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NinjaWizards777
Oct 5th 2008, 10:32 PM
First off, I want to acknowledge that all of this is going to sound pretty "baby christian" like in my thinking...but I have been a devout follower of Christ for a good seven years now and this isnt the first time these thoughts have come to mind, but now in a much more disturbing and curious manner:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6


Pretty well known verse, even amoungst non-belivers, right? And I have believed it to be true since my conversion, and still do pretty much even in my current time of struggle with faith and what not.

But if Jesus is (and has ALWAYS been, and always will be) the only way to heaven, where does that leave those who passionatley tried to serve and love God in the old testament? For many years I've always thought "well they belived in Gods promise of a coming messiah, so they were probably saved by that".

But if they didnt have the holy spirit of Jesus LIVING in them and have that ultimate sacrifice to atone for their sins...how could they have possibly went to heaven? What about those who loved and served God BEFORE they even knew of such prophecies or promisies? Perhaps they went to heaven if they "tried" to follow the ten commandments...then where does this leave Jesus statment of being that "NO ONE" comes to the father "BUT THROUGH ME"? And what about Elijah? Elijah wasnt saved by Jesus, but it says in 2 Kings 2:11 "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind."

On another note regarding to John 14:6....where does that leave those who never hear the gospel, or are too young/mentally challenged to understand? some say they would be pardoned, but then Jesus would be a liar for saying "No one comes to the father BUT through " and Jesus never sinned so he cant be lying can he?

This esspecially becomes disturbing when you think about the Pre-christ days (B.C. obviously) in other nations that had no idea of a coming messiah or who Jesus was to accept him...but had NOT EVEN A CLUE of the God of the jews, or maybe even the jews for that matter. And possibly alot of jews might not have known before the old testament and the religion of judaism was even established.


So is it "just" to say (since I belive God is just, even beyond the standards we hold because he is beyond us and HAS to be) that people, whether they lived in B.C. or A.D. that had NO knowledge of Christ or ever even had a possible way of ever knowing(secluded tribes, mentally challenged, those too young to understand, etc) are sent to eternal torture and seperation from their loving creator?

If God really wanted his creations to spend eternity with him in paradise, wouldnt it be fair that he allow the knowledge of His plan for salvation across the board both in B.C. and A.D., locationaly, and agewise?

Im not trying to doubt God or his mindset that is beyond us....I realize that for him to be GOD he MUST have a mindset and understanding and justice far greater and suprasing than we can concieve...but Im just trying to ask some honest questions.

Sold Out
Oct 5th 2008, 11:17 PM
First you have to remember that God does not operate in 'time' as we know it. He is eternal. So the Old Testament saints were saved just as we are, by trusting in the Messiah. The only difference between them and New Testament saints is our view of the cross.

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev 13:8

Christ's sacrifice was accomplished from the foundation of the world...salvation was accomplished in the eternal sense already.

Not only that, there are many passages that tell us the OT saints believed the Gospel (death, burial & resurrection of Christ - I Cor 15:1-4)

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Galatians 3:7,8

"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." Hebrews 11:24-26

NinjaWizards777
Oct 6th 2008, 12:18 AM
First you have to remember that God does not operate in 'time' as we know it. He is eternal. So the Old Testament saints were saved just as we are, by trusting in the Messiah. The only difference between them and New Testament saints is our view of the cross.

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev 13:8

Christ's sacrifice was accomplished from the foundation of the world...salvation was accomplished in the eternal sense already.

Not only that, there are many passages that tell us the OT saints believed the Gospel (death, burial & resurrection of Christ - I Cor 15:1-4)

"Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Galatians 3:7,8

"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." Hebrews 11:24-26

Alright, so lets assume that B.C. believers in the one true God, were saved by believing in the promise of the messiah, since God operates outside of time, yada yada yada. They still didnt have the holy spirit living in them, transforming them, because the holy spirit had not yet come, because the holy spirit didnt come til after Jesus....to live in our hearts. So is that to say that people can go to heaven SIMPLY by believing in Jesus and his sacrifice, and not by literally accepting his forgiveness and spirit into our hearts to transform us? This seems to not make any sense, as most devout christians as myself would agee that salvation is a little more than just "saying a prayer that you believe". And if its the belif of a messiah that causes you to be saved, would that mean the Jews are saved as well? they believe in a comming messiah, they just dont understand that its Jesus...but since they believe in "the promise" does that mean that they are saved as well by default of technicality? You could say "well they didnt think it was Jesus so no" the people of the old testement didnt even know who on earth "jesus" was yet they believed in the messiah, and since your argument is that they are saved by that belief, shouldnt that technicly carry over to the Jews NOW then?(yes I am playing devils advocate here, for knowledge's sake).

Even so, that still doesnt explain what happend to the people B.C. that had NO idea of THE God and THE comming messiah. So theres no way any of those people could come to salvation or a knowledge of its coming, so that must mean they went to Hell, correct? To be eternally tortured for not accpeting somthing they never knew about in the first place. Like playing a game without ever knowing the rules, but being punished for not ever playing by them. And what about babies? People that never hear about Christ now, and cant because their in a tribe in India that no ones found yet and think the creater of the universe is someone named "mopodopo bang boo" or somthing? what about the mentaly challenged? are they simply pardoned into heaven simply because they cant understand? Where is the biblical basis for that theory?:hmm:

Mark F
Oct 6th 2008, 01:17 AM
I would read over Hebrews 11 and Romans 3.

No one comes to God apart from faith in His work
and grace. They had to recognize that they could
not keep the law, they had to trust that God would
provide for them.

1 Peter 1:6-12;
6 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into."


I often think how much more revelation we have and
still there are those who believe that keeping the NT
commandments is what saves us.

A truly honest evaluation of myself is that I fall short all
the time, I need Him every moment.

The Old Testament Saint had to see that keeping
the Law is not what saved them, but trusting that
God would be gracious and provide for them by faith.

NinjaWizards777
Oct 6th 2008, 01:24 AM
I would read over Hebrews 11 and Romans 3.

No one comes to God apart from faith in His work
and grace. They had to recognize that they could
not keep the law, they had to trust that God would
provide for them.

1 Peter 1:6-12;
6 "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into."


I often think how much more revelation we have and
still there are those who believe that keeping the NT
commandments is what saves us.

A truly honest evaluation of myself is that I fall short all
the time, I need Him every moment.

The Old Testament Saint had to see that keeping
the Law is not what saved them, but trusting that
God would be gracious and provide for them by faith.


Im not seeing how any of that really applied to anything I just said, other than what I already acknowledged (that maybe the old testament saints were saved by the coming of the messiah)?


Does any of us Christians even really know what were talking about when it comes down to the ONE thing thats supposed to matter in life? it seems no one so far really does. It just sounds like alot of assumptions and bad interpretations of the bible

SIG
Oct 6th 2008, 05:02 AM
"Does any of us Christians even really know what were talking about when it comes down to the ONE thing thats supposed to matter in life? it seems no one so far really does. It just sounds like alot of assumptions and bad interpretations of the bible"

That sort of implies that God did not provide the answers to these essential questions--which is certainly not the case. He does want you/us to search out these answers in Scripture.

OT believers looked forward to the cross; we look back. In a sense, they had a debit card; we have a credit card.

Jesus: "Abraham saw My day and rejoiced."

Job: ""As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth." Etc.

Keep searching!

renthead188
Oct 6th 2008, 05:14 AM
Im not seeing how any of that really applied to anything I just said, other than what I already acknowledged (that maybe the old testament saints were saved by the coming of the messiah)?


Does any of us Christians even really know what were talking about when it comes down to the ONE thing thats supposed to matter in life? it seems no one so far really does. It just sounds like alot of assumptions and bad interpretations of the bible

Jesus was present in the Old Testament, just not by the the name that we commonly refer to Him as. I want to second the suggestion to read Romans and Hebrews. If you read both books it would be very beneficial in this, but the two suggested Chapters (Romans 3 and Hebrews 11) will be very helpful even if read on their own. I invite you to pray for God to open your eyes to how HE has saved so many since the foundation of the world. He will reveal it to you because He said that if you seek you will find and if you knock it will be opened for you. I do not believe that verse refers only to salvation, God is truth and if we seek truth we will find it in all things, by His grace. Seek and you will find.

Richard H
Oct 6th 2008, 07:33 AM
The Old Testament faithful believed the promises of YHWH and even the promise of Messiah.
It was said that after death they went to a place called “Abraham’s Bosom”. (Luke 16)

When Jesus died on the cross, He went there and preached to those in Abrahams’ Bosom and led them into paradise.

Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."
(In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:8-10

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:18,19

OK? J

Richard

Firstfruits
Oct 6th 2008, 09:56 AM
First off, I want to acknowledge that all of this is going to sound pretty "baby christian" like in my thinking...but I have been a devout follower of Christ for a good seven years now and this isnt the first time these thoughts have come to mind, but now in a much more disturbing and curious manner:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6


Pretty well known verse, even amoungst non-belivers, right? And I have believed it to be true since my conversion, and still do pretty much even in my current time of struggle with faith and what not.

But if Jesus is (and has ALWAYS been, and always will be) the only way to heaven, where does that leave those who passionatley tried to serve and love God in the old testament? For many years I've always thought "well they belived in Gods promise of a coming messiah, so they were probably saved by that".

But if they didnt have the holy spirit of Jesus LIVING in them and have that ultimate sacrifice to atone for their sins...how could they have possibly went to heaven? What about those who loved and served God BEFORE they even knew of such prophecies or promisies? Perhaps they went to heaven if they "tried" to follow the ten commandments...then where does this leave Jesus statment of being that "NO ONE" comes to the father "BUT THROUGH ME"? And what about Elijah? Elijah wasnt saved by Jesus, but it says in 2 Kings 2:11 "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind."

On another note regarding to John 14:6....where does that leave those who never hear the gospel, or are too young/mentally challenged to understand? some say they would be pardoned, but then Jesus would be a liar for saying "No one comes to the father BUT through " and Jesus never sinned so he cant be lying can he?

This esspecially becomes disturbing when you think about the Pre-christ days (B.C. obviously) in other nations that had no idea of a coming messiah or who Jesus was to accept him...but had NOT EVEN A CLUE of the God of the jews, or maybe even the jews for that matter. And possibly alot of jews might not have known before the old testament and the religion of judaism was even established.


So is it "just" to say (since I belive God is just, even beyond the standards we hold because he is beyond us and HAS to be) that people, whether they lived in B.C. or A.D. that had NO knowledge of Christ or ever even had a possible way of ever knowing(secluded tribes, mentally challenged, those too young to understand, etc) are sent to eternal torture and seperation from their loving creator?

If God really wanted his creations to spend eternity with him in paradise, wouldnt it be fair that he allow the knowledge of His plan for salvation across the board both in B.C. and A.D., locationaly, and agewise?

Im not trying to doubt God or his mindset that is beyond us....I realize that for him to be GOD he MUST have a mindset and understanding and justice far greater and suprasing than we can concieve...but Im just trying to ask some honest questions.

It all comes down to believing God by those whom he has sent with his word.

Is 43:10 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=23&CHAP=43&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=10) Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Gen 15:6 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=1&CHAP=15&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=6) And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Firstfruits

David Taylor
Oct 6th 2008, 02:34 PM
On another note regarding to John 14:6....where does that leave those who never hear the gospel, or are too young/mentally challenged to understand?

Just because we personally, may not understand how God works with other people in all situations; doesn't mean God has abandoned them; and has not made Himself known to them.

God uses missionaries; as well as dreams and visions. God uses angels; God Himself has appeared to men.

It is a non-Christian worldview that perpetuates the idea that there are people in the African Savannah or Latin American Rainforests who have been forgotten by God.

That IMO, is a false premise.

I've been to the African plains and to the deep rainforests; and the message of Jesus Christ has been there and made known to folks just as it has in the jungles of New York City and Paris France.

What does the Scripture say?

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

Acts 17:24 "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And 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"

Romans 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator"

Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."


So it isn't that God is ineffective in getting His Word out about Jesus.......

rather, it is that men when they are confronted with the truth of God; in however He chooses to reveal it to them....choose darkness over light.

Theophilus
Oct 6th 2008, 03:04 PM
You've been getting some good scriptural advice, so I'm not going to chime in, in that regard.

What I am going to say may not be the most intellectually pleasing statement, but it's true, for all that.

The people that came before Christ have already met their Maker, and have been judged accordingly. The people who have, as you say "...NO knowledge of Christ or ever even had a possible way of ever knowing(secluded tribes, mentally challenged, those too young to understand, etc)..." will also be judged accordingly...by a God whose justice and righteousness (and especially love) far exceeds our own. He will take into consideration the person and their circumstance. Whatever their final disposition, it will be appropriate.

My suggestion to anyone who is concerned about such matters is to focus instead on those who are in our own sphere of influence, and let God take care of those elsewhere. Our responsibility is to those we can impact, not to those we can't. :)

Sold Out
Oct 6th 2008, 03:23 PM
Alright, so lets assume that B.C. believers in the one true God, were saved by believing in the promise of the messiah, since God operates outside of time, yada yada yada. They still didnt have the holy spirit living in them, transforming them, because the holy spirit had not yet come, because the holy spirit didnt come til after Jesus....to live in our hearts. So is that to say that people can go to heaven SIMPLY by believing in Jesus and his sacrifice, and not by literally accepting his forgiveness and spirit into our hearts to transform us? This seems to not make any sense, as most devout christians as myself would agee that salvation is a little more than just "saying a prayer that you believe". And if its the belif of a messiah that causes you to be saved, would that mean the Jews are saved as well? they believe in a comming messiah, they just dont understand that its Jesus...but since they believe in "the promise" does that mean that they are saved as well by default of technicality? You could say "well they didnt think it was Jesus so no" the people of the old testement didnt even know who on earth "jesus" was yet they believed in the messiah, and since your argument is that they are saved by that belief, shouldnt that technicly carry over to the Jews NOW then?(yes I am playing devils advocate here, for knowledge's sake).

Even so, that still doesnt explain what happend to the people B.C. that had NO idea of THE God and THE comming messiah. So theres no way any of those people could come to salvation or a knowledge of its coming, so that must mean they went to Hell, correct? To be eternally tortured for not accpeting somthing they never knew about in the first place. Like playing a game without ever knowing the rules, but being punished for not ever playing by them. And what about babies? People that never hear about Christ now, and cant because their in a tribe in India that no ones found yet and think the creater of the universe is someone named "mopodopo bang boo" or somthing? what about the mentaly challenged? are they simply pardoned into heaven simply because they cant understand? Where is the biblical basis for that theory?:hmm:

Great questions. I like the way you think!

You are correct that the OT saints did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them as we do. There were certain people in the OT who the Spirit came upon (Saul, David), but it was not the indwelling that we NT Christians experience today. I can see why you (or anyone else) would question this, because we here in the NT era rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I cannot offer you a black and white answer to why they didn't receive the HS or how they were sanctified without it. I suppose we will get the answer to that on the other side of heaven.

Now for your second question, which is really a two-parter. Genesis 18:25 says, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Because God is supremely and infintely good, we know that all His judgments will be fair. This includes those who have never heard the Gospel in it's entirety. The bible tells us that no one will be able to claim ignorance on judgment day. John 1:1-9 says,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

Every person born on this planet has been given a measure of 'light' (truth) to respond to. To the indiginous tribe in the Amazon jungle, it probably won't be the measure of light that you or I received, but it will be enough to respond to. Romans 1:18-20 says, "

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

Bottom line is that we can only be accountable for what we know, and we know from scripture that every man has been given light. As for small children and babies, they are innocent because they cannot be held accountable for what they do not understand or unable to comprehend. A baby that dies will go straight to heaven. I would suggest you get a book called, 'Eternity in their Hearts' by Don Richardson. It's a real eye-opener in regards to this question.

To answer the second part of your question....how did the OT saints know that Jesus would be the Messiah? I quoted you Hebrews 11 that states Moses esteemed Christ rather than the riches of this world. In John 8:56, Jesus says that Abraham saw HIS day, and rejoiced. God promised Abraham in Genesis 21:12 that his son Isaac would bring forth the Messiah. Therefore Abraham’s belief that his son would return with him from the dead stemmed from his partial understanding of the resurrection. Like David (Psa 2:7 & 16:9-10), Job (Job 19:25-26), Isaiah (Isa 53:10 & 55:3), Jonah (Jonah 1:17), and other O. T. prophets, Abraham may not have known every detail concerning the Gospel of Christ ( I Pet. 1:10,12), but he certainly understood enough of it to be saved (Jn 8:56, Heb 11:17-19, I Cor 15:49-54, Rom 4:1-5 and Gal 3:6-8).

No one can be saved by a technicality. Jesus clearly told the Jews of His day that unless they believed HE was the promised Messiah, they would die in their sins.

"I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24

NinjaWizards777
Oct 6th 2008, 09:42 PM
The Old Testament faithful believed the promises of YHWH and even the promise of Messiah.
It was said that after death they went to a place called “Abraham’s Bosom”. (Luke 16)

When Jesus died on the cross, He went there and preached to those in Abrahams’ Bosom and led them into paradise.

Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men."
(In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?
He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Eph 4:8-10

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:18,19

OK? J

Richard

Okay so there is actually SOME scriptual basis for the whole "OTs went to abrahams bossom then Jesus came and took them" theory. I had believed/heard that before but recently was wondering just where everyone was getting that. Im glad to know its not just entire assumptions of people. So from what we can tell, this supposed "bossom" is like a peaceful division of Hell where abraham was? Almost like a safehold? The concept itself is still a little confusing to me, though obviosuly their isnt alot of scriptial basis to go off of anyway...just a single passage.

Even so, it is a little odd that Jesus, nor the people writing the gospels, mentioned anything about the OT saints in the Gospels themselves, specifially towards the end after jesus was resurected. You would think that would be SORTOF a big deal. Eph 4:8-10 seems a little vague to me as far as that "jesus went to preach in Hell" theory...but okay I at least see where that comes from now, though it still seems like a big assumption to me personally.



Great questions. I like the way you think!

You are correct that the OT saints did not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them as we do. There were certain people in the OT who the Spirit came upon (Saul, David), but it was not the indwelling that we NT Christians experience today. I can see why you (or anyone else) would question this, because we here in the NT era rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us into truth. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I cannot offer you a black and white answer to why they didn't receive the HS or how they were sanctified without it. I suppose we will get the answer to that on the other side of heaven.

Now for your second question, which is really a two-parter. Genesis 18:25 says, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Because God is supremely and infintely good, we know that all His judgments will be fair. This includes those who have never heard the Gospel in it's entirety. The bible tells us that no one will be able to claim ignorance on judgment day. John 1:1-9 says,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."

Every person born on this planet has been given a measure of 'light' (truth) to respond to. To the indiginous tribe in the Amazon jungle, it probably won't be the measure of light that you or I received, but it will be enough to respond to. Romans 1:18-20 says, "

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
Okay, that makes sense. I can see how were all given "a measure of light" in a sense, but unfortunitly that same "measure of light" on its on doesnt neccesarly point to the one true God, the "God of Isreal". That same "measure of light" can be a foreground for thinking that another God exists...hence we have many diffrent religions. the concept on its own doesnt strongly point towards the one true God and his ways so Im not sure how those that have never heard are "without excuse", i think that was Pauls personal opinion more than fact.




Bottom line is that we can only be accountable for what we know, and we know from scripture that every man has been given light. As for small children and babies, they are innocent because they cannot be held accountable for what they do not understand or unable to comprehend. A baby that dies will go straight to heaven. I would suggest you get a book called, 'Eternity in their Hearts' by Don Richardson. It's a real eye-opener in regards to this question.

I agree...they CANT be held accountable on any level, theoreticly. But no where in the bible have I seen support for this, and either way then why did Jesus say in John 14:6 "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through ME". Jesus didnt seem to leave a whole lot of interpretation open as far as that went, so would that mean then that babies/those who cant comprehend....such forth...are sent to abrahams bossom, assuming that really exsists? Because they cant go to heaven because if their only possible entrance according to Jesus IS Jesus...then it doesnt sound like they can go to heaven. Though at the same time i dont think its even possibly fair for them to burn and be tortured for all eternity...so that only leaves the only non biblical contradictory answer being that abrahams bossom(whatever that really is) is still a place where those who never had the chance to accept/reject salvation can go to dwell.

Im begining to think that not all of Hell is a place where "people who didnt accept jesus go to immensily suffer for all time" but rather some, like this supposed "abrahams bosom" is simply "seperation from God" or "Sheol" as I believe is actually the original word used to define Hell. If there is truley only ONE absolute way to Heaven, as Jesus put it, this is the only sensable and non bible contradictory answer I can conclude.



To answer the second part of your question....how did the OT saints know that Jesus would be the Messiah? I quoted you Hebrews 11 that states Moses esteemed Christ rather than the riches of this world. In John 8:56, Jesus says that Abraham saw HIS day, and rejoiced. God promised Abraham in Genesis 21:12 that his son Isaac would bring forth the Messiah. Therefore Abraham’s belief that his son would return with him from the dead stemmed from his partial understanding of the resurrection. Like David (Psa 2:7 & 16:9-10), Job (Job 19:25-26), Isaiah (Isa 53:10 & 55:3), Jonah (Jonah 1:17), and other O. T. prophets, Abraham may not have known every detail concerning the Gospel of Christ ( I Pet. 1:10,12), but he certainly understood enough of it to be saved (Jn 8:56, Heb 11:17-19, I Cor 15:49-54, Rom 4:1-5 and Gal 3:6-8).

No one can be saved by a technicality. Jesus clearly told the Jews of His day that unless they believed HE was the promised Messiah, they would die in their sins.

"I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24

And that also makes a fair bit of sense, I guess God coudlnt have ASKED anything more from the OT saints other than a "teaser" understanding of what was to come through Jesus....so were talking about Jesus's payment itself more or less being outside of time as well, as they by understanding(which is all they could do but apparnelty were asked for more now) they were redeemed.

Richard H
Oct 6th 2008, 10:07 PM
Ninja,
You seem to have a pretty good handle on it.
We really don't know.

Parts of the OT seem to suggest that the faithful OT saints were sort of "asleep" - I guess waiting for the day when Jesus would wake them up and tell them He was the promised One, the Holy One of Israel, the Messiah.
They believed Him (who wouldn't at that point? L.O.L.) and followed Him to the newly created paradise.

We however are among the living and should be more concerned about the living, so I guess we're lucky we have these hints to "satisfy" our curiosity. :)

Richard