What About Those Who Haven’t Heard The Gospel?
Titus 2:11 – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Titus 2:12 – Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Titus 2:13 – Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 2:14 – Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
Titus 2:15 – These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
Hello readers, thank you for reading, and hope this is a blessing to you and provides some clarity around a very popular question that lingers (as we will see unnecessarily) in the minds of many. Today we are going to be addressing the question of “what about those who haven’t heard the gospel?”. What about people who were raised in Muslim countries? What about people that are raised by atheistic parents. Well this line of questioning is very common so this is the topic of discussion!
At the outset, it’s ironic when people ask these kind of questions, because being raised in a different culture or religion doesn’t mean truth is any less truth. And people forget that it doesn’t matter what continent you started, our lives all equally originate with the God who made us. So while I may different to someone from Sudan or Libya or Croatia or Russia or Argentina, with a different life experience, none of this actually changes anything. Truth is still the truth.
One of the other big ironies is the assumption that exposure to the gospel guarantees belief of it. But this is a mistaken assumption. The people who generally ask these smarty pants questions have been exposed to truth their whole life yet reject it. Hearing the gospel does not guarantee belief. Ask those people in Jesus’ day. You know, I was reading Matthew 22 recently and Jesus got hit with different curly questions attempting to trip him up and find him in contradiction. It backfired spectacularly. People attempting to twist God’s word and prove it’s wrong… they’ve been around for thousands of years, so when you have your smart little question, know that you’re not the first with one, and you won’t be the last to be proven completely wrong by God’s word. At the end of Matthew 22 we read that no man asked Jesus questions anymore.
You can go to a far land with the gospel and you know what will happen? Most people, if not all, will reject it. In Acts we see the gospel going throughout Europe and Asia and it was met with a lot of opposition and rejection. And as we are going to see, many nations are like they are, in great darkness, not because they never had the gospel or truth… but because they rejected it.
But today we are going to discuss this further and not just comment on the ignorance and mistaken assumptions and false premise that underpins this line of thinking. This is a very common question after all and it’s great to be furnished with what the Bible says, as much for our own peace of mind as to have an answer for someone who asks that question thinking that’ll trip God up. The real reason most people have this kind of question is because they are seeking to justify themselves rather than God. People want to shake themselves free from God and his authority over their life. But you can’t run from God, as David found out, he couldn’t go anywhere to escape God, indeed you were made with the knowledge of God in you… so how can you run from yourself. That’s why atheism is so foolish, you are living in denial of knowledge God put in you. At the core of atheism isn’t that God doesn’t exist, just they have a problem with God because they’re in sin.
This whole line of questioning reminds me of this verse in Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 18:25 – Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
People have always been trying to prove that God isn’t fair, that God isn’t just, that God isn’t good. You’re not the first. His own nation was saying that. They’d gotten so reprobate in their thinking because of the wickedness that they were in. So when they’re saying “the way of the Lord is not equal”, they’re saying God’s unfair and unjust. They’re finding fault in God’s word, God’s character and God’s morality. What did God say back? Hear now. Hear God’s word. God’s word has the answer to this question in abundance and highlights really what an ignorant question it is. We need the same rebuke, we who try elevating our poverty stricken morality and self righteousness above God’s.
But on to the question at hand of “what about those who haven’t heard the gospel?”. Well we said that this question comes from a place of ignorance of God’s word… consider these verses…
Colossians 1:23 – If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
John 1:9 – That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
TItus 2:11 – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
These verses already answer the question because you are now at the place where you either call God a liar, or admit you are the liar. You can accept what God has said, and his assurance that all people have heard the gospel and known truth and been given light… or you can reject that assurance. That’s why God’s word said let God be true and every man a liar… that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings and overcome when thou art judged. If the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven, if Jesus Christ has lighted every man that has come into the world… that means all people know the truth. It’s not the lack of availability of the truth… it’s man’s own heart condition which loves the darkness which is the problem. You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking in the wrong place for fault… God won’t be at fault when you go to hell… you’ll go there because you rejected the truth, you sinned against the light.
But even then, the Bible talks about privilege. There’s a trigger word! There are nations and generations that have had a lot more light than other nations and at other times. The Bible makes that clear. But the thing is, God is the righteous judge of all the earth. If you think you’re a pretty good judge, God is so far better than you, because he is the perfect Judge. He judges in prefect righteousness and holiness. You know, Jesus Christ is going to be who sends you to hell or welcomes you to heaven… he is capable of making that kind of judgment because he’s God. He knows everything, and because of his perfect knowledge and understanding and power, he can make that judgment. And when Jesus was here he rebuked cities in Israel and said it’d be more tolerable for wicked Sodom and Gomorrah that he destroyed than for them in the day of judgment. Why? Because that generation saw and heard Jesus Christ, and the Bible says to whom much is given, much is required.
The thing is, God is a far more righteous Judge than any of us will ever be, he is in the place to be able to make such decisions about who to draw, who to call, and how to do so. He is in the place to judge all men, and all will be judged by him. God is far more capable of judging fairly and righteously in each case, indeed that’s why as Christians are to commit ourselves to him that judges righteously, because we can trust his judgment especially when we suffer (and we will and do) for doing right! Think about Jesus Christ. He didn’t get a fair, just, equal judgment from man. He got wrongly treated, talked about, imprisoned, spat on, beaten, judged, lied on, crucified, killed. All this, and he was the only sinless man in existence!
The problem with the question is that you don’t know who God is. Only someone that doesn’t know God has that question. When you get to know him, look at God speaking to Job… the can you, do you, knowest thous? Job had been reasoning and trying to figure everything God out… and when God spoke, he admitted he knew nothing, and the smartest thing he did was lay his hand upon his mouth and repent in dust and ashes.
It has been said there’s no such thing as a stupid question. But this is a stupid question, no I’m not saying you’re stupid, but it’s a stupid question because it shows you haven’t read the Bible and considered what the Bible has said so you needn’t be so ignorant. See, you’re given the Bible so you don’t need to be in darkness on this issue, or any other issue of life. God has given so many witnesses of himself in the earth. There’s creation itself, there’s conscience, there’s the inbuilt knowledge of God that he put in you. The Bible says in Psalm 19 that there is no voice nor language where their speech is not heard. There’s the Holy Spirit, the water, the blood. The thing is, it doesn’t matter where and when you come from, it’s the same God, the same Creator and the same truth, the same salvation.
So let’s look at a practical example. I saw this question in the light of a guy called Abraham in the Bible. When I was reading Stephen’s sermon, the sermon that got him stoned in Acts 7, he said this…
Acts 7:2 – And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
Acts 7:3 – And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
It’s easy to just read the Bible and it never sink in. To never realize the significance of what you have read. No wonder Jesus said… let these sayings sink into your ears. Have a think, because this is a Biblical example to ask your question. Abraham (called Abram back then) was just an ordinary guy living in a random heaven country. You like hypotheticals, but this is a real man who lived and walked the earth. Well, he was in Mesopotamia. That wasn’t a godly place. Abraham didn’t have some special opportunity that nobody else got. No, the difference was he believed God’s word. That’s what separated him, not lack of opportunity. That’s why our thinking and our question is so wrong.
You might think, oh I’d believe if I had the chance Abraham had. But the thing is, God revealed himself to Abraham through his word. God’s always revealed himself through his word. His Holy Spirit, sent forth into the whole earth, always honors and moves in accordance with God’s word. And hey, you may not know much, or pretty much anything, but God will lead you to the same truth regardless of what continent you are in. There are Christians all over the earth, they came from different backgrounds, upbringings, cultures, everything… yet they all believed the same Lord God, and as they went along in life, the Spirit of truth guided them into the truth. So I can have better fellowship with someone from Asia or Africa or wherever than from my home country.
People today are looking for a revelation of God through feelings, emotions, experiences, lies, presumption, angels… whatever. Few get the revelation of God through his word, and through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. You know, for someone born in the Middle East, their only way to God is through his Son. They’re raised believing God had no Son, but just because they’re raised that way doesn’t change the truth. In some ways it’s easier getting raised in a non Christian home. There are so many kids raised in Christian homes who walk away from the truth. Hophni and Phineas were raised as sons of the priest back in 1 Samuel, and they were adulterers and thieves… and they were dead men. It doesn’t matter how you start, you may start very advantageously… it’s what you do with the light that was given to you… the light God promises to give you and that he promised he gave you.
Here’s another promise Jesus made…
Matthew 7:7 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Matthew 7:8 – For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
You think Abraham might have been asking, seeking, and knocking back in Mesopotamia? It didn’t matter the ungodly place he was in, the ungodly people he was around… he was seeking truth. Look at how he lived and tell me he wasn’t seeking truth. Not “a” truth… THE truth. So many people are apparently on a faith journey, but they’re presented with the gospel, the word of truth… and they pass on it. What does that tell you? It’s all rubbish. They’re seeking their truth, a truth that suits them, not the truth. If you’re seeking, if you’re asking, if you’re knocking… you will find the Lord Jesus Christ. Because he is THE way, THE truth, THE life. All through the Bible, not just Abraham, God was able to reach and reveal and communicate with people from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures, nations. If God can reveal himself to Abraham, he can reveal himself to anyone, be it in the Congo or Antarctica. God’s not like you, he doesn’t have your limitations. Language isn’t a limitation to him. Culture, upbringing… nothing. Get your thinking straight… God’s word will straighten you out. That’s why John the Baptist popped onto the scene… make straight the way of the Lord… and guess who needed a John the Baptist? Israel! Often the biggest mission field isn’t far afield, but right where you are, the religious crowd is the most lost.
Rahab was a harlot in Jericho, and she received the messengers of God, she believed in their God. Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon, a distinctly ungodly nation, and he recognized the Son of God in the fire with the three Hebrew children. God doesn’t have barriers and limitations, with God all things are possible. The problem is your completely wrong view of God, because God is framed by your imagination and wisdom, not by the truth of God’s word.
We are seeing that the truth is that it’s not that people don’t hear God’s word or know it or can’t find it… it’s that they reject it and refuse it. That’s the problem. The problem isn’t the message and the messenger, the problem is the hearer. See, this question finds fault in everyone else but “me”. We are the problem, we have the shortcomings… there’s no problem with God and his word. This question overlooks the fact that humanity is the way it is by choice. You know why there are so many nations that are in darkness, with their different ungodly cultures and beliefs? It’s because they chose that, and they raised that… and they got that.
We all trace back to Adam. We have a common father, ancestry, knowledge, truth. At the tower of Babel all people were one until they were divided because of their corporate wickedness. Nations went forth from there and grew in disobedience and rebellion to God’s word. Again, it’s not they didn’t know, it’s they chose to reject. One of the biggest lies of evolution is how it makes us believe that other peoples and cultures are somehow so different. It’s amazing what creeps into our thinking. We don’t realize it, but the subliminal messaging of ideas, thinking, philosophies in things we are exposed to in the world creeps into our thinking. It’s so subtle… because Satan is subtle. Everything he does is subtle. Subtle means not obvious, yet the results can be absolutely massive… like going to hell massive. Somehow we think our ancestors were caveman idiots, somehow we think the “races” (Bible never refers to nations of people as races) are all so different. A pygmy in the Congo has the same humanity that anyone else does. We all come from Adam. The born again Bible believing Christian is the least racist person on the planet.
Compare that to someone like Charles Darwin, the godfather of evolution, who was racist in his theory and thinking and believed that whites were more evolved and advanced than the degraded black savages because of different ancestry and separate evolution. Think of where Hitler got his “master race” ideas from. Evolution. But the Bible teaches that we all trace back to Adam, who made a choice, and we all do today. To say God doesn’t give you a choice to choose to trust and obey him is to call him a liar from the very first chapters of Genesis.
It has been said that all ground is level at the foot of the cross… God is no respecter of persons… if you reject the truth, the light, the Lord Jesus Christ… you’re going to hell. There were a lot of nobodies who believed on Jesus Christ… a Canaanite woman believed and the Pharisees didn’t. And Jesus said MANY would come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in heaven… but the children of the kingdom would be cast out. People from every continent will sit down in heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and many of the entitled, privileged religious crowd… they’ll be rejected. Make sure you don’t live as a intellectual and religious smarty pants and end up in hell while that hypothetical poor person who you excused yourself on is the one who’s in heaven.
Jesus promised if you seek you’ll find, if you ask you will receive and if you know it will be opened unto you. That promise applies to every person on the planet. So either God’s a liar or he’s not a liar. We tend to limit God to our finite, vain, wicked minds. That’s our problem. That’s idolatry. We really don’t know who God is. We think we do, but we don’t at all. God was heading to Sodom to destroy it. And Abraham asked God… will you destroy the righteous with the wicked? You gonna do right God? You going to judge fairly? The thing is, God’s much more capable and able to do right than us. When we charge him with not giving people a fair chance and ability to hear truth and get saved, we are foolishly charging him.
So this question is underpinned with a false premise and erroneous idea of who God is and the gospel. The people that live in far countries, many of them will not receive the gospel… that’s the problem. Just like Israel, God’s own people, he sent prophets and prophets and prophets to them. What did they do with God’s messengers? They killed them all. Newsflash, people have the right to refuse the truth, and they do that. You won’t go to hell because you had no light, you’ll be in hell because you rejected the light. It’s amazing that for all the messengers God sent his own people, well he sent Jonah to Nineveh. You know Nineveh wasn’t part of Israel. So God sends his word into far countries… the word reached the queen of the south, the word reached the widow at Zarephath, the word reached Rahab… and he sent Jonah with a message of judgment and destruction… and guess what? They repented. Pretty incredible, he sent good news to Israel and they rejected Christ, and he sends bad news to Nineveh, and they repent. Let that sink in. The wicked, godless, heathen city repented and the religious privileged city of Jerusalem instead crucified the Son of God.
Jesus said to that generation he was sent to… this is the sign you’ll get, the sign of the prophet Jonah. Because Jonah preached to wicked Nineveh and they repented. Jesus Christ, a far greater than Jonah, preached to wicked Israel, and they crucified him. They wanted a sign, he gave them a sign. They thought they were a bit better than Nineveh of old, but they weren’t. See, you may think you’re smart and you spend your life poking fun at the Bible, but you’re the one in trouble.
God was able to reveal himself to Abraham. A nobody in a far land, exactly like those people you think have never heard the gospel, are disadvantaged by being raised in a different culture with different gods, who’ve never heard the gospel. Abraham became a prototype, a model, for all who believe. God is able to reach anyone, his Holy Spirit and Word doesn’t have limitations like we think he does. The problem is our imagination has carved out an grossly inferior version of God than the one that actually exists. That’s why idolatry is so high in the ten commandments. It’s a massive problem. These nations are like they are because they’ve chosen darkness for hundreds to thousands of years. They’re products of many generations of rejecting truth. God gave the nations in Canaan hundreds and hundreds of years, space to repent and turn… but they never did. Ironically this question really instead of highlighting God’s shortcomings, it magnifies his great mercy and longsuffering… for he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. With that question you’re basically accusing God of being willing to see people perish. You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.
People and nations are the way they are by choice. It’s not God’s fault, it’s their fault. See, we always want to make God at fault, or someone else at fault… not own our own sin. Your thinking is wrong. It’s a massive difference to realize it’s not they don’t know truth and can’t know truth… it’s they don’t WANT the truth. That’s the problem. God give me a heart for truth. God gives grace to the humble. Someone in Nigeria can humble themselves, and God will give grace to that man or woman. God’s not limited by language, upbringing, culture, anything… he can and does save people today from everywhere, from anywhere.
To finish, I think, the most ironic part I saw in the writing of this blog is this. The queen of the south traveled a long way to see Solomon. She put far more value on God’s word and God’s ways than those raised in Israel at that time. Which leads me to the ironic part. Think about this…
Your salvation may just be a bigger miracle than that person in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of nowhere, raised in a different religion, from a different culture… a person you think God cannot reach. God can reach that person much more easily than you. Because you are hard hearted because you’ve been exposed to so much truth it’s closed your seeing and hearing and understanding.
Matthew 13:14 – And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Matthew 13:15 – For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Matthew 13:16 – But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
These people were always asking for more proof, more signs… but the problem wasn’t with the message, the problem was the blindness of their hearts. The Bible says in would the Gentiles trust. Everywhere Jesus went it was the undesirables, the hopeless, the despairing, the nobodies, the beneath contempt people… they were the ones getting saved. See, because they didn’t have that hard heart of unbelief, that false air about themselves, they didn’t have all that big wisdom and intellect in the way of their own salvation. It was Jesus’ his own people that rejected him and crucified him. The Gentiles believed Jesus, and those people you think have no chance get saved today, while you don’t.
The problem isn’t with God, the Bible, no the problem is with the hearers. Today, if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart. God’s word is true, let God establish your thinking, and you’ll find out he is far greater than your mind. God is the one Creator, he’s the one truth. That’s why Psalm 150:6 – Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. He is more for salvation than you are, he’s so for it, he gave his Son to die for the sins of the whole world. Whole world, because he’s interested in salvation for everybody. It was a Cyrenian that bore his cross… wake up. The invitation is open and extended to all, and before you also the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ is extended, so will you believe or reject him?
Psalm 19:1 – The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Psalm 19:2 – Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
Psalm 19:3 – There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Psalm 19:4 – Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Psalm 19:5 – Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
Psalm 19:6 – His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
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Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)
The Lord chose Abram to reveal Himself to Abram, how? By Directly speaking to him. it was according to His Will.
It does not reveal that Abram was seeking out God, he was a heathen brought up in a land of idols, which had no direct contact with the people. We should not presume where it is not stated by the Lord Himself, do you not think?
Does it not say in Isa 65:1 I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
And Paul states this in Romans; Rom 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
Neh 9:7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
Rom_9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom_9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
The only way the heart is able to “hear” is when the Lord prepares the heart to hear by the Holy Spirit. Man is not capable of “opening his heart” to God, it’s dead.
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Hello Cal, thanks for your comment. How does God choose? He chose David. But what kind of a young man was David that God would choose him? Did God just arbitrarily choose him? Did God just arbitrarily choose all those heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11? The truth is, it isn’t that God just chooses people and we have no responsibility or what we do doesn’t matter at all. You look at Gideon threshing wheat by the winepress, you look at David keeping his sheep, you look at Noah perfect in his generations. The kind of men they were had a lot to do with them being chosen. After all Jesus said, many are called, but few are chosen.
There’s no presumption at all, the Bible is nothing if not alive and relevant to our lives today. And we can know things from principles and truths found in the Bible about who God is and how God works to understand the stories perfectly. God didn’t just randomly pluck Abram out of Ur of Chaldees and force him to obey. No, Abram had a heart and mind to obey God’s word. That’s why he’s chosen! In the context of this blog, the point was being made through Abraham’s life that the issue isn’t that we don’t have access to God’s word or that we don’t know truth or that we can’t be chosen… it’s that we reject and refuse it and many prefer darkness… and thus many aren’t chosen.
I think you’re perhaps missing the point of this blog and applying other truths like the foreknowledge and sovereignty and providence of God… but those truths are also balanced by the fact that in Isaiah 66:2 “but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 says “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” God’s looking for people that will obey him, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord we read. But the Bible also says God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. We know that Noah was humble for if he was not, he would’ve found no grace in God’s sight, and his humility showed in his obedience and work on the ark, by the which he was delivered.
God’s testimony of Abraham was Genesis 18:19 – “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” That’s the kind of guy that God chooses, that’s chosen. What about God choosing David over Saul for the kingdom? Because David was a man after God’s own heart. Look at Saul, his heart wasn’t after God, that’s why he was rejected. It’s not he didn’t have the opportunity to know truth and walk in it and rule and reign in righteousness… no… and you see his start in life looks so promising with the Spirit of the Lord coming upon him… but inside there was a man who didn’t have the deep earth, the good soil for God’s word.
God chose Abraham because he knew Abraham would obey him. The criteria for being chosen isn’t God just randomly picking you, the criteria is your repentance and faith. And you do have a say in that. Abraham did have a say in his chosen-ness. He’s living in an ungodly country, amongst ungodly people, with ungodly gods… just like people today… and God did appear to him through his word. Genesis 12:1 “Now the LORD had said unto Abram”. God appears to people today too, he appears through his word and the person of his Son Jesus Christ. I’m not talking about a physical appearance, because we haven’t seen him and will not, because it’s by faith, but he does reveal himself to believers through his word and they have a relationship with him that this world does not and cannot know. Jesus told that to his disciples the night of his betrayal (John 14:22). And Paul confirmed it in 2 Corinthians 5:16.
God said Esau have I hated and Jacob have I loved. Was God unfair? Did Esau have no chance? No, Esau had many a chance just like all unbelieving people do, they’re not chosen because God’s decided that person is born to go to hell. They’re not chosen because they’ve refused the gospel, they find no place of repentance. Of course I realize you’ll probably think of the “vessels of destruction”, but to be understood that must be rightly balanced with scripture otherwise you’ll be thinking that God created people to go to hell. There’s some things we cannot grasp how they can be. But being chosen isn’t a hoping God picks me, if you get saved, you’re chosen of God. We get chosen IN Christ – Ephesians 1:4. Because he is the chosen one. Christ was and is the chosen of God (1 Peter 2:4). When you get saved, you’re chosen in him, and the Bible says in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 that “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”.
The Bible says “for God so loved the world”. Revelation 22:17 – “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Anyone can come, but the only way you’re chosen by God is coming through repentance and faith in his Son Jesus Christ. That’s how you get chosen. It’s very fair, because God’s ways are equal and our ways are not. The Bible isn’t teaching us God irresistibly chooses people. Yes he knows all things, he knew Adam and Eve were going to sin, but they still had their choice, and he had already chosen his Son to die for the sins of the world before they were created, let alone sinned. So when God appeared to Abraham, it wasn’t random, and chance, and luck, there were a good number of reasons God appeared to him, because you see Abraham’s life thereafter, where he obeyed, and trusted and hoped against hope.
Abraham was the one guy, just like Noah, who had a heart and spirit to hear and obey. They’re the people that are chosen. We do have responsibility and what we do does matter, and that balances perfectly with the drawing power of God (yes that is required for salvation as well) and the sovereignty and foreknowledge of Jesus Christ. Salvation is of the Lord, but we also must take the cup of salvation. Forgiveness is extended, but without accepting God’s forgiveness through repentance and faith, much of this world will go to hell. It’s not they couldn’t be forgiven or it wasn’t extended to them, only a chosen few, no… they won’t go to hell unloved or incapable of redemption… it was because God gave them the power to choose to love and obey him. And they never had a mind or heart for God and so they failed of the grace of God he would have freely given them to trust and obey him.
There is not one good thing within man that desires anything of God. ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s Glory. It is God that prepares ALL hearts to receive His Word according to and for His Purpose.
Jesus said it Himself:
Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Joh 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
Joh 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
No one will follow God unless God has granted the person the Gift to receive HIM.
Paul hated anything to do with Jesus Christ and his believer’s so he went about to persecute and kill them. It stopped when? When Jesus, against Saul’s will, stopped him and spoke to him, Jesus revealed Himself to Paul. Paul was changed due to Jesus Christ Granting Him the Gift of salvation against His will.
We are dead, and there is nothing in the human heart that desires God, we are not capable of choosing God, we as humans have no free will to desire God or to chose Him. It comes ALL from Him as He chooses, according to His Will for His purposes. To go against that is going against God Himself. He will love who He chooses to love, and He will Hate who He chooses to hate.
Judas was the son of perdition from the very start, why? so that the Scriptures could be fulfilled. He never had the heart for God, it was only for his self interest, and the money. Yet Jesus chose him, why? Judas was predestined to betray Christ.
You can not have it both ways, it is black and white, there are no “in-between” with the Lord.
Paul said it himself: Rom 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
It’s called total depravity……and that is what man hates to admit too.
God has always made sure there was a “remnant” reserved for HIS GLORY, and not for man’s. Noah was saved because God made sure he was the only one “righteous” in His Generation because the LORD made sure of it.
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Thanks for your response Cal. Of course man is utterly depraved and sinful. There’s many blogs I’ve written which have covered that fact and many others, and this blog doesn’t frustrate other truths that the Bible teaches about the sinful fallen condition of man. But all truth is balanced. God’s foreknowledge doesn’t mean man doesn’t have a choice and responsibility. God doesn’t force anyone to believe and force them to follow. Yes, salvation does take God’s calling, but Jesus said many are called, few are chosen. Read the context of what he was saying in Matthew 22, for he said that after after a parable about a king who sent his servants to call those that were bidden to the marriage… who refused and rejected his servants… and then he said go into the highways and invite anyone who wants to and will come. The thing is… as the first verse quoted in this blog state “The grace of God that bringeth salvation has appeared to ALL men”. All. So they had the grace to get saved, but like Esau… they failed of it. Not God’s fault, their fault, their choice, their error. You might as well not go around sharing the gospel or sowing seed seeing as it’s all pre planned and pre determined and you can’t make a difference… Yes, Jesus knew Judas Iscariot would betray him, but that doesn’t frustrate the fact that Judas Iscariot had a choice in the matter. God didn’t force Judas to do what he did, but he knew what he would do. Truth out of balance is heresy and when you go all one way with no scriptural balance you’ll be ignoring half the Bible that doesn’t suit such as the many verses I quoted in my previous response. So yes, those verses are true, man is a hell deserving sinner with no good in him, salvation is of the Lord, nobody can come to Jesus except the Father draw him… yes all true. But there are also other truths to balance our thinking and understanding… because God’s grace has appeared to all men, the gospel has been preached to every creature, Jesus has lighted every man that has come into the world. God is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. Read through your Bible and it all comes down to what man did with the light presented to him. What judges us is what we did with the light given to us, that’s what Jesus said. We are all sinners, what will truly sentence us to hell is what we did with the gift of his Son. God gave us a way out, and acceptance or rejection of that is what will determine our fate. I didn’t choose to be born a sinner, but I can choose whether or not to believe and obey Christ. And yes God gives me the grace to do that, his grace is required to get saved and follow him. If God didn’t give us the ability and power to choose to obey and love him, then we would be helpless robots. So then how could he find fault with us? God wanted them to want to bring the sacrifices to him, not because they had to, but because they wanted to. There’s many other truths in Romans because some of Paul’s teachings then people would have questions like “let us do evil that good may come” and “oh we might as well just sin then” seeing as it’s all God’s grace. But God forbid. Have a great day Cal.
You totally contradict yourself. You can not have it both ways.
Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
It’s all black or white, nothing in the gray area can exist. There is only ONE TRUTH as God’s Word reveals it, through the Holy Spirit.
Not all were to be saved. Many were called to Repentance, but few who entered in, example: Peter and Paul preached to thousands, and God added to the church. Not all preached to believed, for they were NOT ordained to believe. in Acts Act 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Act 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Jesus chose Judas, because he knew he was the “Son of Perdition”.So that it, (the prophesy) in the Old Testament may be “fulfilled”. It was prophesied he would, so he was born to betray Him. Jesus did give him a chance at the last supper, but he still faked he was a true follower and loved Him and partook in the Last Supper which meant, he (Judas) would suffer with him, and walk His walk, in Spirit and in Truth, however since Judas participated in the Last Supper unworthily, Satan then entered him. He had a chance, and Jesus gave it to him only to prove Judas’s heart was for the devil.
Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Abram was an idolater, he was not seeking, God showed mercy and revealed Himself to Abram and God made his heart to believe in Him and obey His voice. Abram had no interest in God prior, and that does balance out, when viewed correctly by the Working power of the Holy Spirit.
I do read my Bible, I’ve been reading it and studying it for over 40 years. You are young in the Lord, when young in the Lord we may see things a certain way, and then the Lord will have an appointed time, when He desires you to see the Spirit of the Word instead of the Letter of the Word. Seeing and understanding the Word by the Holy Spirit revelation, is not the same as understanding the Letter of the Word through fleshly human mental reasoning.
The Lord bless you abundantly…….
There’s nothing more to discuss here Cal, you’re ignoring everything I’ve said with the many scriptures as the foundation and proceeding right ahead. And you think that your 40 years gives you some authority. It does not. Or that forty years somehow will intimidate me off the clearly expressed truths in God’s word? Forty years with God teaches humility, not puts you on a pedestal. Elihu waited a long time before he spoke because he was far younger than his seniors who he thought surely they’d have an answer for Job. In 1 Samuel, God was speaking to Samuel the child… not to Eli the priest nor his sons. So you can speak down to me all you want and patronize and behave like you’ve got special insight, but I am unconcerned by that. But what I am concerned with is your arguments detracting from the issues at hand, and muddying the simplicity and clarity that the Bible provides on salvation and clear teachings of scripture. You’re taking some parts of scripture, and dismissing other parts to make God’s word fit with your understanding instead of letting God speak and his truth balance out and interpret itself.
Paul told Timothy…
2 Timothy 2:14 – Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
I do not want the readers of this blog waylaid by stupid arguments and straining at gnats and swallowing camels. This is a well, not a pit. They’re here for water, for truth, not for strife and doubtful disputations. For a reader on my blog, it’s not predetermined that they’re going to hell or heaven. They’re not forced into hell, they’re not chosen to go there before they were born. Does God know what they’re going to do? Yes. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the capacity to accept or reject the gospel and the truth.
God gives grace to all men, grace that has appeared to ALL men, so that they can change the direction they’re heading. He’s full of mercy and longsuffering and he’s not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. That blows your theory out the water. God was going to destroy Nineveh… but then he spared them. He didn’t offer them salvation, Jonah’s message was one of, guys you’re done. But they heard it and thought, hey we need to get right with God, and they repented of their sin. God didn’t force them to repent, he was going to destroy them. Clear as a bell.
The Bible says…
Acts 17:30 – And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:31 – Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
All men are commanded to repent. If there are some who are chosen to go to hell by God, then not all men are commanded everywhere to repent. He has given assurance unto all men about who his Son is, the power and glory he has, because he’s giving all people a chance to be saved. The reason we are called to witness and be ambassadors and preach the word is to give people the gospel so they can be saved. We wouldn’t bother if it was all predetermined. Why should I go out and sow seed if some are going to get saved anyway because God’s decided it, and others are going to hell because God has decided it. Please.
Jesus Christ called Judas Iscariot friend. Judas Iscariot didn’t go to hell because he had zero choice in the matter, God knew what he would do, and God’s purpose and plan was interwoven with Judas Iscariot’s choices. That doesn’t mean he was forced and created for hell. Hell was made for the devil and his angels, mankind wasn’t created with the purpose of hellfire. Man was made for God’s pleasure, and we were created for fellowship and relationship with God. If it was all predetermined then Adam and Eve can’t even be held accountable seeing as God made them sin seeing as he is the one making them make all their choices. And as a function of man exercising his ability to choose to obey or disobey… man disobeyed, and we were plunged into sin. What makes us culpable is our ability and power to choose, how can you be held guilty if you had no choice? Paul deals with that as well in Romans. And that’s why God didn’t hold the younger generation accountable, because they didn’t know good and evil… while the older generation he said, you’re not going in to the promised land. Moses, when he was come to years… what did he do? He CHOSE to suffer the with the people of God, he CHOSE to forsake Egypt.
And we were all heading to hell, but God did something about it, because he doesn’t want us to go there… and he provided his Son so that the whole world had a chance to be saved. That’s not the God that’s making humans to go to hell. Jesus said, And I, if I be lifted up, will draw ALL men unto me. There’s that “all” again. Judas Iscariot made his own choices, choices which God was sovereign over, but choices which do not deny the volition that he had that God gave not just him, but all of us in making a decision with what we do with the man called Christ.
Colossians 1:28 – Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Paul preached to every man, and warned every man. Not the men that God had “chosen”, every man. He preached to heaps who rejected the truth. Why does every man need to be warned? Why has the gospel been preached to every creature under heaven? Why waste your time if they’re going to hell? Jesus has lighted EVERY man that has come into the world. Every means ALL. If you cannot understand the balance that is in scripture between God’s sovereignty and providence and foreknowledge… and the grace he has extended to all men, and the mercy and longsuffering and light and truth that he has given all men, and the ability to make choices, to choose to love and serve him or to reject him… then it is you who should wait on God for understanding than trying to compel others to come to your viewpoint.
God let Samson do what we wanted. Was marrying a Philistine woman Samson’s choice… or God’s? It was Samson’s. The Bible says it was of the Lord. So was that God forcing Samson to choose and marry a Philistine? God had commanded them not to marry Philistine women. So is God contradicting himself. Is he forcing his man to violate his own word? No. Israel was under Philistine dominion and they didn’t even want deliverance. There was no cry for deliverance. God knew the only way a battle would start would be Samson getting burned by getting in bed with the Philistines. That motivated Samson to strike at the Philistines. But that wasn’t the best path for Samson’s life, the best path would’ve been obeying and honoring God and his vow. He didn’t HAVE to lose his eyes. The better way would’ve been obeying God’s word, but he was a selfish, lustful, prideful man, and God was sovereign over that too.
Should I sin that grace may abound? No. If it’s all predetermined should I just sin counting on God working with it seeing as he already knew I was going to? No. Should I just eat drink and tomorrow I die because God’s predetermined how its all going to go and I cant do anything about it? God forbid. Paul instantly dealt with these trains of thought because that’s what we naturally think, but we need to be spiritually minded and balanced in the truth. Truth out of balance is heresy. You get false teachings and doctrines by manipulating scriptures which you don’t understand in the balance of scripture.
So I’ll thank you for your contribution Cal, but as far as I’m concerned this is the end of the argument. I’ll ask that you respect this. Instead of going on my blog and attempting to correct me, focus on your own field, God hasn’t called you to correct me, I’ll plow my field and you plow yours. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. It doesn’t say God made Abraham believe, it says Abraham believed God. It was Abraham’s choice. Abraham chose to obey God’s word in taking his son to Mount Moriah. He did have the option to disobey. Because he did disobey God at other times with going to Egypt… and getting with Hagar and so on.
Why would God say be ye holy, for I am holy. Why bother seeing as God is either making us holy or he’s not, and we really have no say in it. Why all the commands in all the epistles if it was already determined what we would do. And if it’s all predetermined, why even bother seeing as what’s going to happen is going to happen. Why did Jesus say seek, knock, and ask … if we have no say in the matter? If it’s ALL about God drawing us, and God’s predetermining and predestination and God choosing us… there’s no point. Right? Ask, seek, knock. Well, you are free to use your blog to write as much as you want about the matter. But come down from that special chair you’re on and share the gospel with some people instead of thinking you’re so special because you’ve been called and chosen and others haven’t and can’t do anything about it. Thank you, and this is the end of the matter.
Psalm 34:4 – I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Jeremiah 29:13 – And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Okay, I was only stating a fact, not putting myself upon a pedestal. So I do reject your accusation, it’s falsely done. I will not strive with you. Since you are posting things about the Lord, which is a public domain, I have every Biblical authority to discuss it publicly, especially fleshly thinking. You error in regards to correction, we are to correct one another God’s Word states so, I you can not prove otherwise, especially the Apostles teach that it’s called love.
I will not continue on, but you have no authority to censor other believer’s that’s a fleshly and ungodly response. I will from now on not leave any more comments on any of your postings. I forgive you and your stance. I am praying for you. Lord bless you……without Love we have nothing.
Thanks Cal, I have no problem with you posting what you think and haven’t censored you at all. I haven’t deleted or edited your comments, nor blocked you. I am just not interested in a continued back and forth that goes nowhere and really is just sounding brass more than charity. I know love and truth are inseparably entwined. You presented your case, and we can agree to disagree. I thought of these verses just before…
Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:14 – For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
Abraham sought God, God’s promises and a country. That was his choice, just as all those heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11 made a choice. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, Joshua said. Seek the Lord while he may be found the Bible says in Isaiah 55:6. So that’s my position. There’s no need to correct someone who’s holding to God’s word and the clarity and simplicity therein. God’s word does the correcting and we all are subject to his word. It’s best to finish with this verse… because the gospel is to “whosoever”…
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
You accused me of “ignoring everything I’ve said” when I was not ignoring, if I was ignoring, I would not have responded. So I responded and I was not putting you down, nor patronizing. By accusing me of “ignoring” you, you are truly stating since I’m not agreeing with your viewpoint, you then attack me personally for doing the same thing which I did not. I was sharing what I’ve learned through the years. We will agree to disagree. Lord bless you……
Agree to disagree here as well Cal, I replied to your comment and more than addressed the subject. That’s what I meant by ignoring everything I said, because all those verses prove that man does have a choice and a say and has been given grace and light from Jesus Christ. God is for salvation. Look at this verse… 1 Timothy 2:4 – Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. So I bore with your accusation of error and contradiction quite well and you’re upset because I earnestly contended for the faith? You continued on with your point, which was already dead. Saying I was accusing is misrepresenting the exchange and just victim poor me mentality, I could say you accused me of presuming, contradicting, being fleshly minded and overall misrepresenting the Bible. Because you did. I didn’t attack you personally, you tried using forty years and special insight that you have access to as if to legitimize and provide authority to your point… I am fully at liberty to reject that. The proof isn’t in your years of study or your life experience… and by the way, I have and everyone else has life experience and their stories too, but the proof is in what the Bible says. The still small voice. I reject what you said because it is wrong in the light of the truth of God’s word. That’s why I disagree.