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bhoup
Apr 14th 2009, 05:37 AM
In the book I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist the authors state the following:

"People may choose hell whether or not they've heard of Jesus. Everyone knows of God because of the starry heavens above and the Moral Law within (Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-15). However, those who truly seek God will be rewarded (Heb 11:6). In fact, God wants everyone to be saved (2 Pet 3:9), and since God is just (Gen 18:25; Ps 9:8; Rom 3:26), no one will go to hell who should go to heaven."

But is this enough? If Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, how can they enter heaven if they have never heard, but only know of God the Father?

Zack702
Apr 14th 2009, 05:45 AM
I think it is because christians know Jesus well having read the bible and attended church or raised in a family who knows about it.
But people who do not know about Jesus they still can experience truth.
The way the truth the life thats something that exists wether you realise it or not.
People who realise the way and the truth without knowing the details truely have recieved it by faith.

TrustGzus
Apr 14th 2009, 06:04 AM
Greetings bhoup,

You asked . . .
But is this enough? If Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, how can they enter heaven if they have never heard, but only know of God the Father?Don't you think Geisler and Turek answered that within the paragraph you quoted in parts you omitted . . .
“Because I can’t believe in a God who would torture people in hell just because they haven’t heard of Jesus.” Who said God does this? First, God doesn’t torture anyone. Hell is not a place of externally inflicted torture, but a place of self-inflicted torment (Luke 16:23, 28). Those in hell certainly don’t want it, but they will it. Hell is a terrible place, but its doors are locked on the inside. Second, people may choose hell whether or not they’ve heard of Jesus. Everyone knows of God because of the starry heavens above and the Moral Law within (Rom 1:18–20; 2:14–15). Those who reject that natural revelation will reject Jesus too. However, those that truly seek God will be rewarded (Heb. 11:6). Since God wants everyone to be saved (even more than you do—2 Pet. 3:9), he will ensure that seekers get the information they need. And since God is just (Gen. 18:25; Ps. 9:8; Rom. 3:26), no one will go to hell who should go to heaven, and vice versa. “In the meantime,” as C. S. Lewis said, “if you are worried about people on the outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself. Christians are Christ’s body, the organism through which he works. Every addition to that body enables Him to do more. If you want to help those outside, you must add your own little cell to the body of Christ who alone can help them. Cutting off a man’s fingers would be an odd way of getting him to do more work.”

Geisler, N. L., & Turek, F. (2004). I don't have enough faith to be an atheist (386). Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books.

Bolding is mineGeisler and Turek state they will get the information they need.

bhoup
Apr 14th 2009, 06:36 AM
Re: "Since God wants everyone to be saved (even more than you do—2 Pet. 3:9), he will ensure that seekers get the information they need."

1) I think the key here is the word "seekers." Before I became a Christian I wasn't searching for Jesus, or anything for that matter. I was simply living life. My point is that not everyone is seeking how to get to heaven. God might want people to be saved more than I do, but that still doesn't solve the problem of people knowing because of nature. That does not get anyone in to heaven. A trust in Jesus does.

2) If all people really get the information they need, then why have missionaries, the Great Commission, etc?

I think my bottom line is that natural revelation is not enough if Jesus is the only way. So, everyone must hear about Jesus, but not everyone does hear.

TrustGzus
Apr 14th 2009, 07:49 AM
Re: "Since God wants everyone to be saved (even more than you do—2 Pet. 3:9), he will ensure that seekers get the information they need."

1) I think the key here is the word "seekers." Before I became a Christian I wasn't searching for Jesus, or anything for that matter. I was simply living life. My point is that not everyone is seeking how to get to heaven. God might want people to be saved more than I do, but that still doesn't solve the problem of people knowing because of nature. That does not get anyone in to heaven. A trust in Jesus does.A couple points. You weren't searching for Jesus. That's fine. The Bible describes Jesus seeking to save the lost. So in your case Jesus was seeking you.

Next point, I don't see anywhere where Geisler and Turek claim natural revelation is enough. Review the whole paragraph from them. They do state that if someone rejects the more basic natural revelation of the heavens and the moral law, then they will surely reject Jesus too. Then they state that if someone is seeking, then God will get them the information, i.e. information about Jesus, that they need.
2) If all people really get the information they need, then why have missionaries, the Great Commission, etc?Aren't missionaries and Christians fulfilling the Great Commission how they get the information? As C.S. Lewis said in the quote, if you are concerned about the man with only natural revelation, then join the body of Christ. Of course, you've done that already.
I think my bottom line is that natural revelation is not enough if Jesus is the only way. So, everyone must hear about Jesus, but not everyone does hear.I've never seen in any of Geisler's writings where he disagrees with you.

Grace & peace to you,

Joe

bhoup
Apr 14th 2009, 08:36 AM
Re: "Everyone knows of God because of the starry heavens above and the Moral Law within (Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-15)."

I'm not sure I believe this (not the Scripture references). Does everyone really believe the starry heavens above are from God? I don't think they do because some people are atheists.

As for the C.S. Lewis quote, does he mean non-believers who are worried about it should simply become Christians to help others to Christ? I don't get it.

Zack702
Apr 14th 2009, 10:09 AM
Re: "Everyone knows of God because of the starry heavens above and the Moral Law within (Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-15)."

I'm not sure I believe this (not the Scripture references). Does everyone really believe the starry heavens above are from God? I don't think they do because some people are atheists.

As for the C.S. Lewis quote, does he mean non-believers who are worried about it should simply become Christians to help others to Christ? I don't get it.

I think it is saying that people who dont seek God for eternal life shouldn't expect to have it.

But anyone with some sense should be able to look at the stars forget about what they think they are and realise what they really are. They are a masterpiece of God just like each drop of water or every grain of sand.

That is probably one of the neverending arguments you coud have with a atheist where the stars came from ect. Because most of them try to side with a scientific theory rather than accepting the fact that it is impossible to make something from nothing unless you are God.

David Taylor
Apr 14th 2009, 12:38 PM
Scripture answers your question.

You personally may not know how, when, and where God provides the means of salvation to everyone, but according to His word He does do it; just like Abraham living in the middle of Chaldea, or the Roman Cornelius, or any untold number of people throughout hisory He has reached in unbelievable and miraculous circumstances.



Matthew 7:7 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."

Acts 17:26 "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us"

Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men"

TrustGzus
Apr 14th 2009, 03:57 PM
Re: "Everyone knows of God because of the starry heavens above and the Moral Law within (Rom 1:18-20; 2:14-15)."

I'm not sure I believe this (not the Scripture references). Does everyone really believe the starry heavens above are from God? I don't think they do because some people are atheists. You could say that God doesn't believe in atheists. Look at the beginning of Psalm 19 and Romans 1 . . .

1The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge.

3They have no speech, they use no words;

no sound is heard from them.

4Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

5 which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,

like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

6It rises at one end of the heavens

and makes its circuit to the other;

nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ps 19:1-6). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.



The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ro 1:18-20). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.Along with the Scripture telling us the heavens declare his glory and that what can be known about God is plain to those who suppress it, the Bible also tells us it's the fool who says there is no god.

1Fools say in their hearts,

“There is no God.”

The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (Ps 14:1). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.That identical thought is repeated in Psalm 53:1.

So Psalm 19 and Romans 1 tell us that natural revelation gives people enough to conclude that a creator exists. You won't spell out the doctrine of the Trinity from looking at natural revelation. You won't figure out the hypostatic union of Jesus. You won't solve the conflict of divine sovereignty vs. human responsibility. But one will recognize that there is a creator. If not, the God declares this person is a fool.

matthew94
Apr 14th 2009, 04:03 PM
The idea that the un-evangelized may receive salvation is NOT the same as saying natural revelation can save people. If God chooses to save those whom have never heard of Jesus, it need not imply that they are saved by some other way than Jesus. Instead of looking at it from the perspective of the un-evangelized (saved by adherence to natural revelation), why not look at it from the perspective of God (extending Jesus' blood to the un-evangelized). The question is not, 'can people get saved without Jesus?' The question really is 'just how far does the grace of God extend in Christ?'

bhoup
Apr 14th 2009, 08:51 PM
I really appreciate everyone's thoughts, thank you!

Re: So Psalm 19 and Romans 1 tell us that natural revelation gives people enough to conclude that a creator exists. You won't spell out the doctrine of the Trinity from looking at natural revelation. You won't figure out the hypostatic union of Jesus. You won't solve the conflict of divine sovereignty vs. human responsibility. But one will recognize that there is a creator. If not, the God declares this person is a fool.

While it might be true that natural revelation leaves people without excuse to say there is not a Creator, it does nothing for salvation or people not hearing about Jesus, and the fact that not everyone seeks. That is how this thread started. I'm still stuck.

matthew94
Apr 14th 2009, 08:58 PM
While it might be true that natural revelation leaves people without excuse to say there is not a Creator, it does nothing for salvation or people not hearing about Jesus, and the fact that not everyone seeks. That is how this thread started. I'm still stuck.

It would seem you've been offered 3 options...

1) If they respond to natural revelation positively, God will, somehow, make sure they receive special revelation (the gospel) before they die

2) If they respond to natural revelation positively, but never hear the gospel before they die, God will save them through Jesus even in their ignorance

3) If they respond to natural revelation positively, but never hear the gospel before they die, they are lost.

# 1 & #3 are classical-conservative answers. #1 is the optimistic conservative answer. #3 is the pessimistic conservative answer. #2 is the out of the box answer.

bhoup
Apr 14th 2009, 09:12 PM
It would seem you've been offered 3 options...

1) If they respond to natural revelation positively, God will, somehow, make sure they receive special revelation (the gospel) before they die

2) If they respond to natural revelation positively, but never hear the gospel before they die, God will save them through Jesus even in their ignorance

3) If they respond to natural revelation positively, but never hear the gospel before they die, they are lost.

# 1 & #3 are classical-conservative answers. #1 is the optimistic conservative answer. #3 is the pessimistic conservative answer. #2 is the out of the box answer.

Just curious Matt, which do you believe? Also, what would you say to the skeptic that says, "if number 3 is true, then that is not a god I want to serve."?

The Parson
Apr 15th 2009, 12:02 AM
Here is something to consider if you will. Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

So, considering the knowledge of the law and those who haven't received condemnation by the knowledge of it's ordinances, what do you think the underlined is saying?

bhoup
Apr 15th 2009, 12:56 AM
Here is something to consider if you will. Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

So, considering the knowledge of the law and those who haven't received condemnation by the knowledge of it's ordinances, what do you think the underlined is saying?

I'm not getting it.

The Parson
Apr 15th 2009, 01:27 AM
OK bhoup, lets consider a child or better yet an infant. This little one doesn't know right from wrong, much less their right hand from their left. If they die without the Saviors pardon, there is no way I can believe these are doomed to hell. Ain't happening. That's grace. Would they be part of the bride of Christ? No, but God's mercy can't be restricted to a box, can it?

The bible only places condemnation on those who are willfully ignorant. The key is willfully.

tgallison
Apr 15th 2009, 01:33 AM
Just curious Matt, which do you believe? Also, what would you say to the skeptic that says, "if number 3 is true, then that is not a god I want to serve."?

bhoup greetings

If you answer the door when Jesus knocks, He will come in and speak with you. If you will hear, he will reveal himself to you. If He reveals himself to you. The choice then becomes yours, do you believe Him. That is what faith is all about. Believing that what ever He does is pure and just. God is able to speak to your Heart. He is able to present in your life his truth.

Anyone that does not understand that God can do no wrong, cannot have much faith.

A God that can create this world by His Word has no trouble in revealing himself to who ever seeks Him.

Seeking Him is a necessity, who ever that does not follow him, cares little.

Terrell

bhoup
Apr 15th 2009, 01:39 AM
OK bhoup, lets consider a child or better yet an infant. This little one doesn't know right from wrong, much less their right hand from their left. If they die without the Saviors pardon, there is no way I can believe these are doomed to hell. Ain't happening. That's grace. Would they be part of the bride of Christ? No, but God's mercy can't be restricted to a box, can it?

The bible only places condemnation on those who are willfully ignorant. The key is willfully.

Thanks! So, if I am correct, your believe that all people who don't hear about Jesus will have a chance. Am I correct?

The Parson
Apr 15th 2009, 01:55 AM
It all has to do with the intents of the heart and Gods mercy. Otherwise it's bordering on universalism which is nothing but heresy.

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