My Question: salvation

(Tsilise) #1

Hi everyone, I want some insights in regard to salvation. My question is what is God’s provision according to Bible about people who died without having had exposure to Gospel of Jesus and young babies who knows nothing about gift of Salvation? Will they be saved? And what could possibly be God’s yard stick for those category of people to be saved?
Thank you

Does God pursue only those that he knows will accept him or does he pursue even those that he knows will never accept him as saviour?
(R. S. Mills) #2

In Ecclesiastes 3:11 it talks about God placing eternity in the hearts of men. Inherently, we all know right from wrong. I believe from what we see in scripture about how God looks at our heart first and foremost that those who truly never had an opportunity to get know him will judged on their conscience. Ultimately, God has the final say so which was displayed on the Cross when although the thief was never baptized, the heart he displayed led Jesus to say tomorrow you will be with me in paradise. Great question. I hope, I was able to help. God bless.

(SeanO) #3

@Tsilise Below are threads on each of these topics. The short answer, in my opinion, is that God does not hold people accountable for knowledge they do not possess or for not believing prior to having the capacity to do so. Christ grant you wisdom :slight_smile:

A brief summary of my position is that:

  • God has ordained history so that people might reach out and find him (Acts 17:26-27)
  • On the day of judgment, God will judge each person according to the knowledge they have and the thoughts of their own hearts (Romans 2:14-16)
  • We can trust that the judge of all the earth will do what is right (Genesis 18:25) because He has proven His love for us in Jesus (Romans 5:8)

(Tsilise) #4

Thanks for taking time to answer my question. Regarding God placing eternity in our heart, understandably so adult human inately know what is right and wrong. However, for infant babies; i was particularly troubled when someone said that even babies will not escape from God’s judgement. How by the standards of how their parents lived? Is it unfair to judge innocent babies based on how their parents lived?

(R. S. Mills) #5

It absolutely is unfair to judge innocent babies on how their parents lived. Nowhere in the Bible does it say you will be judged based on how your parents lived. The old has gone, and the new has come through Christ. Since babies are pure and innocent at birth, it’s my assumption based on scripture that they are with God should there lives be cut short at time.

(Tsilise) #6

Thanks mills

(SeanO) #7

@RSMills One distinction I would make is that babies do have a sinful nature at birth, but they have never had the chance to exercise it through their actions, therefore they are not guilty of willful sin.

(Tsilise) #8

Would you please elaborate as to how babies have sinful nature at birth?

(Billie Corbett) #11

Hello Tsilise,

In answer to your question, I would encourage you to read the first 8 chapters of the book of Romans.

Basically, in short form… “In Adam all died…”
Every human being after Adam and Eve was born with the original sin nature. A nature that is at enmity with God.
Adam and Eve where the original representations of God’s creation of human beings. A prototype if you like. In essence…if the first humans failed…it was pretty obvious that all would fail. “There is none righteous, no not one. All have fallen short of the glory of God”.
Babies are just underdeveloped. If they live and mature, (like all the descendants of Adam and Eve) they will demonstrate their fallen sinful nature. As babies, they are limited in the expression of their sinful nature. They are not innocent of a sinful nature. But, as someone has already said, they haven’t had the opportunity to “willfully” choose sin. If they live on…they will choose sin.
The only sinless human was the Incarnate Christ! The second Adam.
In Him…all live and do not die.

(SeanO) #13

@Tsilise To be frank, I don’t have a perfect understanding of how the sinful nature is transferred. But my understanding is that even from birth our ‘flesh’, which is Paul’s way of talking about our body, is prone towards sin as a result of Adam and Eve’s original sin in the garden. The idea is that a baby does not have to be taught to be selfish or to envy - rather, a child must be taught how to do what is good and right by choosing self-control and wisdom rather than indulgence and foolish behavior.

So, all humans, from birth, must deal with the urges of their body, which sometimes push them towards what is not good rather than toward righteousness.

Romans 6:11-14 - In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

(C Rhodes) #14

@Tsilise Just to add to what has already been written. We all retain the sin nature even after redemption. The sin nature is simply the propensity for sin. It is why even after grace we must watch and pray. We need to study to show ourselves approved. It is why we must let that mind be in us that is in CHRIST JESUS. Until we exit this world, we contend with the sin nature. If we abide in CHRIST, He will abide in us. A win-win for the redeemed. He redeems us then keeps us.

Babies may have the sin nature but are not engaged in sin. It is why JESUS says suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 19:14 and Luke 18:16-17. We don’t earn Hell because we are human, but because we willfully engage in sin that besets our humanity.

In Jeremiah 31:29-30 we are told that the sins of the fathers will not be visited on their children. And Deuteronomy 5:3 lets us know the covenant we have with the Lord belong to us that are alive today. Yes, the original message was given to the Israelites. But CHRIST provided the draft card for us all. I am drafted into that royal family. These promises are mine’s to claim.

(Clyde Richard (Rick) Mayson) #15

Very deep discussion going on. Romans one tells us that God’s creation is enough so that no one has an excuse! Every person ever born has a free will to choose which way to go. There are several Scriptures that reference our names being “blotted out of The Lamb’s Book of life” which leads me to believe that every person born has their name in the Book! I have been taught by my denomination that there is an “age of accountability” that children reach at some point. I also know that ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of GOD! And this I am absolutely confident of, (I bet my eternity on) JESUS said, “I AM the way the truth and the life, NO ONE comes to The FATHER except through ME”! JESUS said that there are only two places that everyone goes to either Heaven with GOD or a place of fire and torment where the worm never dies that was reserved for Satan and his people! GOD’s character, HIS essence is LOVE but HE also has complete FOREKNOWLEDGE! He knows who will choose eternity with HIM and who will choose eternity with Satan! And so knowing everyone’s future, HE may have placed some of those who HE knows will not accept JESUS in places where JESUS name is unknown! One thing we know is that at the end of Matthew, Mark, Luke and in Acts 1:8 JESUS Commands us to be HIS witnesses to the ends of the earth!!! And when HIS Gospel is preached throughout the world (we’re getting close) then the end will come!!! I often think of a quote by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, “GOD’s ways are far above my ways; the created ones cannot fathom The Creator, and so when asked about things like who are the chosen and who are the predestined, I have no clue except I know that everyone I witness to and who comes to the LORD become a chosen one!” And so the motivating purpose of my life is to go to Heaven and take as many as I can with me!!!

(Billie Corbett) #16

Hello cer7,

I would add that throughout the scripture we in our fallen humanity are referred to “as dead in trespasses and sins”. We are born dead to God, because of our being “in Adam”. It is only the power of God in Christ…through belief in the gospel, that gives us life toward God.
New life. Resurrection life. In truth we have been raised from the dead in Jesus Christ.
It is so important to remember, everyone who is not born again, “is dead in sin”. They cannot be alive to God, unless He saves them, by translating them into the kingdom of His dear Son. It’s a hard theological concept to truly grasp, but, it is essential for believers to understand it. We can witness to non believers all we like…but, they are dead. They cannot believe, unless, God Himself quickens them to do so. “You must be born again”.

(C Rhodes) #17

[quote=“Billie, post:16, topic:13674”]

  1. We are born dead to God, because of our being “in Adam”
  2. They cannot be alive to God, unless He saves them,
  3. We can witness to non believers all we like…but, they are dead. They cannot believe, unless, God Himself quickens them to do so. “You must be born again”.

These statements read as a conclusive thought. Can you give me the scriptural reference for the thoughts listed above?

(Billie Corbett) #18

Most certainly, I can give scriptural references.

I am having challenges figuring out how to cut and paste from an on line bible to make things easier than writing verses all out myself. Can anyone help me with this?
Ephesians 2: 1-10

And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 wherein in the time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Please read through these passages.

Genesis 2: 16-17
Romans 4: 16-26
Romans 5: 8-21
Romans 6: 3-23
Romans 7: 5–6
Romans 8: 1-16
I Corthin. 15: 22
Galatians: 3-22

Forgive me not writing them all out. I am technically challenged when it comes to going between applications.

(Clyde Richard (Rick) Mayson) #19

Let’s see if I can help with this: GOD created ADAM and Eve in HIS Image! GOD is a Spirit. And so Adam had 3 parts to his being; Body, Soul (which consists of personality, Mind or Thinker, Emotions or feeler, and Will or chooser) and Spirit (determines our identity). GOD said if you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you will surely DIE. They were tempted, they sinned and their Spirit immediately DIED! And so all humans born since then have dead spirits until their salvation!!! John 3:1 - 8. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Now for number 3. JESUS commands his followers to be witnesses; SEE my previous post number 14 I believe. The primary purpose of The HOLY SPIRIT is to convict of sin, to draw all men to Jesus and we (the believers) are conduits to witness of what we know because HE has Saved us and by our lives sharing HIS WORD (Scriptures) The HS will as Billie says “quicken” them when they see our lives and understand John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10, Romans 6:23, John 1:12, 1 Corinthians 15: 3&4, Revelation 3:20 and Romans 10:13. When someone whose spirit is dead understands this Scripture and is “Quickened” by the HOLY SPIRIT and then CHOOSES to repent of their sins, ask Jesus to come into their hearts, their Spirits are made alive again and BORN AGAIN and become a Child of GOD!!! 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Praise HIS HOLY NAME!!!

(C Rhodes) #20

@Billie I wanted to read into all the scriptures you listed, so, my reply was delayed. But I still did not see the scriptural support for the conclusion that “We can witness to non-believers all we like. But they are dead. They cannot believe unless GOD Himself quickens them to do so.” Ephesians tells us that the quickening of GOD is there already for a fallen World. It was there after the sacrifice of the Cross.

I think we are not far apart in our understanding of what is required to walk into life from death. But I was concerned that what you wrote seemed to indicate that if GOD does not choose you then you will never be able to believe. I found no scripture that suggested that quickening as a believer proceeded believing. I found many references that suggested otherwise. Which I listed below.

But scriptures like the ones found in Romans 10 suggest that salvation is free to all that believe. And that they can not believe what they have not heard unless they have the chance to hear. We are called to carry the Word to the unbeliever.

And I hasten to add that the Word is not dependent upon western missionary output. Father Abraham did not have the opportunity to be evangelized western style. But by his persistent faith in GOD, he was given great promise. Abraham’s faith was accounted to him as righteousness. That continues today. Not by Divine choice, but by choosing the Divine. By choosing GOD.

Scripture References: (all KJV)
Ephesians 2:4-5, 8. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

Romans 4:5. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Romans 5:14-16, 18. “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”

Romans 6:5-10. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.”

Galatians 3:22, 28-29. “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Romans 10:9-15, 17. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

(Billie Corbett) #21

Hello Cer7,

I understand what you are saying and this is a classical theological discussion.
Much has been debated on this topic by theologians over millennia on the relationship between the sovereignty of God in Salvation and man’s responsibility.

Isaiah 45: 9-10
Romans 9: 19-21

Truly, it is a topic that is somewhat paradoxical…

But, let me ask a few questions first and add some scripture to the context of my question.

When you look at all the characters in the bible, (other than Jesus)…those who are accounted among the redeemed of the LORD …Who do you observe initiating the relationship with the Almighty?
Was it humankind or God?

In the Garden after the fall…Genesis 3:8
“They heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the npman and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God smong the trees in the garden.”
Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

(John 3:19 “This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of the light because their deeds were evil.” This is true of the first couple and it is true all who have been begotten since.)

After the fall, God walked in the garden, as usual… (but, Adam didn’t reveal himself to God)…God sought him out…God confronted them with their sin, and provided a sufficient covering for their nakedness, instead of their insufficient covering of pathetic fig leaves.
1 John 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”

Who called Abraham, Issac, Jacob…and all believers all way through the holy writ?
Isaiah 65: 1 “ I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me.”
Paul was seeking to kill believers…
Acts:9 As he near Damascus on his journey, suddenly a kight from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and hear a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you Lord.” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”, he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Did Jesus wait for his disciples to come to Him?..or did He call them out of their sin and unbelief into relationship with Him. Didn’t He reveal Himself to them?
Matt: 4: 18-22 “As Jesus was walking beside the Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting their nets into the lake for they wre fishermen. Come follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him. Going from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in the boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called then and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”

Without God’s call and redemption first to last, we are powerless to believe.
John 6:37 “All that the Father give Me will come to me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”
John 6: 44 “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
John 15:5
“I am the vine; you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

How is God revealed to the human heart?
Through the witness of creation, through the word of God, through Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God revealing Jesus.
John 1: 12-13
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to be come children of God, not by blood nor by the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but, of God.” John 1:13

If man is the initiator …than God is in our debt and not the other way around.
Since the fall…God has ordained, that as in the beginning…as in creation… He would be recognized for who He is…The Originator…The Soverieng Creator…The Author and giver of Life!
Genesis 2: 7 “ And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

So, in Jesus, God breathes into us, (who are
dead, lifeless, without power…without sufficiency because of our sin) …
He brings His Word to us…and then, breathes into us, His Holy SPIRIT. THE breath of LIFE…Eternal life. He creates anew…He gives us the second birth, the new birth.John 3: 3 “Turly, truly I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

Hebrew, 12: 2
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”

Another question…why does the apostle use the word author? What does that word usually mean to us?

The Author is the writer of the story…
The origin, the source, the progenitor, the Beginning, the Word…

The gospel is preached, the word of God proclaimed, we receive the gift of faith, and God saves…
He brings souls from death to life! He gives resurrection life. He brings the dead to life!

John 11:25
“ I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”

Pslam 3: 8
“Salvation belongs to the Lord;”

Psalm 37: 39
“But, salvation is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.”

Jonah 2:9
“But, I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed,. salvation is of the LORD.”

I hope you see the theme … and understand the point I am making, because I see it as a strong theme running throughout all the scriptures.

(C Rhodes) #22

There is no debate concerning the sovereignty of GOD. Nor the necessary part that the relinquishing of our free will plays. Our part is small but vital. A necessary act everyday of our lives. But my conclusions remain. We must choose GOD despite His offered gift of redemption. GOD requires that participation from us all. From Genesis to Revelation. That we may choose to reject GOD’s offer does not diminish the sovereignty of GOD. Just shows how pitiful we can be.

(Stephen Wuest) #23

There are all sorts of references in the Old Testament to the “saving” power of God. This is long before the birth of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 10.1-4 asserts that God’s people in the ancient times, had benefits that came through (the future) Christ, even though he was not yet born.

The Bible asserts that God has made his existence known in the beauty and design of the natural world. and has revealed the knowledge of basic right and wrong to every person.

I think that it is a mistake for some modern Christians to say that the only way to know about God, is to hear a modern evangelistic message about Jesus, and his death.