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

#16

Post by cubeus19 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:08 pm

This is to BW again, after looking up the terms you showed me earlier, I believe they are certain doctrines instead of preaching/teaching styles. Let's see, while using those terms the PSA model, Christ Victor, and the Roman Road help me match these evangelistic methods up with the certain preaching/teaching styles I have seen.

For instance, would the sterotypical small church "hell, fire, brimestone" preachers or preachers like John Hagee apply the PSA, Christ Victor, Roman Road or some other type of style/doctrine? Off the top of my head I'm thinking Hagee would be a PSA, correct? And what would the other extreme (pastors like Joel Osteen)? What also would you put apologetics teachers like William Lane Craig under, the PSA, CV, RR or something else?

And basically is there no right or wrong way to do it as far as these methods go it's more all about seeing which type of city, people as well as time period you are in and matching it up with the best method or is it more complicated than that? I'm already suggesting the latter. But anyway, thank you so much for you input! I've already learned a lot today!

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

#17

Post by B. W. » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:12 am

cubeus19 wrote:This is to BW again, after looking up the terms you showed me earlier, I believe they are certain doctrines instead of preaching/teaching styles. Let's see, while using those terms the PSA model, Christ Victor, and the Roman Road help me match these evangelistic methods up with the certain preaching/teaching styles I have seen.

For instance, would the sterotypical small church "hell, fire, brimestone" preachers or preachers like John Hagee apply the PSA, Christ Victor, Roman Road or some other type of style/doctrine? Off the top of my head I'm thinking Hagee would be a PSA, correct? And what would the other extreme (pastors like Joel Osteen)? What also would you put apologetics teachers like William Lane Craig under, the PSA, CV, RR or something else?

And basically is there no right or wrong way to do it as far as these methods go it's more all about seeing which type of city, people as well as time period you are in and matching it up with the best method or is it more complicated than that? I'm already suggesting the latter. But anyway, thank you so much for you input! I've already learned a lot today!
That is how I see it. In my opinion the majority of American Christian learning and church organizations are base on primarily upon PSA theory. Even Joel Osteen’s however, based on a softer PSA model. As for W L Craig, he appears to me to be balanced between the two models. Again, this is only my opinion based on observation.

Both models are valid and are taught from the bible. The Western Church became more focused on the PSA model. There are variations of its intensity in use. Some are Hard Core, Mid Core, Soft Core on PSA. The Eastern Churches were more inclined to the CV model, also in the same type of degrees. There is a balance between the two that is what is missing.

Next,

As for the question concerning those in lands who never heard the gospel or people who never will, Acts 17:23-30 answers this:

Acts 17:26, "and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us…" NASB

Acts 17:29,30x, reveals the manner in which people switched to in order to grope for God and verse 30 tells all to repent from these type of groping around and turn to Christ.

There are principles set forth in verse 26 and it is grounded in God’s sovereignty. He foreknows all things and from that foreknowledge can place all people in the scheme of linear time accordingly and geographic locations. He can place entire people, he foreknows will reject him completely, in geographic locations (Nations, Countries, Etc) and do whatsoever he wills be done. God may even, due to His knowing their future progeny who will not reject him, keep certian family lines going so as to save persons in the future despite how wicked their ancestors were in rejecting God.

How could God be unfair? Answer – He is not. Unfair would be not allowing any to exist, not to allow the exercise reason, to wipe out prematurely (even the future generations unborn who would be saved), that would be unfair.

Acts 17:30-31 is true: "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness…" NASB

The modern world is now faced with a choice world wide – the choice the gospel of Christ presents. Those that don’t hear at some time during their life are rare. The message of Christ saves and we present it continually. God knows best and is wiser than we are. There is no injustice in him in the placement of men upon the face of the earth.
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#18

Post by cubeus19 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:00 pm

Thank you BW, that's some very informative stuff! Thanks again!

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

#19

Post by bippy123 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:31 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.
I believe this is what my faith teaches (catholic). If someone didn't have the chance to hear the gospels properly then they have a chance for salvation. Do you really believe that someone who grew up a Muslim or Hindu in a country where you can't properly get the message of Christianity, would be held accountable for it? That's not what I was taught as a catholic Christian .
Gods mercy and Gods love is way beyond our understanding, in fact it is perfect.

My best friend grew up hindu but found Christ through some very unique circumstances. He died 2 years ago but I know he died with faith in God. One day I hope to be reunited with him as I think of him as my brother.
I hope this helps Ivellious :)

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

#20

Post by cubeus19 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:01 pm

Hi there Bippy, don't mean to change the subject, but I meant to tell you sorry for some comments I made somewhere on here many months ago about Catholics. At that time I was under the impression that Catholics were not really Christian due to what I have overheard from a few Protestant Christian scholars.

They would say that Catholics believe in salvation by works and that they worship the Virgin Mary. But not too long ago I saw this piece from William Lane Craig who explored those very topics regarding Catholics and the Catholic faith. You can see that very presentation on youtube from here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0A5F-KbVoo

What got me to reconsider my views on Catholics was what Craig had to say right around the 7:50 to eight minute mark. Is that how you personally view salvation as a Catholic? I'm pretty sure you do because you have a very level head just by seeing all the great material you have presented here about the Shroud of Turin. But don't you think Craig has the right view about Catholics?

Sorry again for bringing this up I know it's not related to my original post but it was something I meant to show you and ask you about. Thanks.

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

#21

Post by RickD » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:34 pm

Not meaning to throw this thread off track, I just had to say that is a great podcast, cubeus. :clap:
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

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

#22

Post by bippy123 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:49 pm

Hey cubes , wlc is right that the line is very blurred between protrestants and Catholics on this one. I also agree with Vatican 2 that Protestants are our brethren in Christ. Its been a while but I heard an audio debate where a catholic appologets guy explained the doctrine in a very cogent and understandable way.

I was raised in the catholic faith, but when I was in my early twenties I encountered a very nice evangelical gentleman and we started talking about our faiths . It was in a 24 hour fitness of all places lol. He told me I had a nice shirt (a plain shirt that simple said Jesus Christ) and I told him nice cross :).
When I told him I was catholic he got visibly concerned for my soul, and he told me that there was still time for me to escape hell. There was no doubt in my mind that this person was truely concerned fir my soul in a genuine way.
I then started to learn more about what Catholics believed and I started to look into different Protestant church services for a while.

The big turn around was when I started to read the history of the early Christian church fathers, and that is what brought me back to the catholic faith. I then understood why we Catholics didn't believe in private interpretation of scripture but the biggest thing that helped bring me back was the Eucharist . I started to read about how all of the early Christians from ignatius of Antioch , Justine Martyr, Clement all believed that the Eucharist was the literal presence of Christ and not some man made tradition. This is just a tiny portion of why I stayed a catholic.

I'll tell you a story about a time when I was at a catholic retreat ( I can't reveal why I was there at this time but one day I will). The nun that was in charge of my spiritual questions was a very nice lady.
I had one nagging question (beside the other troubles I was going through).
I asked if the Catholics have it right what is going to happen to all the people that aren't catholic.
She looked at me and started laughing lol.

I got a little offended by her tone to my very serious question.
She then preceded to tell me a story about how when she was a little child she once bad a horrible nightmare and woke her mom up with all her screaming. Her mom asked what as wrong and she said that she had a nightmare.
Her mom asked her what happened in the nightmare, she told her mom that we meaning Catholics, Protestants and everyone else is going to hell lol. Her mom then told her "child is this the lord that we all worship", that God won't send us to he'll because we didn't score perfect on a theological exam. I was so relieved because I had many Christian friends from all denominations. I also understood what WLC once said that if a person never had a chance to hear the gospel being presented to them in the right way, that God will not hold it against them. I love all my brothers and sisters and this took alot of my anxiety away from me. Of course this wasn't the reason why I was originally at that retreat ( it was something far more serious) but I can't help but think that the Lord wanted to elevate my concerns for all my non catholic friends.
I hope this helps Cubeus

That story stuck in my heart for a long time.
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Last edited by bippy123 on Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

#23

Post by bippy123 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:51 pm

RickD wrote:Not meaning to throw this thread off track, I just had to say that is a great podcast, cubeus. :clap:
I agree Rick, WLC is da man!!!
I have watched many of his debates and he is a true lover and fighter for Christ.
Happy b'day WLC :)

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

#24

Post by PaulSacramento » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:17 pm

I think that there are those that are "lost" because they want to be, those that are "lost" because they are afraid to be found and those that are "lost" because they have been hurt so bad by religion that they want nothing to do with "God".
The good thing is that God and ONLY God KNOWS what is in our hearts and there hearts and He will judge and He will decide and it WILL be Just.
See, some say that God has NOT shown Himself, but what they mean is that the God they have seen is NOT the one they want to be because, will, He is too strict or is to "lame" for their own taste.
Some say that IF there is a God and He is the God of the bible, they want nothing to do with Him because of His horrific qualities, when in reality we get out of the bible what we put IN to it and we see in it what WE see in it.
Some say that there is no God because science can explain the things attributed to God by "ignorant and superstitious" people, but they forget that THEY may be those very people for the generations yet to come, as if OUR understanding of the universe is the pinnacle of understanding !

I truly feel for those that are truly lost, those that the love of Our Lord falls short because of a wall that has been put there by religion, by the pain and sorrow of misplaced "christianity" or some other religion that drives them from God's love.

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

#25

Post by bippy123 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:43 am

This is exactly what I mean when I say that some never had the chance to hear the gospel in the right way. My best friend was one who for most of his life grew up in a part of India and he never had the chance to hear the gospels properly. He was working outside the country in Thailand when 9-11 happened. He and a bunch of others got laid off as a result of 9-11. When he came back to India he felt like his life was over. He was a very gentle person who would give you the shirt off his back and because it was a very cut-throat environment in India people always took advantage of his kindness. His mom though not a practicing Christian kept a bible around and one day he decided to pick it up and read, and he read about how Jesus loved everyone and yet was taken advantage of beaten, tortured and killed and while he was being crucified he was asking the father to forgive them. This was when he fell in love with Jesus a year or 2 later he converted to Christianity in secret.

I remember how he used to sneak out to his church and sweep the church every Saturday in preparation for Sunday service.
2 years ago he died of acute pancreitas and I was devastated. I never cried that much in my life. He was more of a brother to me than my own brothers ever were, but I'm so happy that he is with the lord and I will see him again and this time for eternity.

My point is there were special circumstances that led him to The Lord, but for everyone of him there will be people there that grow up in a perfectly happy life in another religion and I know that the lord would not hold that against them when their time comes. God's understanding, mercy and love are way beyond ours.

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

#26

Post by jlay » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:45 am

I believe this is what my faith teaches (catholic). If someone didn't have the chance to hear the gospels properly then they have a chance for salvation. Do you really believe that someone who grew up a Muslim or Hindu in a country where you can't properly get the message of Christianity, would be held accountable for it? That's not what I was taught as a catholic Christian .
Gods mercy and Gods love is way beyond our understanding, in fact it is perfect.
I think this is worthy of discussion. I have to confess that this is an issue I'm currently struggling with and trying to come into agreement with God's Word. IMO, and I could be wrong, I think this is a fundemental flaw and it affects RCC and protestant alike. And ultimately it boils down to the issue of original sin. Is someone going to Hell simply because they were born in the wrong country? If Adamic sin is imputed, then all are victims, born sinners, and are condemned simply because they are imputed with a condition they didn't ask for. However, it could be that people are actually culpable and they sin and deserve condemnation.


Don't know if this is a good example, but I want some feedbacl. Let's say Confederate soldiers are offered pardon. They committed volitional acts of treason. The Union says if they will renounce the Confederacy they will be given pardon. Some accept the conditions and are pardoned. Others reject and willingly go to the firing squad. Were they killed because they rejected the Union? Well, not really. They were guilty of crimes, and held accountable. And because they rejected the pardon, they were executed as criminals. Even if a soldier is not aware of the pardon, does it lesson their guilt? What is interesting is that they (those offered) go to the firing squad having their pardon already resolved. It is a done deal. Their crimes are technically already resolved.
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#27

Post by neo-x » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:34 am

jlay » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:45 pm

I believe this is what my faith teaches (catholic). If someone didn't have the chance to hear the gospels properly then they have a chance for salvation. Do you really believe that someone who grew up a Muslim or Hindu in a country where you can't properly get the message of Christianity, would be held accountable for it? That's not what I was taught as a catholic Christian .
Gods mercy and Gods love is way beyond our understanding, in fact it is perfect.

I think this is worthy of discussion. I have to confess that this is an issue I'm currently struggling with and trying to come into agreement with God's Word. IMO, and I could be wrong, I think this is a fundemental flaw and it affects RCC and protestant alike. And ultimately it boils down to the issue of original sin. Is someone going to Hell simply because they were born in the wrong country? If Adamic sin is imputed, then all are victims, born sinners, and are condemned simply because they are imputed with a condition they didn't ask for. However, it could be that people are actually culpable and they sin and deserve condemnation.


Don't know if this is a good example, but I want some feedbacl. Let's say Confederate soldiers are offered pardon. They committed volitional acts of treason. The Union says if they will renounce the Confederacy they will be given pardon. Some accept the conditions and are pardoned. Others reject and willingly go to the firing squad. Were they killed because they rejected the Union? Well, not really. They were guilty of crimes, and held accountable. And because they rejected the pardon, they were executed as criminals. Even if a soldier is not aware of the pardon, does it lesson their guilt? What is interesting is that they (those offered) go to the firing squad having their pardon already resolved. It is a done deal. Their crimes are technically already resolved.
J, I believe its a good point to discuss. The only thing I'd add at the moment as that your example is only flawed if we do not exclude the assumption that God is fair to all. I think the charge directly goes to the nature of God and how we perceive it to be. In a loose sense I can understand if someone believes in predestination in the Calvinistic sense of the idea, in that way this may not sound very odd. But if I look at verses which spoke for God's love for all mankind, it gets real tricky. I am agreed with you that no matter people are condemned because of their sin. But then what is sin here. Is it flaws of ethics, morals, unbelief out of ignorance or the act of rejecting Christ. I tend to think that it is the latter, not the former with which mankind are either condemned or saved.

consider John 3:17
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

The only way to establish this is that we either defend the charge as to how God may not give all mankind the same chance and still be fair to condemn them. Or we can assume by a very very stretchy long mile that people who never had an honest chance of believing or hearing the gospel will have some sort of grace granted unto them, by whatever means God deems fit. But I do not have much to support it out of scriptures. Though my personal opinion says that God can not be unfair, no matter what happens. Because I can not see how one man gets the chance and the other does not and both of them treated as if they both had some sort of opportunity. If its predestined than God is responsible, if its not then we have a serious problem; or if all else fails then Calvinism is right, at least in this regard; or its every man for himself, he has the responsibility to seek God even if the gospel is not taken to him, I am leaning towards an intellectual faith, not in Christ but God in general, but I can not see how this can evade the belief requirement which is the only way of being saved by having faith in Christ.

I believe this passage is critical here, Rom 2:12-16
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
Is Paul saying here that those who do not have the law will be judged by their conciousness. I am not sure. But in loose way it does make some sense and raises a lot more questions too. What do you think?
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#28

Post by jlay » Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:35 pm

Neo,

I think Paul is laying out his case utimately to say that "all have sinned." Whether one has the "law" or not. You can't be judged based on what you don't know. For example, the concience bears witness to murder and lying being wrong, but not keeping the sabbath. So, Gentiles sin by failing to do what they know to be right, or doing what they know to be wrong.

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

The word that has always stood out to me in that verse is, "already." It's like a person jumping from a plane withouth a parachute. Without the parachute they are 'already' dead. they didn't die because they didn't have a parachute. They died because they violated the law of gravity. The parachute would have saved them.

There are two definitions of sin in the Bible. 1) transgression of the law, and 2) failing to do what one knows is right.
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#29

Post by narnia4 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:12 pm

You know, its one of those questions that I'm pretty content to say that "I don't know, but God does". Practically speaking, it shouldn't make a difference. We know that our God is sovereign and is not unjust. We also know that we are to preach the Gospel, so there should be no incentive whatsoever to "hold back" because not knowing might somehow help some tribe in Africa. The very fact that we're talking about it makes the issue "academic" for us and any online skeptics who clearly have had opportunity to trust Christ.

I also think we at times underestimate God's ability to bring about his will and make himself known, even if it doesn't always make sense to us.
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Re: Questions and discussion about lost people and God's jus

#30

Post by bippy123 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:19 am

Great discussion guys. This is one that really makes us think with our heads as well as our souls.
And as Paul said to the Greeks "come let us reason together" :)

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