revelation we find that Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world -- 13:8

    Therefore, believing on the Promise was efficaceous from the foundation of the world. Missionaries have come back with evidence that every tribe and culture has some knowledge of that Promise, whether it is Bruce Olsen in "Bruchko" or Richardson in "Eternity in Their Hearts."

    We are so blessed now to know Who and what the Promise entailed, but we are not saved by that intellectual knowledge! Our intellects are not part of our salvation. Our trust in God is. We have the blessing of living after the Cross so that we know who Jesus is and was. But trust in Him as the fulfillment of God's Promise was possible to anyone from all time.

    The Chinese language itself bears witness to this.

    When the Bible tells us God not only IS love, but so loved the world that He sent His Son, that means that there is not one person ever conceived that God has NOT loved.

    And thus provided a way for, if that person was willing to respond. The way has always been Jesus. Either as the Unknown Promise, or as the Known Promise, depending on which side of the Cross you lived on and where in the world you lived.
     
  8. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    I believe the old testament if actually filled with evidence to support Helen. Time and Time again God showed mercy and love to those who others thought were "beneath" His mercy, based solely on the fact that they showed love and respect for God, despite how they had been raised.
     
  9. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper Active Member

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    The question still remains: If a person truely wishes to know the True God, but has somehow never heard of Christ, can they be or will they be saved? Helen says that the word of the Promise passed inot every culture, then does that mean even if the culture through time has corrupted the idea of the Promise and even preverted the Promise, if a person truely wants to worship the true God so badly represented by the corrupted promise, he will be saved?

    Maybe an example will make my question clearer:

    I was taught(rightly or wrongly) that what has become the religion of Islam decended from Ishmael(not Esau). Obviously Ishmael would have known of the True Promise, but look at how it has become preverted, to the point where some of us disbelieve that Allah is the same as the God of Isreal. Now say that in the back woods of Iraq lives a person who can still see the glimmer of the True Promise through all the corruption. They can see the glimmer but have no way of knowing the full truth. Are they condemned to hell for lack of knowledge?

    (remember whether Islam decended from Ismael or not is not the question)

    Now personally I believe that God will send the Truth to that person who truely wishes to know him. I also believe that Satan has so blinded 99.99999% of those without direct access to the Bible that they don't even care that they don't know the true God. But I'm not about to say that in that 0.00001% chance that there is someone who wishes to know God and has faith that that God has a plan, but has no access to the Bible, that they can't be saved.

    That brings me to blackbirds post:

    Do you believe that even Abraham had any way to truely understand the events that had to come about for God to keep his promise of a Redeemer? Did he/could he, know that God would send his own Son as Redeemer? Did Abraham know there would be a Name by which all must be saved? Certainly Abraham believed that God would send someone as Redeemer, but did he really have the idea that it would be God himself in the form of the Son?
     
  10. TexasSky

    TexasSky Guest

    Isn't the real question far more basic? Isn't the real question really a re-phrasing of, "How important is Christ, really, to salvation?"

    I believe that Christ is salvation. I believe that whatever another person has been taught, when everything is said and done, acceptance of the love of Christ is the requirement. I trust God to provide ways for those who might not otherwise hear of Christ to learn the truth about Christ. I don't have to understand how God does it. I just trust that God does do it.

    God didn't need television evangalists to spread the truth in Christ's age. I don't think He needs them today. He may USE them, but .. using and needing are two different things.
     
  11. 4His_glory

    4His_glory New Member

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    Texas,

    People don't love and respect God and then get His mercy its vise versa.

    God had mercy on differnt peoples in the OT simply because He choose to do so for the sake of His glory.

    Pastor Larry is right on the money. There is no biblical evidence to suggest that God gave the entire world suffcient revelation of salvation in Christ alone. They do have natural revelation, but in their sin they glorify the creation more than the creator. Men do not naturally seek God.

    To suggest that it is possible for those of other faiths be saved apart form the work of Christ and the grace of God is not only unbiblical, it is hostile to the Gospel.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    The "Promise" wasn't known throughout all of human history, though. WHen you read the Bible and draw theology from the Bible, we are limited to what the Bible says. The OT never makes belief in a coming Messiah the content of saving faith. It is incorrect to say that OT saints believed in Jesus for salvation. Rev 13:8 is a disputed verse as far as the connection between "the foundation of the world" and "Lamb slain" or "names written." Either way, it is not actual, but an indication that sin was planned for before creation. The death of Christ was not a last resort by God who couldn't keep man from sinning. Sin and sacrifice were preordained.

    I would prefer to stick with Scripture rather than anecotal theology. Scripture is what God has promised to be inerrant and authoritative, not missionary stories.

    You would need to use Scripture to demonstrate this. Yet again, Helen, you are not relying on Scripture for theology. There is no scriptural evidence that anyone in the OT "trusted in Him as the fulfillment of God's promise" for salvation.

    God inspired Scritpure as authority, not the Chinese language.

    NO argument from me on that. When the Bible tells us that God hates those who work iniquity, it also means that there is no one person ever conceived that God has not hated. But neither point is particularly revelant for this discussion.

    Again, why the lack of scriptural support? "Where in the world" is never said to be a part of the issue. "When" is a different story, but only slightly.

    Helen, you are basing theology on things other than what God gave us for theology. That is dangerous.
     
  13. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
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    Then perhaps you, unlike Helen, will be willing to show that OT support.

    I agree with this. But it is off topic. Perhaps start a thread on this topic if you wish. But let's keep this thread somewhat on track.
     
  14. bapmom

    bapmom New Member

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    Isn't it true that OT saints were saved because they believed what God had said to them? So they were willing to accept the "light" that they had from God, and trust in it, and believe God. Isn't that basically how we are saved now? We believe what God said....only we have ALL of God's revelation, so we can believe ALL of it.

    I don't have any specific Scripture to back this next part up, but I think that God responds to people according to how much they respond to Him....I mean if a person who has never heard the gospel, but they know there is a God out there that created it all, and they WANT to know more, then God sends them someone to tell them. Thats what we also hear from missionaries. They go to a tribe thats never heard the gospel yet they hear from the natives that they've been waiting for someone to come and tell them about the "Great Spirit." So they did have "light", they did respond to it, and then God did provide a way for them to hear of Christ.
     
  15. Paul33

    Paul33 New Member

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    God is under no obligation to reveal the plan of salvation to those whom He knows will persist in their rebellion.

    Before the foundation of the world God knew which of his potential creatures would continue to use their free will to persist in disbelief (Romans 2:5).

    He desired that none of these potential persons should perish. He provided a sacrifice so that none would have to perish. He knew that some potential persons would still rebel. He knew that none of his potential persons could save themselves. He knew that the lifted up Jesus would draw all potential persons to himself if they would stop rebelling. Before the foundation of the world, God passed over those potential persons He foreknew to be in persistent rebellion and elected the rest whom he foreknew to be in Christ.

    Now based only in God and God alone, God created the potential universe that he foreknew making sure that those whom He foreknew in Christ would indeed hear the Gospel message in real time and space. Those who are lost through their own persistent rebellion of general revelation are lost of their own accord. God is not obligated to make sure they hear the gospel message.

    The elect, those whom God foreknew to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, will hear the gospel message and be saved.
     
  16. paidagogos

    paidagogos Active Member

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    What do you think Acts 4:12 means?

    "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
     
  17. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

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    Larry, you are depending on intellectual understanding as a condition for salvation. I'm glad God doesn't, for then none of us would be saved!

    The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.
    There is no speech or language
    where their voice is not heard.
    Their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.


    There is your first biblical evidence. Notice that although the day pours forth speech, the NIGHT DISPLAYS KNOWLEDGE.

    Notice also that the glory of God is NOT the twinkling of pretty stars.

    The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

    God's glory is the Son, and shown in the Son. So HOW do the stars demonstrate knowledge of this?

    In Genesis 15:5, Abraham is told by God to go out and 'tell' the stars. The Hebrew verb there means to name them. Remember that GOD named the stars (Psalm 147:4). Adam named the animals, but God named the stars. So when Abraham was told to recite the names of the stars, what did that have to do with anything? Something, evidently, for we read that "Abram believed the Lord, and he credited to him as righteousness." (remember that ALL righteousness is in Christ)

    Paul deals with this incident in Galatians 3:16 where he says this incident refers to Abram's SEED in the singular and not in the plural. In other words this episode between God and Abram had nothing to do with Abram's multitude of descendants, but with the fact that the Messiah would come from his line.

    How did naming the stars inform Abram about the coming Messiah?

    Because the name of every star in each language has the same meaning. And when the stars are 'told', starting with the Virgo constellation, the story and character of the Messiah to come emerges. Satan has been allowed to pervert the zodiac into astrology since Christ, but "in the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways." (Hebrews 1:1)

    One of those ways was in the heavens. If you go back to Genesis 1:14, you will find that the lights and stars in the heavens are not just for seasons and days and years, but also for signs (the NIV corrupts the translation at this point, but it is clearer in the King James).

    In other words, there is excellent biblical evidence that every man on earth has had access to knowledge of the Messiah, on either side of the Cross.

    Larry, you may not like anecdotes, but the reports from missionaries do show that God has indeed loved the whole world -- every person ever conceived. Each person has been given enough to put their trust in God and in His promise of salvation.

    I have been accused of promoting astrology by presenting evidence for the gospel in the stars. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Since Christ we have revelation through HIM and nothing else. That's the verse that follows Hebrews 1:1!

    But if you want evidence that the study of the stars, or astronomy, was also involved with ancient astrology, take a look at the book of Daniel. He was the head astroloGER under four different kings while the Israelites were in exile.

    Do you know who one of his students was, historically? Zoroaster.

    Do you know what the religion of Persia was at the time of the birth of Christ?

    Zoroastrianism.

    Do you know what the upper house of the Persian parliament was called?

    The Magoi.

    According to Matthew, it was these Magoi (NOT 'magi') who came to look for the new king. "For we have seen His star in the east..." They had been looking for the astrological sign which could and did happen only once in the history of the earth, about which Daniel must have told Zoroaster.

    Herod and all Jerusalem were not frightened by three old men on camels! First of all, camels were used for baggage carriers, not for human transporation. The entire upper house of Persia came to see this new King, along with their crack military unit of protection, as they were journeying in hostile territory. There were three gifts, but a lot more then three men!

    They knew because of the stars. They came to worship the fulfillment of the Promise of God, the King of the Jews.

    Yeah, it's in the Bible. It's also in the heavens and in the stories the missionaries bring back and in the study of linguistics and in history.

    For those interested in reading a little further, my husband has done an enormous amount of research here as he has lectured in astronomy to professional astronomers and has also accepted a job teaching astronomy here in our area. Here are a couple of articles, one co-written by four of us (I was "Fryman" before I married Barry) and one entirely by him:

    http://www.ldolphin.org/zodiac/index.html

    http://www.setterfield.org/star.htm
     
  18. SAMPLEWOW

    SAMPLEWOW New Member

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    thankyou
     
  19. SAMPLEWOW

    SAMPLEWOW New Member

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    HELEN, I believe that what your saying is right on. now I'll go back to studying.
     
  20. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

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    I probably should have specificed "people of non-christian faiths since the time of Christ's ascension" to leave the OT issue out of it.

    I assumed too much, I guess -- I thought people would understand that I was talking about since the time of Christ.
     
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