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What About Those People Who...?

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#1
HawaiianShirts

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Okay, here's something about Christianity that still has me scratching my head, and I hope there's an answer out there that I've just missed so far.

 

The Bible says that Jesus is the only way to God. Got it. Those who don't accept Jesus will not be saved. Got it.

 

BUT! The Bible also says that God is Love. If so, then what loving God would banish souls to Hell for never having had a chance to accept Jesus?

 

That's what's been explained to me sometimes. All those people in, say, rural China who have never even had a chance to hear the name of Jesus will obviously never accept Him, and because of that they're destined for eternal torment in Hell. Really? That's the punishment of a just and loving God for someone who never had a chance?

 

I mean, if I get up in the morning and tell my kid that he has to clean his room or he can't have dessert after dinner, and if I then take him out for a whole day of running errands and playing in the park so that he doesn't have any time at all that day to do any cleaning, am I still going to say he can't have any dessert? No! I'm going to let him have his dessert and postpone the room-cleaning requirement for the next day. Why? Because it was because of me that he couldn't clean his room, not because of any inaction on his part.

 

Why would God punish someone who couldn't obey the commandments even if they wanted to?



#2
ayin jade

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Romans 1 addresses that. 



#3
bopeep1909

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What happens to those who have never heard about Jesus?"

Answer:
All people are accountable to God whether or not they have “heard about Him.” The Bible tells us that God has clearly revealed Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and in the hearts of people (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The problem is that the human race is sinful; we all reject this knowledge of God and rebel against Him (Romans 1:21-23). If it were not for God's grace, we would be given over to the sinful desires of our hearts, allowing us to discover how useless and miserable life is apart from Him. He does this for those who continually reject Him (Romans 1:24-32).

In reality, it is not that some people have not heard about God. Rather, the problem is that they have rejected what they have heard and what is readily seen in nature. Deuteronomy 4:29 proclaims, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse teaches an important principle—everyone who truly seeks after God will find Him. If a person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known.

The problem is “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). People reject the knowledge of God that is present in nature and in their own hearts, and instead decide to worship a “god” of their own creation. It is foolish to debate the fairness of God sending someone to hell who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ. People are responsible to God for what God has already revealed to them. The Bible says that people reject this knowledge, and therefore God is just in condemning them to hell.

Instead of debating the fate of those who have never heard, we, as Christians, should be doing our best to make sure they do hear. We are called to spread the gospel throughout the nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). We know people reject the knowledge of God revealed in nature, and that must motivate us to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Only by accepting God’s grace through the Lord Jesus Christ can people be saved from their sins and rescued from an eternity apart from God.

If we assume that those who never hear the gospel are granted mercy from God, we will run into a terrible problem. If people who never hear the gospel are saved, it is logical that we should make sure no one ever hears the gospel. The worst thing we could do would be to share the gospel with a person and have him or her reject it. If that were to happen, he or she would be condemned. People who do not hear the gospel must be condemned, or else there is no motivation for evangelism. Why run the risk of people possibly rejecting the gospel and condemning themselves when they were previously saved because they had never heard the gospel?

Read more: http://www.gotquesti...l#ixzz2szVtlegd


#4
shiloh357

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Okay, here's something about Christianity that still has me scratching my head, and I hope there's an answer out there that I've just missed so far.

 

The Bible says that Jesus is the only way to God. Got it. Those who don't accept Jesus will not be saved. Got it.

 

BUT! The Bible also says that God is Love. If so, then what loving God would banish souls to Hell for never having had a chance to accept Jesus?

 

That's what's been explained to me sometimes. All those people in, say, rural China who have never even had a chance to hear the name of Jesus will obviously never accept Him, and because of that they're destined for eternal torment in Hell. Really? That's the punishment of a just and loving God for someone who never had a chance?

 

I mean, if I get up in the morning and tell my kid that he has to clean his room or he can't have dessert after dinner, and if I then take him out for a whole day of running errands and playing in the park so that he doesn't have any time at all that day to do any cleaning, am I still going to say he can't have any dessert? No! I'm going to let him have his dessert and postpone the room-cleaning requirement for the next day. Why? Because it was because of me that he couldn't clean his room, not because of any inaction on his part.

 

Why would God punish someone who couldn't obey the commandments even if they wanted to?

Your scenario isn't very accurate.  God is not keeping anyone from obeying Him.  God is not making a commandment and the standing in the way and impedinig anyone from obeying Him.

 

The Bible doesn't address the fate of those who have not heard the Gospel and died before hearing it.  But we know one thing.  God sees the big picture and while it is a problem for us, this didn't take God by surprise and He will deal with the situation in a manner that is consistent with His righteousness and divine character.   God will always do what is just and we simply need to trust Him in that.

 

Where the Bible is silent, we need to be silent. 



#5
other one

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Matt 25:31-26:1

31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 38'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


NASB

 



#6
shiloh357

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Matt 25:31-26:1

31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? 38'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 44 "Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 45 "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46 "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


NASB

 

That doesn't address the question the OP raised.



#7
OakWood

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12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

 

Revelation 20



#8
WebFisher

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BUT! The Bible also says that God is Love. If so, then what loving God would banish souls to Hell for never having had a chance to accept Jesus?

 

My answer to this part of the question is this... Parents love their children. But sometimes you have to let the child experience the feeling of the hot burner on the stove before they will truly know what "NO! It's Hot! Don't touch it!" means. The child only sees a mean person who doesn't let them do what they want. They don't see the love the parent has, nor do they trust that the parents have the best interest for the child in mind when they deny something to them.

 

This is the way that God is. He has identified Himself through His creation (Luke 19:39-41), through His scriptures, through His people. The point is that everyone has had the opportunity to hear from and about Him. Consider all the people who died in the Flood. All had the opportunity to obey God whether they were there with Noah or not, and yet they chose not to and were thusly not saved from the consequences of their own sinful nature.



#9
Hall7

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The same question went through my mind when my faith in God was questionable. Until I read, analyzed and finally understood this passage:
 
Romans 2
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
 
Our God is a good God who understands everyone's heart.
 
What or who is a Gentile?

God was never an enemy of the Gentile nations (or non-Israel nations) but any Gentile could join with and become part of the nation of Israel. This was possible only if they rejected Pagan worship and their associated false Gods such as Baal or Asherah. God was very concerned with the souls of the Pagan nations and never had intentions of destroying them all. Most Christians who may not know the Old Testament believe that God was against any nation that was not Israelite and was trying to wipe them from off the face of the earth. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, Jesus’ has Pagan people like Ruth in His lineage showing that He desires the worship of all nations. That will finally occur after His second coming. ( Related reading: Biblical Signs of The Second Coming of Jesus)

God expressed and poured out His love for the Pagan nations, believe it or not. He was not set in His heart to destroy them all. Read what God says about those whom He loves, Jew or Gentile:

http://www.whatchris...-a-bible-study/
 
 
Now a Pagan or an Atheist who rejects Jesus Christ in their lives intentionally knowing who Jesus is becomes an anti-Christ, and that's a whole different story.
And to clarify things, I'm not saying that the unbelievers will see the kingdom of God and I'm not saying that all unbelievers will go to hell. That's entirely up to God.

#10
Willamina

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God drew me to Himself by giving me light when He revealed Himself through His creation. When I received that light He gave me more and revealed my sin to me.. I immediately asked Him to forgive me and screwed up the courage to make restitution. I was about 13 years old at the time. Next He gave me a hunger to read the Bible.

As I received the light He gave me, He gave me more. So it is with all unbelievers. God has reached Hindus and Muslims in the same way and led them to Christians to receive the full light of the Lord Jesus in scripture. At the time of Abraham, his faith was accounted to him as righteousness. So those before Christ who never had a chance to hear the Gospel, also had a law written on their hearts by which they will be judged. I don't know if those who had faith in the mercy of a Creator God, not an animistic god or an idol, will have their faith accounted to them as righteousness as well. We are not told in scripture. But we do know that our God is just and righteous in all His ways.
Those who reject the truth and the light given them, who harden their hearts in hatred and sin, will be judged accordingly as well. Even pride, the sin of satan, is a part of what hardens hearts to the light and the truth. I see many learned men, full of pride, reject God's word and insist on "I did it my way." This is the saddest quote I have ever heard. All must humble themselves and become like a trusting little child to be saved. We must do it God's way -- by the undeserved favor of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His blood that we might be forgiven. Then He sent His Spirit into us so that we might also live through Him.

#11
bopeep1909

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Their are many ministries that are now bringing the word of God all over the world by radio and all kinds of media.To many,many who have never heard the Gospel.Very few now have not heard it.



#12
other one

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Their are many ministries that are now bringing the word of God all over the world by radio and all kinds of media.To many,many who have never heard the Gospel.Very few now have not heard it.

there are about 150,000 people a day that die in this world, and has been that way for some time....

 

I would not think that all these people have heard the Gospel.....    especially those of ten to fifteen years ago.

 

But even if it's one.......    it begs the question of this thread.

 

For the record I have no answer other than they are in the hands of a Just and Loving God.   But hey I am not a Calvinist so that might not work for everyone.



#13
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The Bible doesn't address the fate of those who have not heard the Gospel and died before hearing it.  But we know one thing.  God sees the big picture and while it is a problem for us, this didn't take God by surprise and He will deal with the situation in a manner that is consistent with His righteousness and divine character.   God will always do what is just and we simply need to trust Him in that.

 

Where the Bible is silent, we need to be silent. 

 

Good advice shiloh.






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