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Jon87
Jan 28th 2008, 04:09 AM
I have very heated debates with a lot of my friends from time to time. They use a lot of standard arguments against creation and Christianity, and I've become fairly good at countering them. There's one that always gets me though, and it has started to really bother me.

--- I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age. Some other more difficult ones are, those who have grown up in constant war/poverty/death, and have never known love or kindness. Those who kill not because they want to, but because they have no choice in order to survive. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

--- Another one that I can't even begin to answer. It is true that people are born with disabilities, and people are born in situations which lead them to lives of sin more so than the situations that most of us have grown up in. Are these people condemned at birth? Does God create some of us knowing that we will not accept Jesus Christ??

quiet dove
Jan 28th 2008, 04:33 AM
There are verses in the Bible that speak of a child reaching the age of accountability. There are many in war torn places who come to know Jesus every day, those people take away the excuse of those in the same situation that reject Him. Same with those born with disabilities, many of them love the Lord and those very same take away the excuse of others in their same shoes.

And finally, God knows who is capable of making a decision and who is not, like he knows you are capable of making a decision so you will be held accountable.

Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

IPet2_9
Jan 28th 2008, 04:44 AM
I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age.

To answer to the question about those who can't know, died very young, were aborted babies, etc..:

Paul says that we become like the angels. In fact, one day we will judge the angels. I think those who died fitting the category you just described also become like the angels, but less so able to judge the angels. But even the angels, they all had to face that critical point in their relationship with God: do they follow God, or Lucifer, as 1/3 of them did?

Tanya~
Jan 28th 2008, 06:09 AM
Hi Jon, and welcome to the forum. :)



--- I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age.

The Bible teaches that God searches the heart. A Biblical example of a child dying at a young age is seen in 1 Kings 14. Jeroboam, the wicked ruler of the northern tribes of Israel, had a young son who became ill, and was going to die. Jeroboam and all his household were doomed because of pervasive evil. But the child would die from his illness, and this is what would happen:

1 Kings 14:13
13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
NKJV

God knows our hearts and searches our hearts. Whatever revelation a given person receives, is what he will be judged by, not what he doesn't receive. In this time, God has a way of getting the gospel to people who are prepared to receive Him, even in the most unlikely ways and places.

Also read Romans 2:12-16.



Some other more difficult ones are, those who have grown up in constant war/poverty/death, and have never known love or kindness. Those who kill not because they want to, but because they have no choice in order to survive. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

Any time you're talking hypothetically, one can only answer with conjectures. I suppose you could give examples of people who grow up like that and never know any goodness. There is also the occasional person who, in spite of such things, will rise above it.


--- Another one that I can't even begin to answer. It is true that people are born with disabilities, and people are born in situations which lead them to lives of sin more so than the situations that most of us have grown up in. Are these people condemned at birth? Does God create some of us knowing that we will not accept Jesus Christ??

I'm not sure what disability has to do with sin. And it seems that you are basing the question on the premise that one's circumstances dictate how relatively good or sinful they will be. I don't agree that this is the case, necessarily. We make the choices that we make. People justify their choices, but that doesn't mean they truly were forced by their circumstances.

menJesus
Jan 28th 2008, 09:41 AM
There is another thread about this that has some very good discussion on it.

Scroll through the threads and you should find it. I hope this helps.

Frances
Jan 28th 2008, 07:18 PM
. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

I suggest both have the same answer, as I trust Him to always do what is Just - and I don't need to know in advance what that will be.

Partaker of Christ
Jan 28th 2008, 09:46 PM
My understanding is;

"Today if you hear His Voice, harden not your heart"

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

TrustGzus
Jan 28th 2008, 10:33 PM
Greetings,

You mentioned the classic example being the child dying at a young age. Here's a classic Scripture for that:

21His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”


The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. 2005 (2 Sa 12:21-23). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


David states he will go to the child. I'm sure he wasn't referring to Hell.

DanDMan64
Jan 28th 2008, 11:24 PM
I believe God is just, so He will not judge anyone who does not know they have done any wrong, as in children who die before the age of accountability, before they get to know good and evil, up to that point they are like Adam and Eve before they understood what it was to disobey God. I think any body with a mental disability that impairs their judgment would qualify as well, provided they were born that way.

In the case of those who were never reached with the gospel, it is my personal opinion that they will be judged solely on the basis of their works, whether they were good or evil, and that will be after the millennium before the Great White Throne Judgment of God. (Rev 20:11-15. 11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
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. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.) Some may disagree with me on this, but I think it's clear that those who never heard about salvation through "The Lamb" won't be judged by their name being or not being written on "The Lamb's Book of Life." That is one judgment, and of those who were given the chance to accept salvation through "The Lamb" to them applies the "whosoever" of verse 15. But the rest who never heard the gospel, they will be judged according to what's written on the books, according to their works, and I gather very few if any will be saved, since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23.)

I think ultimately people who bring-up this questions do it to divert attention away from their own situation, as if to say that if God grants salvation without Christ to some individuals, then God is not fair if He judges them for not accepting Christ. However it is our responsibility to point-out that they are not exempt from having to deal with salvation through Christ just because they think it's not fair, if they don't like the rules they should take it-up with the one who made them, so remind them that since they know about Christ and salvation through grace, they will be judged on that basis if they choose to reject it.

Remind them about Hebrews 2:3 "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;"

Keep the focus on Jesus! and if you're not a Bible scholar or a Theologian, don't feel bad if you don't know all the answers, it's OK to say "I don't know about that, but I know this..." and always bring the conversation back to Jesus, make them face-up to this question, "What will you do about Jesus?." :confused

tgallison
Jan 28th 2008, 11:50 PM
I have very heated debates with a lot of my friends from time to time. They use a lot of standard arguments against creation and Christianity, and I've become fairly good at countering them. There's one that always gets me though, and it has started to really bother me.

--- I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age. Some other more difficult ones are, those who have grown up in constant war/poverty/death, and have never known love or kindness. Those who kill not because they want to, but because they have no choice in order to survive. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

--- Another one that I can't even begin to answer. It is true that people are born with disabilities, and people are born in situations which lead them to lives of sin more so than the situations that most of us have grown up in. Are these people condemned at birth? Does God create some of us knowing that we will not accept Jesus Christ??

Jon87 Greetings

Faith is trusting even when you don't have all the details.

God is perfect goodness.

God is perfect righteousness.

God is perfect justice.

God is perfect love.

Knowing all this, it shouldn't be necessary to know all the details.

God has not given you all the details. He wants you to trust Him. It is called faith.

In Jesus Christ, terrell

Matt14
Jan 29th 2008, 12:33 AM
--- I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age. Some other more difficult ones are, those who have grown up in constant war/poverty/death, and have never known love or kindness. Those who kill not because they want to, but because they have no choice in order to survive. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

It is reasonable to assume that all children who have not reached the maturity to decide for or against Christ will be saved.

Jesus once said that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must become as little children:

Mat 18:3 and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Be converted and become as little children! For such is the kingdom of heaven:

Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."


--- Another one that I can't even begin to answer. It is true that people are born with disabilities, and people are born in situations which lead them to lives of sin more so than the situations that most of us have grown up in. Are these people condemned at birth? Does God create some of us knowing that we will not accept Jesus Christ??

Are such people born unable to keep from sinning? Anyone with the ability to choose right and wrong is accountable. Anyone NOT able to choose is not. It's simple as that.

Saved7
Jan 29th 2008, 02:03 AM
I have very heated debates with a lot of my friends from time to time. They use a lot of standard arguments against creation and Christianity, and I've become fairly good at countering them. There's one that always gets me though, and it has started to really bother me.

--- I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age. Some other more difficult ones are, those who have grown up in constant war/poverty/death, and have never known love or kindness. Those who kill not because they want to, but because they have no choice in order to survive. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

--- Another one that I can't even begin to answer. It is true that people are born with disabilities, and people are born in situations which lead them to lives of sin more so than the situations that most of us have grown up in. Are these people condemned at birth? Does God create some of us knowing that we will not accept Jesus Christ??


God knows what He's doing and He is a righteous and just Judge. He is a God of love and compassion, that should be enough to answer anybody, including your own doubts.

1Cr 2:1 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=1Cr&chapter=2&verse=1&version=kjv#1)¶And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.1Cr 2:2 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=1Cr&chapter=2&verse=2&version=kjv#2)For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.


The better you know our Lord, the better you will be able to answer such questions, and the less you will doubt.:saint:

bjones
Jan 29th 2008, 02:51 AM
God knows what He's doing and He is a righteous and just Judge. He is a God of love and compassion, that should be enough to answer anybody, including your own doubts.
...

Gen 18. ...Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Matt14
Jan 29th 2008, 03:43 AM
You don't have to understand anything of the bible to be saved.

What do you think of what Paul says here:

Rom 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Do you believe people will be saved who have no understanding of who Jesus is?

ravi4u2
Jan 29th 2008, 03:44 AM
I have very heated debates with a lot of my friends from time to time. They use a lot of standard arguments against creation and Christianity, and I've become fairly good at countering them. There's one that always gets me though, and it has started to really bother me.

--- I can't find scripture that explains how God judges those who weren't ABLE to find Jesus, or hadn't the mental capability to keep from sinning or to realize their sins were indeed wrong. The classic example is a child dying at a very young age. Some other more difficult ones are, those who have grown up in constant war/poverty/death, and have never known love or kindness. Those who kill not because they want to, but because they have no choice in order to survive. Is this just a question which can't be answered, only conjectured?

--- Another one that I can't even begin to answer. It is true that people are born with disabilities, and people are born in situations which lead them to lives of sin more so than the situations that most of us have grown up in. Are these people condemned at birth? Does God create some of us knowing that we will not accept Jesus Christ??Just a word of encouragement. Live Christ to the fullest. Nothing can convince your friends more than this.

Matt14
Jan 30th 2008, 03:11 PM
Absolutely yes. The verse does say that faith comes by hearing the Word. It doesn't say it comes by understanding. This verse is saying that we must be in the presence of the Word of God. Whether it be listening to a teacher or reading it on our own accord. I believe that the word "hearing" in this verse is meant to be spiritual hearing more than physical. If it meant only physical hearing than every deaf person on the planet will die unsaved.
Mikey, let's look a little closer at the context of the passage.

Rom 10:13 For "WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED."
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Paul is making the point here that belief can only come after having heard the gospel. There must be an understanding that Christ lived, died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead in order to know what to believe in Paul says this clearly. He alludes to this same idea in Ephesians:

Eph 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Paul's main point in the Romans passage is that one cannot come to savng faith in Christ without hearing the gospel. Surley Paul is not talking about mere sound waves, he's talking about receiving the communication of the gospel. Deaf people can read, can't they? Paul wrote as well as spoke. As did the other apostles.

Without understanding who Christ is, accountable beings will be lost. We're not talking about babies and the mentally challenged on this point. But Jesus said:

Joh 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Who is the "He" Jesus was referring to? The Messiah, of course. Jesus said unless you believe that He is the Messiah, you will die in your sins. That requires an understanding to some degree, Mikey.

What do you think?

WnC
Jan 30th 2008, 03:52 PM
If God chose us before the beginning of the world, wouldn't he also chose us when we were mere babes? To the good pleasure of His will...(Eph 1:4)
He causes the rain to fall on the godly and the ungodly.

I've heard that 'for this purpose I've raised him up and hardened his heart' used with Pharaoh and Judas Iscariot. Could it be that He really chose us, and we did not choose Him. Make's me feel really small. But I've always heard that humility is good.

This argument speaks to fairness, but I can't find in the Bible were God is fair. Actually, I'm glad I cant find it, because I know I deserve death and hell, but by His grace I've been found.
Secularist/humanists will use this argument to attack the 'goodness' of God, why is there so much war and killing if we have a loving God. We'll it was not Gods design to have man fall, He created us for fellowship in the likeness of Him. But, after the fall. He didn't give up, His grace was extended to us.
A great counter to this argument comes from Ravi Zacharias when he speaks of the great humanist dictators of the world: you know, Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin, etc. If evolution is correct, then why do we condemn the Nazi's for what they did? It is doctrinally correct for that philosophy.
However, I would engage in this because it only tears down and doesn't build up.
Remember 1 Cor 1:28 God chose the simple things of this world to confound the wise and the weak things to confound the mighty.
Remember the battle is bigger than it seems.
Hang in there, be very courageous!
-W

tgallison
Jan 31st 2008, 12:27 AM
Matt14,

This could turn out to be a very long discussion on salvation. You ask what I think of you response. I must say that thinking of it from your take on this, that we must understand who Christ is, noone from the Old Testament times will ever be saved. Really, how many people believed in Christ in those times? Noone because they didn't know who He was. Some from late in those times knew a savior was to come but didn't know how He was to save. They knew who God was of course. But that isn't the "savior" that you say we must have understanding of. Now I do know that Christ and God are one in the same. I'm just saying that they didn't know what Christ did because He didn't do it yet. Just from that point of view alone I think that IMO we can deduce that we don't have to understand who Christ is.

Another matter altogether is having faith in Him. This is the point where I said this could turn into a long discussion. I will just throw this out there without any backup from the bible. Unless of course we get too deep in this. No one has to believe in Christ to be saved anyway. This is the point where most people say "What!!! Has he lost his mind?" It's the faith of Christ that saves us and not ours. I just not too long ago got into a very good discussion, and long one, with a certain person about this very topic. People are passionate about our faith saving us but I just don't see it in the bible that way.

I wish I had more time to pull some scriptural references to back up my 1st point. I'm writing this kinda in a hurry so I didn't really have the time.

MickeyO Hi

If I am hearing you right. You are saying God has faith and that is what saves us. Does not sound quite right.

Abraham desired to see Jesus Christ's day, and he saw it. Jesus has always been. (Just because He was not in the flesh does not change that)

terrell

bjones
Feb 1st 2008, 02:14 AM
He has perfect faith. That is why He is called faithful in Rev 19:11.


It's the faith of Christ that saves us and not ours. You said it right, and it is a point that is often missed. When we think of Jesus as super man we miss the whole point of incarnation. Though he was rightly God, he emptied himself of deity. He chose to start as a baby in the mind and strength of a baby. He put aside omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and a bunch of other omini-stuff.

As the Redeemer kinsman, he MUST be related to us. If he resisted temptation because he was super-man, then he was not tempted in every way that we are. In the flesh, Jesus had to have faith, he had to trust the Father.

When Jesus said he only did what he saw the Father do, we immediately think he had super-man abilities to know God. But when he told Pater that "no man had revealed it [that he was the son of God] he showed him plainly in scriptures that he [the son of God] must die. He knew it from the scriptures.

A summary of the faithful in Hebrews gives us a definition of faith that goes something like this:

Faith is obedience to God in the midst of ridicule, persecution and death because God is faithful to do what He says.

Jesus put his own will to death; he did not want to face the cross (Not my will...), in order to demonstrate his faith in the Father.

The only caveat I have for your statements is that in the process of making man in the image and likeness of God, Christ is the express image, and we are made like him, so his faith is effectual in bringing salvation. Our faith is a gift from him, to make us like him, and is the incontrovertible evidence of the kingdom of God. Heb 11.1 & 2.

tgallison
Feb 1st 2008, 03:27 AM
Hello tgallison,

You are absolutely correct in that Jesus has always been and I don't dispute that all. But Jesus didn't reveal Himself as Jesus in those times. What I was trying to say to Mat14 was that since Jesus didn't go to the cross in the OT times yet, how could it be required to believe who He was and that He died for our sins? Did Moses, Noah, David or any other saved person believe in Jesus Christ? Did they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, died for our sins, and was resurrected. That was one of the points I was trying to make. Matt14 was saying that we must understand who Jesus is but OT people didn't understand who He is.

Abraham did rejoice to see Jesus's day and saw it. He was a saved person and as such was in heaven rejoicing when Jesus Christ was born. Jesus in Jhn 8:56 is pretty much telling the Jews that He knew Abraham was rejoicing because Jesus was there as God. Jesus is proclaiming that He is God and they didn't like that too much.

Sorry I'm responding to your points in reverse here. I am saying that Jesus does have faith. He has perfect faith. That is why He is called faithful in Rev 19:11.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Jesus wouldn't be called Faithful if He didn't have faith. Christ is the very embodiment of faith. Christ has many names and one of them is Faith. His faith is spoken of in many verses of the bible. Rom 3:3, Rom 3:22, and Gal 2:16 just to name a few. These verses also help to prove that His faith is what saves us.

MickeyO Greetings

We have a difference of opinion on the meaning of faithful. The word in the Greek is (pistos) and means worthy of trust. Jesus is worthy of our trust. Jesus doesn't need to have faith, He is all knowing. Jesus Christ means Saviour, the anointed one. In the Old Testament one needed to believe that God would provide a ransom. Abraham found this out when he did not have to sacrifice Isaac. God was their salvation.

God spoke to the Old Testament Saints, just as he speaks to us. Genesis 15:1 "After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am the shield and thy exceeding great reward."

Job 23:12 "Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food."

Why would God keep secret from Abraham and Job that which He has given to us. For the word of God came to those who were of a contrite spirit and searched for Him.

In Jesus Christ, terrell