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  1. #1
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    Those who have never heard of Christ

    Common question, often used as objections to Christianity...but done so in misunderstanding. I originally posted this on my other site last year, intended to copy it here, a new thread (Man on an island) reminded me of it, so here it is.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    I believe that every person will have an opportunity to repent, and that God will not exclude anyone because he happened to be born at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

    We know that it is God's desire that "none should perish but that all should come to repentance" Peter 3:9. This indicates that God also cares for those persons who have not heard the gospel.

    The Bible also teaches that God will judge the world fairly and righteously (Acts 17:31). Even though we may not know HOW he is going to deal with these people specifically, we can be assured that his judgement will be fair.

    The Bible also gives an example of a man who was in a situation not unlike many today. His name was Cornelius. He was a very religious man who was constantly praying to God. He had not heard of Jesus Christ, but he was honestly asking God to reveal Himself to him.

    God answered the prayer and sent the Apostle Paul to him to give him the full story of Jeus. When Peter preached to him, Cornelius put his trust in Christ as his Savior. This example demonstrates that anyone who is sincerely desiring to know God will hear about Jesus.

    The Bible also contains examples of individuals who were accepted by God, even thought their knowledge of Him was limited. Rahab, the prostitute, had only the smallest amount of knowledge about God, but the Bible refers to her as a woman of faith, and her actions were commended (Joshua 2:9, Hebrews 11:31).

    No one will be condemned for not ever hearing of Jesus Christ. That person will be condemned for violating his own moral standard.

    Romans 2:12-16: 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
    Based on the above examples from Scripture, it can be seen that God will fairly judge all mankind and that no one can claim that he or she recieved an unfair hearing. Therefore those who ask this question, should be very careful as to not use it as an excuse to not coming to Christ.

    What you think might happen or might not happen to someone else does not relieve your responsibility on Judgement Day.

    It isn't necessary that we understand "all" things about God. In fact, we never could, it's an impossibility of finite to understand infinite.

    There's a famous quote: "Many things in the Bible I cannot understand; many things in the Bible I only think I understand; but there are many things in the Bible I cannot misunderstand."

    In summary...those who have not heard of Christ, will be judged differently than those who have. They do not by default, become damned. That is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust...the very things that God cannot be.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; December 18th, 2005 at 02:29 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Therefore those who ask this question, should be very careful as to not use it as an excuse to not coming to Christ.
    Which does nothing to answer the question of "Would a knowing atheist if wrong go to that hell, even if he lived an honorable life"? (otherwise the above is just more bible talk to me...)...............:O)

  3. #3
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    "Would a knowing atheist if wrong go to that hell, even if he lived an honorable life"?
    The part in bold seems to be unclear, missing something, etc...

    Also, this thread is merely specifically about 1 group of people...those who have not heard. For those who HAVE heard, but lived a good life, that discussion is here: The man on on island problem...

    This particular thread answers the question in the other's opening post. After that answer however, the thread evolved into including those who lived a "good life". That topic is outside the scope of this thread.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    That is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust...the very things that God cannot be.
    If that's the case, then God cannot be because if God is, He is absurd, unjust and unethical. God condemns people for all of eternity for simply not believing in Him (which is unethical), does not take into account differences in personal circumstances and that some people have a far easier road to come to the acceptance of God than others (e.g., person A who was born in Mecca has much more to overcome to accept God than person B in Kentucky) (which is unjust), and saves the drunken, philandering wife beater who becomes "born again" in his old age for fear of death while sending the Buddhist monk to Hell for all eternity (which is absurd).

  5. #5
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    Red herring.

    The statement that it is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust, applies to the claim that those who have not heard of Christ, are by default damned.

    As stated previously:

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    this thread is merely specifically about 1 group of people...those who have not heard. For those who HAVE heard, but lived a good life, that discussion is here: The man on on island problem...
    I understand you wish to debate the other topic, but doing so in a different thread other than the one it is currently being debated in, is inappropriate.

    As the thread title says...this is of those who have not heard of Christ.
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  6. #6
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    Got it Apok....wrong thread...my apoligies...(no point in explaining the bold words now...*g*.....................................:O)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger
    If that's the case, then God cannot be because if God is, He is absurd, unjust and unethical. God condemns people for all of eternity for simply not believing in Him (which is unethical), does not take into account differences in personal circumstances and that some people have a far easier road to come to the acceptance of God than others (e.g., person A who was born in Mecca has much more to overcome to accept God than person B in Kentucky) (which is unjust), and saves the drunken, philandering wife beater who becomes "born again" in his old age for fear of death while sending the Buddhist monk to Hell for all eternity (which is absurd).
    God chooses who he wants to save by looking into thier hearts. E.g. The drunkard wasn't saved because he just waited to the last minute of his life to ask forgiviness. it doesn't work like that. He was saved cause he was truly repenent, and in his heart he was truly good. God already set the punishment for any sin no matter how small is spiritual death. If he changes that then he would have lied which he cannot do (it would be absurd). He doesn't want us all to go to hell so he allows his son, Jesus to pay for our sins if we believe in him. Now your saying what if he never heard of jesus?? Well he doesn't have to physically "hear" about Jesus because god knows what's in his heart.

  8. #8
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    Well he doesn't have to physically "hear" about Jesus because god knows what's in his heart.
    Very good and clear point.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Based on the above examples from Scripture, it can be seen that God will fairly judge all mankind and that no one can claim that he or she recieved an unfair hearing. Therefore those who ask this question, should be very careful as to not use it as an excuse to not coming to Christ.
    Of course, this is only true assuming the Bible is true. And one should answer: why do you choose to believe this is true? And answer: why is the idea of coming to Christ believable?

    And everyone should be very careful not to assume the Bible is what it claims, just because it claims it. I assign no authority to Bible, so it has no authority over me. No one's beliefs have any authority over those who choose to believe otherwise, including those of beliefs which contend applicability. I choose what I apply to my life, not some concept, not some religion, not some book of fantastic claims, not some believer. Me.

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    All babies are born knowing how to suckle because if they can't, they die. Suckling is part of God's plan. It doesn't have to be taught, it just is.

    All persons are born knowing that god exists and how to worship him because if they don't, they burn in hell. Proper recognition of God is part of his plan. Faith doesn't have to be taught, it just is.

    We're all faithful in the same way to the same God because otherwise there is no way for our souls to survive death. As we all know how to nurse as part of our instinctual being, we all know all god wants us to know as part of our instinctive knowledge.
    To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
    Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

    Who knows most, doubts most.
    Robert Browning

  11. #11
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    The REASON or evidences that people have in their faith (specifically Christianity) are for another thread. Such a discussion would take this topic, off-topic. Please start a new thread.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  12. #12
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    We all know all god wants us to know about him at birth. Subsequent knowledge is a bonus for some, but not required as part of the salvation package.

    What religion gives you comfort is not part of the package.
    To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
    Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

    Who knows most, doubts most.
    Robert Browning

  13. #13
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    Smile Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    the beliefs of others may often vary from my own however they must be respected if there is validity even in the smallest of amounts. I do not believe in god there is too much controversy/variety in god, gods, religion however i do believe in some thing perhaps someone in an elevated position above us, i tell you this because i want you to see my comments from my perspective.

    Those who have never heard of christ are sheltered. Under the guise of religion cities have burned, vast amounts of people have died these are the undeniable facts to deny them is treason to humanity.
    You suppose that this god will accept you into heaven if you repent your sins, well the gate is certainly a wide drawn one isnt it. Is There an extent to this repentance or could one commit genecide and still make it past your gods glossy gate.
    if and only if your god does exist who are you to cast dark and disfavourable words like judgement "...It isn't necessary that we understand "all" things about God...". if it isnt necessary to understand ALL things about this god are we to pick and choose, are we to interpret gods messages, yeah that worked about in the past, oh wait.

    In summary those who have not heard of christ are better off, they will live happily and keeping a postmodernist stance if they do meet judgment and this religion happens to be the real mccoy they need only repent as you said.

  14. #14
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    We know that it is God's desire that "none should perish but that all should come to repentance" Peter 3:9. This indicates that God also cares for those persons who have not heard the gospel.

    The Bible also teaches that God will judge the world fairly and righteously (Acts 17:31). Even though we may not know HOW he is going to deal with these people specifically, we can be assured that his judgement will be fair.

    The Bible also gives an example of a man who was in a situation not unlike many today. His name was Cornelius. He was a very religious man who was constantly praying to God. He had not heard of Jesus Christ, but he was honestly asking God to reveal Himself to him.
    That's a non sequiter. We are not talking about people who HAVE the possibility of hearing about God; we are talking about people who CANNOT possibly hear about God. With that said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Red herring.

    The statement that it is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust, applies to the claim that those who have not heard of Christ, are by default damned.

    As stated previously:



    I understand you wish to debate the other topic, but doing so in a different thread other than the one it is currently being debated in, is inappropriate.

    As the thread title says...this is of those who have not heard of Christ.
    Right, and this is the post you link us to help us address athiesm:

    Quote Originally Posted by AntiMaterialist View Post
    This is a classic problem for Christian believers. Can a man who grew up on an island and was never exposed to Christianity ever be granted access to heaven?

    In the Bible, Jesus clearly says the only way to Heaven is through him - but a man who was never exposed to this concept would never have the opportunity to go through Jesus.

    So - is he saved or is he doomed?
    What the hell? Are you kidding me? This is the same thread as yours.

  15. #15
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    That's a non sequiter. We are not talking about people who HAVE the possibility of hearing about God; we are talking about people who CANNOT possibly hear about God.
    1) All men have the possibility of hearing about God.
    2) And those who do not, are addressed in the op.

    Right, and this is the post you link us to help us address athiesm
    No, this is the post that I linked you to to address the very specific issue of people not hearing or knowing of Christ.

    What the hell? Are you kidding me? This is the same thread as yours.
    Had you read the rest of that thread, you'd have found an explanation for starting this one...

    Apok: I started a new thread to answer this question. The reason was because I had already created the opening post as an essay a while back, but never copied it here. I intended to, but forgot about it.

    The thread I'm referring to is: Those who have not heard of Christ

    The thread answers all of your questions:

    1) those who have not heard
    2) those who have a limited knowledge of God
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    What of the hypothetical person who leads a "bad" life, one which includes what christians would consider sin. Hell a lot of it. Murder, rape whatever.

    He has never heard of a god and does not think of such things. However this same person would have whole heartidly believed in christianity had he heard about it and the knowledge would have changed the very way he thought about his life.

    In other words if he had known he would have been a good person.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
    -- Stephen Roberts

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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    That doesn't sound reasonable to me, but I'm willing to explore it.

    You are suggesting, that this potentially real person had no idea that raping, murdering, etc... was wrong, but would have if only he read the Bible or someone told him about the Bible...because the Bible is the only compelling authority on such moral values?
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    You are suggesting, that this potentially real person had no idea that raping, murdering, etc... was wrong, but would have if only he read the Bible or someone told him about the Bible...because the Bible is the only compelling authority on such moral values?
    Not because it's the only compelling, but because it's the most important moral authority.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  19. #19
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Common question, often used as objections to Christianity...but done so in misunderstanding. I originally posted this on my other site last year, intended to copy it here, a new thread (Man on an island) reminded me of it, so here it is.
    Those who have never heard of Christ

    Most likely these people are actually happy. <<< My answer- the rest is off topic!

    To be honest, the only thing I could ever have wanted to change about my growing up could I would be that!

    Sorry how does this apply?

    It seems that you are applying a universal ideal to everyone. Why is it that you feel christianity could or should be this important?


    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    In summary...those who have not heard of Christ, will be judged differently than those who have. They do not by default, become damned. That is absurd, illogical, unethical, unjust...the very things that God cannot be.
    Are you sure this is correct, if one follows the bible it does in fact lead one to believe that "everyone has fallen short of the glory of god".

    And as well that "everyone is born into sin!"/ "for even the rocks of the field cry out"



    Basically what I am saying is that the Bible does not leave any "outs" for supposed ignorance, and judgment will be based purely on those whom "god knows, and or names are written in the book of life".


    If you want exact references to verses fine, however you and I both know these are there! (just busy no time too look through my reference materials for exact references)



    My response to this would be I find it funny that a fairy tale such as this should attempt to hold so much power over all of humanity. Especially at a time when (to quote yourself, KB, and even Clive) the world consisted of a much smaller area!
    Last edited by wanxtrmBANNED; February 8th, 2007 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  20. #20
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    Re: Those who have never heard of Christ

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    Not because it's the only compelling, but because it's the most important moral authority.
    This is saying that only the most compelling and most important moral authority can provide "enlightenment" as to whether or not it is bad to murder or rape.

    In other words, if the Bible didn't exist, people wouldn't have a clue if it were moral or not, to murder or rape other people.

    Not only do I disagree with such a position, but I would imagine that most atheists here at ODN would as well.
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