Questions and discussion about lost people and God's justice

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
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Questions and discussion about lost people and God's justice

#1

Post by cubeus19 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:11 pm

Hello folks, I have some things I was needing to clarify regarding how God will judge people after death or after the resurrection or just whenever He sentences people to either heaven or hell.

Now from what I've been taught by regular church pastors in the past is that God is lot like that hard handed small town police officer that likes to bust speeding tourists who pass through his town. And this is a scenario of how God's justice (according to those pastors) would be like. Ok, here it goes.

"The officer would not have only one rusted out speed limit sign posted in the town and the main highway that goes through the town both before you get to it and after you leave is 55 mph, but when you enter the town the officer has a law in place that makes the speed go down to 25 mph to help keep things more safe.

But mind you only the towns people know about he speed limit and as I said earlier there is only one rusted out speed limit sign posted and also before and after you go into the town there are signs everywhere that says the speed limit is 55mph.

Ok, so the cop busts a family going over the limit in the town so he pulls them over and after he tells them they were speeding and that they are all going to go to jail for it the man driving says, "look we had no idea about the slower speed limit, we didn't see any signs except one and it was hard to tell what the sign said because it was so faded out" And to which the cop replies, "IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE" and then he takes them to jail."

Ok so the whole point of what I was going to ask you all about is, will God take people's ignorance of His law, the Bible, plan on salvation into account when He judges them or will He be like that cop who lays down the cold hard gauntlet of justice to anyone no matter what?

The main reason I ask is not only does this discussion apply to those people in other countries during other time periods who never heard the gospel message but just to everyday normal people who have very complex and busy lives to the point where they never got a clear chance at hearing about or responding to the gospel message or just was ignorant about it and didn't give it enough thought.

No for the most part don't get me wrong, I have no problem with God's justice, He does whatever He wants to. If He wants to save all of us like what universalism teaches He can and if He wants to condemn absolutely everyone to hell with no exceptions He can do that as well.

But based on how I currently think He does it, "with placing all of the decision making for each person regarding their eternal fate during THIS LIFETIME and what that decision period ending at the moment of death with no exceptions", I do have a slight recommendation.

Would it be too much for Him to do for instance, either for everyone or at least for those people who were either too busy, too ignorant or just didn't have the chance to hear the gospel, for Him to give each of them one last shot at entering heaven either shortly after death or shortly after the resurrection of the dead/ during judgement (depending upon your theological view on the timing of this) and just help clarify things for that person.

For instance God having that person come forward and God would first introduce Himself to them, tell them a brief summery about the fall of man, Christ coming down to earth to save humanity, and about each person's inherited sinful state through Adam.

You know, just to clear up any confusion or to inform that person for the very first time about the gospel and then while that person is level headed without any sickness or anything to cloud their judgement but yet letting that person still be "them", have them then make their final decision as far as whether or not you want to follow God or not.

And the main reason I hope that God would do something like this is well, for the most part the church absolutely is HORRIBLE at reaching people and helping to clarify things and to give each person a clear conscience chance at responding to the gospel.

And for what little they are able to reach they turn many if not most people off to the gospel with all their in fighting, theological differences, not to mention their arrogance that their denomination or their little group is the only group that will make it into God's kingdom and everyone else will not (people like yecs, even oecs, calvinists, Armenians, people who sprinkle, people who dunk, people who sing without playing instruments I could go on and on).

In addition, so many of the small church pastors try to work lost people up into a guilt trip or to intentionally or almost intentionally make the lost people feel angry, uneasy, scared and turned off by the gospel message. I mean come on, by making people feel like they have to live like Amish people and doing other things either intentionally or unintentionally to make Christianity look as UNATTRACTIVE as possible is it no wonder why no one is hardly ever attracted to Christianity these days?

Now I don't like to pick on the guy, a lot of the things I agree with him and a few things I don't but certainly don't like his style is pastor John Hagee. Now don't get me wrong I actually gain quite a bit respect for the guy when he had to put up with pro Palestinian sympathizer/anti Jewish protesters at one of his church services not too long ago.

But in regards not about his messages necessarily but HIS STYLE of preaching it's become sort of a infamous part of pop culture and what many of not most young people and future generations will think of first when they think about God, Christ, church or Christianity.

They will think of these fat, loud, dumb, almost in a drunken rage nutcases who say that if you don't repent to the point of becoming Amish God will personally place you in hell and enjoy every single moment of your eternal torture. And it won't necessarily be due to the message but the WAY THE MESSAGE WAS GIVEN.

That's another big reason why I have such a deep and overwhelming love and respect for the humble, pleasant, and DIGNIFIED looking and acting scholars that are involved in Christian apologetics. People like William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, Alvin Plantinga and so on. Just compare their presentation of the gospel and of Christianity against the much more horrible presentations of folks like John Hagee and ones like him whom I can't happen to think of any at the moment but I will eventually.

I mean we never see advertisers who sell cars, food, other products, and so on try to yell at people in a negative way and make them want to dislike the very thing they are trying to sell. I tell you I wouldn't want a lot of these type of pastors trying to sell cars, computers, or cake that's for sure.

But in conclusion, what are your thoughts on how God will handle the people who didn't hear, the entire, or any of the gospel message or to the ones who were too busy or was just too ignorant about it? And what are your thoughts about whether or not churches need to change the style of their preaching? Not the message of course, but the STYLE? Anyways, thank you all for your time, GB.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#2

Post by cubeus19 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:34 pm

Any thoughts?

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#3

Post by B. W. » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:43 am

cubeus19 wrote:Any thoughts?
Have you considered the depths of sin?

---

The older I become the more I realize that the only people who can deny that they don’t have problems, issues, things defined as fruits of sin are true narcissist.

Sin exists in the world we live, the world we see, and the one we make that only a narcissist could deny. The problem is how sin is defined. Most often sin is only defined in by its fruits such as sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, drug/alcohol addiction, adultery, coveting, and breaking all the Ten C’s, etc and etc.

These are all defined as short temporal outburst of sin, hence fruits, so the questions arise – why eternal punishment for such temporal sins, and next, what about everybody who never hears the gospel – wouldn’t eternal punishment be unfair?

Again the problem is equating sin with its outward manifestations. Sin is not temporal. It consists of an attitude in the human heart that seeks to get away with as well as justify wrong doings by twisting, warping, manipulating the truths concerning God’s Character attributes for one’s own advantage. Such questions as to why or how could God really punish anyone is in effect an actual example of such twisting.

Much of early historical American revivalism concerned itself over the fruits of sin and bashed these over the heads of many people. This was fine for the era of its day and time in American history and led many to Christ. However, that same method used in the past may not be the best to use in modern times. The Lord Jesus Christ mentioned that he would teach how to become fishers of men. As with any fishing, knowing what bait to use and where to cast the nets is very important. I cannot use the same bait or lure to catch Colorado Trout in the ocean to catch a swordfish. We need to seek the Lord on what type bait is most effective in the local waters where we reside.

The Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) method of evangelism was used in Americas past with great positive effect at the exclusion of the Christus Victor approach. Both these methods are part of the same coin, as each is on the other side of the same proverbial coin. Call these two methods the bait and seeking the degree to use each is more effective in saving the lost in one’s personal locality. For example, maybe a church needs 25 percent PSA and 75 percent Christus Victor to be effective in dealing with sin, church community life, discipleship, etc….

What I here when I read your initial post is the result of only one type of net tossing and bait casting without wisdom and only performed by pure mechanics that leave people feeling alienated, yes, even in Church. So, as a Christian, you are part of the body of Christ and the Church. What light do you shine? What is mixed from the world into our lives, the Church, has to go. The bible is our road map to expose sin in our hearts – how we twist and warp the things and character of God to justify our wrong doings must stop. The message of the Cross does that – reveals the true eternal sin of the human heart – in the acts committed against Jesus in the 24 hours before the cross.

We must speak the truth in Love and this type of Agape is not defined as unbridled tolerance either. Agape love means so much more than pure unconditionalness. Agape Love means to cherish, nurture, take care of, edify, build up, discipline, and lead by example the doings of the matters that define agape love. This is a lifelong process of learning for us mortal beings to learn to do. The Church was also for this purpose of demonstrating this kind of learning how to agape - Love, living it, walking the walk and talking the talk. This kind of love does not excuse sin, deny eternal punishment, but seeks to help people come to their senses and escape the pollution in the world called sin.

The wages of sin is death so we all better quit before payday…
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#4

Post by cubeus19 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:52 pm

Yes I have, that's not really the issue at hand though. I know what you will say about the depth of sin (that any sin no matter how small offends a infinitely powerful and holy God and thus, eternal punishment in hell is the only possible way to satisfy the justice of such a infinite God) and quite frankly you are right, I see no problem in that at all.

No, the issue at hand in a nutshell is I personally feel like that if everyone in the world were given a true non distorted message of the gospel from people who present it in a clam, clear, dignified manner (aka form people with the same character and demeanor as Gary Habermas and William Lane Craig *Happy Birthday to Dr. Craig by the way*) and not from annoying, hateful, arrogant, rude and dumb manner such as John Hagee, Pat Robertson, Paul and Jan Crouch, dare I say Ken Ham types. Not to mention the local mom and pop church imitators of such people, Christianity would have tons more converts.

And again it's not necessarily about their message (even though with folks like Robertson and the Crouches it probably would be) but with the others it's all about STYLE STYLE STYLE. Not what they say, the way they say it. I mean let's face it, a car salesman usually can't sell a car to someone whom he tries to make angry and make the person think that the car the guy is trying to sell to him is a piece of junk.

But quite frankly, we need more William Lane Craigs in churches and less John Hagees. But because the church today is in such bad shape and does such a bad job at presenting the gospel and giving people logical reasons to believe that Christianity is true with all their ignorance, arrogance, self righteousness and in-fighting, I guess heaven will only have but a couple hundred people (probably all Amish) and that's it.

I was pointing out in my OP that I hope that because of the church's lousy job that God would or could give people on the fence one more shot at the moment of death or at least take into consideration what they would have done if they were presented with the gospel in the clearest and calmest way possible.

I mean let's face it, all the denominations, church splits, in-fighting, and all the self righteousness, hypocrisy, ignorance and arrogance that Christians today and over the generations have shown it creates a confusing environment for people who are undecided or who are interested in becoming a believer to make a clear decision on whether to become one.

I guess over the past few weeks I've become very emotionally saddened for lost people. I guess if I'm wrong God wants the church to act the way they do so very few will get into heaven I guess I just need to be more selfish and more hateful towards people and say "well I guess people really are expendable in the big picture". But I tell you if I do make into heaven (I'm starting to doubt it because I'm not self righteous and Amish enough) I just hope that when God gives everyone their new bodies He will give them new brains and new personalities as well, because I won't be able to stand all of the prideful self gloating that will be going on among the "chosen few".

Not to mention as crazy as many of them act, they will probably still like to preach and they will probably still want to preach each other into hell even after the cutoff point has already taken place! But oh well if no one agrees with me I'm sure Bart will come to my rescue. I'm starting to really see eye to eye with him on the "institutional church".

But I guess overall if I'm wrong I should just care less and less about people anyway since that's really how these institutional church goons really feel anyway. Perhaps that's even how God is, just a super powerful and super angry version of John Hagee. I guess that would suit folks like Hagee anyway since they think in a subconscious sense anyway, that they are God.

But to conclude on a much lighter note, let me give you all a cool "fast fact". "Fast fact", John Hagee is or used to be very good buddies with country music star Randy Travis. Randy Travis used to even come to Hagee's church and sing his latest gospel songs or sing traditional gospel hymns. And as what many of you already know, just a few weeks ago Randy was seen out on a public Texas highway acting like a intoxicated and naked Zombie after he totaled his car! He even threatened to murder the cops who arrested him and led him away in cuffs.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#5

Post by cubeus19 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:24 pm

Oh, um, BW. For some reason before I posted my long reply. either you went back and added to your response or my browser didn't pick it up. Initially all I saw on your response was the question "Have you considered the depths of sin?"

And then thinking you didn't get the point I was trying to make I then tried to clarify things as well as give everyone (not just you) a better sense of how I feel about this whole situation. Now that I have read your full response.

I actually feel much better. Thank you so much! Plus I didn't know that those methods or styles of preaching had names to them. The Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA) and Christ Victor approach. That's neat I thought these methods did not have names to them I thought they were just bad habits on the church's part. lol I might have heard of the names a long time ago but at the time I didn't know what they meant.

But yes, thank you for showing me something new here. I'm going to research those terms some more and find how why people still use them today regardless of the fact that either one of them or both of them do not work as well today as they did a long time ago. But oh well, my rant is done for now, time to do some more research.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#6

Post by B. W. » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:51 pm

Cubeus, I did reedit the post for calcification to hope it was of some help to you… Here is some more…

A refocus on the methods used is what is needed nowadays. I do this approach when I travel and focus on what is needed in a local area. The Roman Road Evangelism Explosion approach has been successful in more urban areas in the past and is a form of the PSA model. It may work well in some locations, but other areas, not so much due to the complexity of its data diffusion into the minds of the hearers. It is that complexity of the approach that you appear to be at odds about.

Basically PSA just stands in one’s face like a lawyer debating a case. Unless you watch lawyer movies, and like trial scenes on TV, etc, much of it goes over the head of the hearer. As the hearer simply does not understand what is being said. This often leads to frustration for the speaker and they can become more condemnatory and brow beating in presenting the gospel.

It can go in the opposite extreme as well. Speakers present a weak willed gospel that is sold as the happy cure all and bless all. You know, such basically present the gospel as a magic lamp: The Jesus genie pops out of the bible when certain verses are quoted long and hard enough and grants one their hearts desires.

Both methods, well, don’t work so good. What is needed is balance. PSA and Christus Victor provide the balance as both are taught in the bible. It is the degree of emphasis one needs to discern to present the gospel. This comes by prayer and seeking the Lord on what percent should be used in the local area one ministers in. Next, involves creating an understanding of what agape Love is and is not within a local church group and develop that within the structure of a church.

How can we pray for revival when the churches people would come too be so full of problems, worldliness, gossip, and control issues, where members remain in bondage and not walk/live in the freedom Christ gives? This aspect of the gospel message takes time and builds off of true agape love that cherishes, nurtures, edifies, instructs, asks questions, seeks the best, forgives, everything the bible says how Christians are to love one another. It sets people free. I have seen it and am involved in this work now. It works. Some people call this a Church Community approach but even that phrase does not capture what I am trying to say very well.

This takes praying for people and the Holy Spirit to govern a group. The admonitions Paul wrote concerning the character of church leadership needs implemented and all control and domination needs expelled. If not, no revival, large or small will happen in any great degree. A team approach is developed. Just like any biological family has problems, problem will be in the church family as well but in the church family, we work thru issues and overcome together.

Into that environment can the Lord build off of and send his catch too. The new evangelism is in reality the older book of Acts type and deals in reality, debate, seeking answers, coming to terms in order to cherish, nurture one another. This type begins with you, the individual meeting another individual and learning to pray for one another – not control one another. So, it begins with you where you are. You can do this because of the Holy Spirit. Never think for a moment this is impossible.

Your rant is much appreciated and well needed in times like these. It opens doors…
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#7

Post by RazorSwift » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:47 pm

But in conclusion, what are your thoughts on how God will handle the people who didn't hear...
I'm not convinced that there are people that will die without being given a chance to accept or reject Christ. I'll expound on this later.
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#8

Post by cubeus19 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:27 pm

Interesting RazorSwift, I'm looking forward to seeing what you have to say on that.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#9

Post by Ivellious » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:29 pm

I've broached the issue of what happens to people who live and die without ever hearing the Christian gospel, so I'm interested to hear what people have to say about it here.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#10

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:44 pm

God is just and will judge fairly.

Romans1:20 "For 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 men are without excuse."

You can know the heart of Jesus without ever hearing the Gospel.
Last edited by Danieltwotwenty on Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#11

Post by Ivellious » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:47 pm

When I brought it up, Daniel, no one disagreed with your statement, but it was a discussion/debate about what exactly was fair. And there were plenty of people on both sides of the issue.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#12

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:48 pm

Sorry Ivell - I edited while you posted.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#13

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:50 pm

Ivellious wrote:When I brought it up, Daniel, no one disagreed with your statement, but it was a discussion/debate about what exactly was fair. And there were plenty of people on both sides of the issue.

Only God has the knowledge to know what is fair and what is not, there are some things we just cannot know.
All we can do is speculate and postulate.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#14

Post by Ivellious » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:53 pm

I see. Still, there are some people that would say that there is a difference between "knowing God in your heart" and literally accepting Jesus Christ as your one and only savior (which would seemingly be impossible without being exposed to or having access to the Bible). At least, the discussions I've heard have revolved around literally knowing about Jesus's sacrifice, how he saved humanity/atoned for us, etc. etc.

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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#15

Post by Danieltwotwenty » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:07 pm

Ivellious wrote:I see. Still, there are some people that would say that there is a difference between "knowing God in your heart" and literally accepting Jesus Christ as your one and only savior (which would seemingly be impossible without being exposed to or having access to the Bible). At least, the discussions I've heard have revolved around literally knowing about Jesus's sacrifice, how he saved humanity/atoned for us, etc. etc.

Jesus was more concerned with where your heart was than with what knowledge you posessed (law), Jesus sacrifice was for all people and I guess that includes people without knowledge of him, past present and future.

The Jews had no knowledge of Christ Jesus in Old testament times but I am sure they would be saved because they had hearts that were seeking God, hearts that rejoiced in truth, hearts of compassion and understanding etc.....

If there is some dude on an Island somewhere who has never been presented with the truth of Christ Jesus' sacrifice and possessed a heart for God anyway, I am sure God would judge him fairly.
1Tim1:15-17
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.Amen.

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