What About Those In Non-Christian Lands Who Have Never Heard The Gospel?

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by JAG*, Jul 8, 2023.

  1. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    Question: How is God good or just to abandon to Hell those who have never even heard the gospel?

    JAG Writes:

    Consider the following:

    First, we Bible believing Christians start with the true proclamation that
    God always does that which is right.

    This means that the God who always does what is right, world-wide
    and history-wide, is never going to abandon one of His elect to Gehenna,
    but will find a way to save them and give them the gift of eternal life as
    per John 3:16's "shall not perish but have eternal life."

    Second, we Bible believing Christians MUST stay within the confines
    of doctrinal orthodoxy and so we hold solid and fast to John 14:6
    that correctly teaches: no man can come to the Father except through
    believing in the Lord Jesus as his Savior.

    Third, none of the above prevents us from considering the following:

    Eternal Now. With regard to God's knowledge there is no past. present and future.
    God sees everything in the Eternal NOW. God's Omniscience demands this position.
    God now knows all that can be known, God does not learn new information and new truths.


    So?

    So the Eternal NOW knowledge is God's reality. And God's reality IS REALITY.

    What YOU (we) can see is very limited and what YOU (we) can see IS NOT REALITY.

    God has Middle Knowledge -- what that means is that God sees and knows fully
    what every human being would choose to do under all possible sets of different
    circumstances.


    Let us take for an example a man named Akua Adisa, born in Africa in the year 1600 A.D.

    Akua lived and died never knowing a single word of the gospel message.

    God's Middle Knowledge knows precisely what Akua Adisa will choose to do in all possible
    sets of circumstances --

    -- for example if Akua Adisa had been born in, say, South Carolina in the year 1990 A.D.
    and had traveled to hear Franklin Graham preach the gospel.

    How is this ↓ conclusion NOT compelling?

    If the Sovereign God knows that Akua Adisa would have accepted the Lord Jesus as his
    Savior if he had been born in the year 1990 A.D. in South Carolina when he heard Franklin
    Graham preach the gospel then in God's reality Akua Adisa has accepted the Lord Jesus as
    his Savior and has therefore fulfilled the requirements of John 14:6 no man can come to the
    Father except through faith in the Lord Jesus.

    Are we not compelled to reach this conclusion?

    Thoughts?

    __________________________

    PS
    God's Omniscience demands we hold that God has what the philosophers call
    Middle Knowledge.


    JAG

    []
     
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  2. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Of course, a religion can say absolutely anything it wants.

    But, guessing what a human might believe if exposed to entirely different education, speeches, society, parentage, etc. is clearly nonsense in the real world.

    Even more surprising to me is the claim is that Jesus came to Earth and invalidated the religion of God's chosen people.

    Harsh!

    Or, is Judaism just as valid a path to heaven?
     
  3. lemmiwinx

    lemmiwinx Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Navel gazing seems to me to be the perfect pathway to Nirvana as opposed to organized religion. No sinners roasting in Hell required. Everyone has a navel and a mind. Although some people here make me question it.
     
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  4. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    Romans seems to indicate that those who never heard of Jesus will perish in Hell. But maybe that's more Paulianity than Christianity.
     
  5. lemmiwinx

    lemmiwinx Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    What if you heard of Jesus but you're kind of not totally on board yet. Do you go straight to hell then if you die or is there a purgatory that's not so harsh?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2023
  6. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    Depends who you ask. Purgatory isn't really a biblical thing, so that's only going to show up with Catholics and the like. Personally, the whole concept of Hell is monstrous to me. It also makes the concept of Heaven impossible for me. How can I experience eternal bliss knowing that so many friends and just decent human beings, even if I've never met them, are being tortured for eternity? It seems like only a psychopath could experience joy living that way.
     
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  7. lemmiwinx

    lemmiwinx Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thanks for the reply. The concept of Hell is abhorrent to me as well. I don't know how anyone can expouse a religion that encompasses the existence of the never ending pain and torment they call Hell.
     
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  8. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    There are a few different takes. There are Biblical Universalists who believe that Hell is temporary and meant more for purification than punishment, and that God will eventually reconcile all. There are also annihilationists, who believe that "Hell" just means the grave and that, when you die, it's lights out, but that God will resurrect the saved. No eternal torture. Just lights out for most people and resurrection for the believers. That's not so bad in my estimation. It's really the doctrine of an eternal, torturous Hell that troubled me, regardless of the religion. I feel the same about Muslims who teach the same.
     
  9. Overitall

    Overitall Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Paul's epistles are the manual for Christianity, being addressed to the "Body of Christ". How you, seemingly, dismiss them is strange for someone that claims to be a Christian.
     
  10. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    I don't claim to be Christian. There are things I like about Paul's epistles and things I don't. But if I were a Christian, I would focus more on Jesus than Paul.
     
  11. Overitall

    Overitall Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    My bad, I was thinking of someone else when I made that comment.

    Much of Paul's writing did focus on Jesus. What was accomplished through his death and resurrection is found therein.
     
  12. Injeun

    Injeun Well-Known Member

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    Interesting insight JAG. God provides. Thanks.
     
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  13. Injeun

    Injeun Well-Known Member

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    To me, hell is being at war with God in our heart, mind, and soul. This is because we are his offspring. So we are essentially God in microcosm. This means that hell is to be at war with our own selves....to be unrepentant, contentious, proud, selfish, etc. So the flames are forever because we are eternal. And God will remove the comfort of his spirit from us, which is our comfort in life. So we will be left utterly to ourselves and the spirit of the adversary to whom we've made allegiance in life. This is just a guess. So don't quote me. But I believe that everything which God does is just because he is perfect and knows best.
     
  14. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    OK, however I would point out that mankind has no possibility of knowing what god does or does not do.

    If we had that knowledge, then we would not be accepting god by faith. We would be accepting god on the grounds of his works as identified by man.

    Accepting god on faith, as the bible specifies, really does mean that we don't know what god does or does not do.
     
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  15. ricmortis

    ricmortis Well-Known Member

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    You do understand that this is just mankinds perception of what a god is.
     
  16. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    And Paul's own interpretations. Paul taught the Divine Right of Kings and that it was a sin to EVER rebel against a government, making our Founding Fathers some of the biggest sinners in history. I'm not sure if Jesus would have agreed with them or not, but I'm not just going to take Paul's word for it. Just like I'm not going to trust his rampant misogyny.
     
  17. Injeun

    Injeun Well-Known Member

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    Understood. It is partly what I know personally and spiritually of God in my life.
     
  18. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to read my OP.

    Best

    JAG

    []
     
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  19. Curious Always

    Curious Always Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I was raised in the shittiest possible Catholic way.

    At CCD, the primary message was fear of hell. God hates sinners. If you are a good person with nothing to confess, make something up or be labeled a liar. Sit in that pew while doing 30 Hail Marys and your fake sin is forgiven. Fail to do all 50 will insure the wrath of god. He sends those people to hell.

    At home, it was very weird. Church was super important, but only 3-4 times/year, plus funerals, weddings, and first communions. No meat on Friday during lent was the most important Catholic law we followed all year. Trust the priests and nuns, they know what they are talking about, but no, accidentally eating bologna on a Friday doesn’t send you to hell, but may slightly add to time spent in purgatory.

    According to dad, only Catholics will get to the front of heaven. (Totally serious.) Other Christians get the middle section.Jewish leaders get the back, but regular Jews are in the waiting room? I forget what he called it. Purgatory sentencing was a cumulative lifelong tally. Some people get a few days, others, a few years, decades or eons.

    You want to make a child incredibly confused about god? That’s one way. What it really teaches is that nobody knows, and it’s extremely likely that everyone is wrong. If you can cafeteria your way through god’s laws, are they really all that important? Is the deathbed confession all that needed? Nobody knows, lol.

    On a previous forum, religion was a popular topic. One guy kept insisting that every non Christian was going to hell, including everyone who lived before Jesus.

    I have religious friends and family. Some of my Jewish friends eat cheese on their burgers, which is right under the bacon. All the Catholics I know are either snipped, on the pill, or use condoms. My dad was snipped in 69, after my sister was born .

    I respect my friends who are religious. It brings them joy and peace. I’m all for anything that brings those attributes to life. They respect that my distrust in religion isn’t a rejection of them or their beliefs.

    I don’t know if god is real. My only strongly held religious belief is that if their is a conscious higher power that knows all, it’s not worried about which team should win the superbowl, who gets the job, and doesn’t choose which person survives cancer and which person dies a ugly, pain filled death. Your dead child is not god’s wrath because you didn’t pray hard enough.

    It certainly doesn’t care if I sit, stand, kneel and pray on command from a man in a dress. If it truly has after death plans, it’s not because I followed 2,000 year old laws written by mortals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2023
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  20. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    Does the Bible teach that up there?

    Please enlighten yourself:



    Many thanks.

    JAG

    []
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2023
  21. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    PS to the OP:

    The question is raised: Do we, or do we not, have a solid
    Biblical commitment to the doctrine of God's Omniscience
    -- God knows everything? If the answer to that question is
    yes, then the conclusion logically must follow that God could
    know what Akua Adisa would choose under all possible sets
    of different circumstances -- and this means that it is possible
    for God to know that Akua Adisa would choose to believe in
    the Lord Jesus as his Savior if he had been born in South
    Carolina in the year 1990 A.D. and had traveled to hear
    Franklin Graham preach the gospel, which knowledge would
    be God's reality which IS REALITY.


    JAG
     
  22. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    "Guessing"__WRM

    Guessing?

    The Sovereign God does not do the guessing thingy.

    Just quickly breezed over the OP, eh?

    Best

    JAG

    []
     
  23. Injeun

    Injeun Well-Known Member

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    That's true. But he keeps his promises.
     
  24. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    Supplement to the OP:

    Calvin disagreed with Molina's Middle Knowledge:

    At this point in my thinking I don't see any compelling reasons why we
    cannot hold to both Calvin's divine decrees and Molina's Middle Knowledge's.

    If I am correct . . .
    God's knowledge could be based on His divine decrees, but He
    could also know what any man would choose to do in all sets of different
    circumstances.

    That is, God could have predestined the destiny of the OP's Akua Adisa
    and at the same time ALSO know what Akua would choose to do in all
    possible sets of different circumstances.

    My view is that our Biblical commitment to God's Omniscience (God knows
    everything) would compel us to believe God knows what every man would
    choose to do in all possible different sets of circumstances.

    Question: Is God's *foreknowledge and man's free will being compatible:

    I feel I am compelled to say yes because I am theologically
    committed to both being true -- which is not to say that I can
    explain HOW to reconcile the two doctrines. I would quote
    Deut 29:29 "The secret things belong to God" on this jewel of a
    seeming contradiction. And the principle in Acts 1:7 "It is not for
    you to know"__Jesus

    *Our Calvinist position on foreknowledge is that it is not mere
    pre-knowledge, but it actually connected with predestination.


    JAG

    []
     
  25. JAG*

    JAG* Well-Known Member

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    I read that! That's a nightmare. I'm very sorry you had all that to contend with . . .

    However . . . .

    There is an alternative:

    And here tis:

    Get a good translation of the Bible and start reading it for yourself with NOT A SINGLE
    WORD about what you are reading from any other human mouth-running.

    The NIV is very good.

    Read the Bible every day and draw YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.

    I would suggest you start with John's gospel. That is an excellent place to start.

    In fact why don't you just goal to read ONLY John's gospel just to see what
    kind of good results you get.

    John's gospel is a great book -- I think you'll love it.

    Here is an excerpt from John's gospel:

    ___________________________________________________________________

    Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

    On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

    Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come
    to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

    When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him,
    but Mary stayed at home.

    “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have
    died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

    Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

    Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in
    me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will
    never die
    . Do you believe this?”

    “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of
    God, who is to come into the world.”

    John 11:17-27

    ______________________________________________________________


    Best

    JAG

    []
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2023
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