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Old 07-23-2003, 06:17 PM   #1
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Normal Who Would Be Saved?

I listened to a Vicar once tell a group of us that, basically, the only way to be 'saved' is to believe in God, Jesus etc and I never got to ask him this question:

Who, out of these two people, would be 'saved.'

A very religious person who studies the Bible / Koran, goes to church / mosque regularly and prays every day without fail then either systematically beats their children or walks into a crowded place and blows him/herself up in the name of their religion.

OR

An Athiest who would say, "I don't believe in all that rubbish, Jesus who?" and who would deny that God, Jesus etc even exist but leads what would otherwise be described as a wholesome Christian existance.

Pretty powerful stuff I know but I can't get my head around this one. I would be very interested in your opinions on this.

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Old 07-23-2003, 06:29 PM   #2
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That story reminds me of a similar one I was told back in Convent school about ten years ago, where a father asked two sons to do a chore; one of them says 'yes, of course' but doesn't do anything, while the other says 'no, I won't do it', but does it later anyway. Mother Superior's question was; who obeyed the father? Who truly obeys God? Of course, I chose the latter, being the intelligent person that I am.

Bringing the question of salvation is tricky for me; I believe we are all, ultimately saved, however, that is something different and I don't wish to go into it here. Ultimately, to answer your question, I don't know who God would 'save', as I am not God. Who was obeying God? Who was properly doing God's work, without his knowing; the athiest.

I wonder, who is closer to God; the athiest who wishes to do good out of a want to do it, or the believer who wishes to do good out of a need to do it? I have always believed that God does not have an ego to bruise, and is not there to be recognised, It is there to love and be loved. Love starts in a simple human relationship and it grows from there.

To really appreciate the nature of a person, see how they treat their equal and inferior, not their superior.

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Old 07-23-2003, 08:45 PM   #3
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I'm not sure if either man would be saved - depends on if they really believed in their heart that Jesus was the Son of God, died on the cross, rose again, and believes that we are saved through Him and His grace alone.....


Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

John 10:9
"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life; No man comes to the Father, except through me.

Acts 2:21
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Acts 4:12
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

Acts 16:31
They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."

Romans 5:9
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Romans 5:10
For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Romans 10:13
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

2 Thessalonians 2:10
....They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.


Quote:
Bringing the question of salvation is tricky for me; I believe we are all, ultimately saved, however, that is something different and I don't wish to go into it here. Ultimately, to answer your question, I don't know who God would 'save', as I am not God. Who was obeying God? Who was properly doing God's work, without his knowing; the athiest.
Does this help answer your question Anthony?

1 Timothy 2:4
who (God) desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

It is our choice to accept or reject - it may seem harsh that you will not be saved if you do not accept Him, but He shows His love and compassion by allowing us that choice. Without choice, we would be just like a bunch of robots.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:21 PM   #4
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bonosloveslave,
thank you.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:04 PM   #5
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Greenbax - based on the descriptions alone, neither person would be saved.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:04 PM   #6
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Who will be saved? God only knows.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Who will be saved? God only knows.
And that is something to be thankful for. Sometimes I feel that we as humans get so caught up in wanting to know the score and who is "in" and who is "out" that it's just as well that when it comes down to it, it's a mystery only the omnipotent God understands.
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Old 07-24-2003, 12:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Who will be saved? God only knows.
I know at least one person who will be saved. And that's me. Not because of any great thing I have done, but because of the promises of God concerning how to be saved. I know my heart, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has been graceful to me, created in me a new spirit and given me eternal life.

Assurance is something that a Christian can have, because God offers it to him/her.

There are many others whom I would bet the farm on, also. But since I don't really know anyone's heart, I can't say 100% sure either way. That's between them and God.
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:37 AM   #9
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Normal To choose or not to choose

Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave


It is our choice to accept or reject - it may seem harsh that you will not be saved if you do not accept Him, but He shows His love and compassion by allowing us that choice. Without choice, we would be just like a bunch of robots.
I've always had a hard time with these words escpecially the last line. "We would just be like a bunch of robots". So - is that a bad thing? I mean what would you prefer: Being a robot or burn in hell for ever and ever?. I know what I would choose. Most peple don't KNOW that there is an afterlife and least of all that there might be a hell. So when you don't know even a few of the consequenses of your choice, is it then possible to consider it a real choice? I've also never understood how one can compare the relationship between God and man to the one of a mother/father and ther children. I mean what mother or father would ever let their children burn in hell? I mean the child (us) don't know what's best for us, so why should WE make the choice and not our parents (God)?

I don't know why I'm writing this. Maybe it's just because life seems so meaningless objectively. I mean if ONE human being is going to burn in hell (and I guess there is more than one) why would God even consider to create man in the first place? Why is it worth it? I know one shouldn't examine God's motives
to begin with. But I can't help that somewhat blasphemic words pop up in my mind once in a while: God being sadistic. I mean how can you love someone wholeheartedly who says: Love me or you'll burn in hell! Where's the love in that?..

I don't know. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:21 PM   #10
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I'll try to answer a few of your questions elevation, although I have to admit I had some help from "The Case For Faith" by Lee Strobel - a really good book that addresses the most common objections to Christianity.


Quote:
I've always had a hard time with these words escpecially the last line. "We would just be like a bunch of robots". So - is that a bad thing? I mean what would you prefer: Being a robot or burn in hell for ever and ever?. I know what I would choose.

I've also never understood how one can compare the relationship between God and man to the one of a mother/father and ther children. I mean what mother or father would ever let their children burn in hell? I mean the child (us) don't know what's best for us, so why should WE make the choice and not our parents (God)?
Why doesn’t God force everyone to go to heaven? That would be immoral. There is a difference between intrinsic value and instrumental value. Something has intrinsic value if it’s valuable and good in and of itself; something has instrumental value if it’s valuable as a means to an end. For example, saving lives is intrinsically good. Driving on the right side of the road has instrumental value; it’s just good because it helps keep order. If America decided that everyone should drive on the left side, then that would be ok. The goal is to preserve order and save lives.

When you treat people as instrumentally valuable, or only as a means to an end, you’re dehumanizing them, and that is wrong. You’re treating people as things when you treat them merely as means to an end. You only respect people when you treat them as having intrinsic value. If you were to force people to do something against their free choice, you would be dehumanizing them. You would be saying that the good of what you want them to do is more valuable than respecting their choices, and so you’re treating them as a means to an end by requiring them to do something they don’t want. That’s what it would be like if God forced everyone to go to heaven. If God has given people free will, there is no guarantee that everyone is going to choose to cooperate with Him. The option of forcing everyone to go to heaven is immoral, because it’s dehumanizing – it strips them of the dignity of making their own decision, it denies them their freedom of choice, and it treats them as a means to an end. God can’t make people’s character for them, and people who do evil or cultivate false beliefs start a slide away from God that ultimately end in hell. God respects human freedom. It would be unloving – a sort of divine rape – to force people to accept heaven and God if they really didn’t want them. When God allows people to say ‘no’ to Him, He actually respects and dignifies them.
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Most peple don't KNOW that there is an afterlife and least of all that there might be a hell.
In Acts 17:26-27, Paul was debating with some Greek philosophers: “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each of us”. There is a sovereign plan in creation, where each person is assigned a place of birth. God knows where we will be born and raised, and He puts us in a position where we might seek Him. We are clearly told that wherever we live – in whatever culture, in whatever nation – He is within reach of every one of us. There is always the possibility of a person crying out on their knees, ‘God, help me,’ and if that happens, there are ways in which God can minister to them that are beyond our understanding.

In Romans 1:20, Paul says God’s infinite power and deity are revealed to everyone through creation. In Romans 2:14-15, Paul says God put the law in our hearts and our consciences that we might seek after Him. Many people have come to know Christ when He appeared to them in a dream. If God is able to give the word of Christ in various settings in ways we can’t even understand – if He’s not far from us wherever we are, if He is able to speak through the general revelation of creation and through our conscience – then we have to accept the fact that we are without excuse. Every human being will know enough truth so that if they respond to that known truth, God will reveal more to them.
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:33 PM   #12
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I mean if ONE human being is going to burn in hell (and I guess there is more than one) why would God even consider to create man in the first place?
-According to Ezekiel 33:11, God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked – “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live...”

-It is wrong to think that God is simply a loving being, especially if you mean ‘loving’ in the sense that most people use it today. Yes, God is a compassionate being, but He is also a just, moral, and pure being. God’s decisions are not based on modern sentimentalism.

-Hell is not a torture chamber. God is the most generous, loving, wonderful, attractive being in the universe. He made us with free will and He has made us with a purpose – to relate lovingly to Him and others. We are not random accidents, we are not modified monkeys, we are not random mistakes. And if we fail over and over again to live for the purpose for which we were made – a purpose which would allow us to flourish more than living any other way – then God will have absolutely no choice but to give us what we have asked for all along in our lives, which is separation from Him. THAT is hell.

-The essence of hell is relational. Christianity says that people are the most valuable things in creation. If people matter, then personal relationships matter, and hell is largely relational. In the Bible, hell is separation or banishment from the most beautiful being in the world – God himself. It is exclusion from anything that matters, from all value, not only from God but also from those who have come to know and love Him. Hell is a punishment for breaking God’s standards and a consequence for living a life that says, “I don’t care if I am separate from God, I want to do things my way” – they are given their desire for all eternity by being separated from god forever. So, hell is punishment, BUT it is not a punishing. It’s not torture. The punishment of hell is separation from God, bringing shame, anguish, and regret. Because we will have both body and soul in the resurrected state, the misery experienced can be both mental and physical. But the pain that’s suffered will be due to the sorrow from the final, ultimate, unending banishment from God, His kingdom, and the good life for which we were created in the first place. People in hell will deeply grieve all they’ve lost. Hell is the final sentence that says you refused regularly to live for the purpose for which you were made, and the only alternative is to sentence you away for all of eternity. So it is a punishment. But it’s also a natural consequence of a life that has been lived in a certain direction.
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Old 08-27-2003, 05:26 PM   #13
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You've come up with some very thorough answers, bonosloveslave, and I would like to comment on what you've said. First of all I want to apologize: English is not my native language so there might be a few errors or rather funny sentences along the way

Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
That’s what it would be like if God forced everyone to go to heaven. If God has given people free will, there is no guarantee that everyone is going to choose to cooperate with Him. The option of forcing everyone to go to heaven is immoral, because it’s dehumanizing – it strips them of the dignity of making their own decision, it denies them their freedom of choice, and it treats them as a means to an end. God can’t make people’s character for them, and people who do evil or cultivate false beliefs start a slide away from God that ultimately end in hell. God respects human freedom. It would be unloving – a sort of divine rape – to force people to accept heaven and God if they really didn’t want them. When God allows people to say ‘no’ to Him, He actually respects and dignifies them.
I understand your points of your analysis but I must say that I, surprisingly!, don't agree with it because I don't think it's legitimate to explain God's motives in this way (Another thing if we should try to explain anything at all or just keep our mouths shut but that's another discussion)

I don't get the idea of the "dehumanizing" conclusion. Say my child ran across the street without knowing the dangers right ahead. With my adult perspective should I just let the child do what ever it wants to do? I use the adult/child anology because that´s how I think it works. How can it be a choice if you're not even aware of the fact that it is a choice? When you're born, you're actually condemned to go to hell and you don't necessarily choose NOT to believe in God because you haven´t the slightest idea that he exists. To be unaware of God's existence, hell or Christ can't be compared to an actual choice in my point of view. Seriously, if people knew that it's all about "choice" I think they would give it some consideration. Do you honestly think that any human being, striving for love and affection, in this would would prefer an afterlife in uttterly loneliness and despair? Of course not but most people don't realize that that's how reality is.

Another thing; how can it EVER be lack of love to "force" people to do what's really the best for them. The child/adult-anology again: Would it be "unloving" to hinder my child's death in this car accident, which I knew would happen, because I wouldn't consider my child to be wise enough to realize what is happening to it? Compared to God we're not smarter than kids.

I can't imagine that people really feel dignified when living in hell. Does it say anywhere in the Scriptures that our "free choice" is God's act of love? I think it's quite the opposite. Quite funny then that God's act of love eventually leads to the possible fact (at least when looking at the worldwide statistics) that the majority of the people who have populated this earth actually, or should I say automatically, go to hell...

Having said that I must say that to me it's even more than obvious that some sort of God is revealed through creation as you mention. But an "after-life revelation" only appears as the result of a direct encounter with God. I'm not sure it's "written in our hearts". The inner moral law is but to me many people that's just a common human feature and doesn't show any divinity. When you ARE aware of God it's much more clearer to realise that the moral law originates from God...

Maybe it's appropriate to say that I'm a Christian having difficulties coming to terms with the: "Love me or leave me(=go to hell) even though you knew I was your judge" - aspect in Christianity. I guess I've realised that God is a fact, hell is a fact, and Christ is a fact. I just really, really don't understand the initial reason to create the human being. God is almighty and alknowing. He may have giving us a free choice but he also knew that many, many - unbelievable many - would "choose" the wrong way even before creation. Was it worth it?
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Old 08-28-2003, 11:06 PM   #14
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----i've always struggled with the faith and works debate----
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Old 11-30-2003, 04:11 AM   #15
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"There are good deeds and there are good intentions,
But they're as far apart as heaven and hell"
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Rings true for me.
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Old 12-25-2003, 11:50 AM   #16
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Who will be saved ? What does that mean.

How does a suicide bomber be saved. I mean he dies instantly. Doesnt he ?

There are very bad people who live and enjoy, there are good people who suffer and die.

But the chances are that if you are good, good is going to happen to you & if you are bad , bad is going to happen to you. And I state this on the basis of statistics.

Its more important to believe in love, brotherhood , spirituality , morals and peace than religion - as far as I am concerned.


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Old 12-28-2003, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by AcrobatMan

Its more important to believe in love, brotherhood , spirituality , morals and peace ..... - as far as I am concerned.

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Some would say this is religion.
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Old 12-30-2003, 03:52 AM   #18
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Some would say this is religion.
Doesnt most religions have this - this god is the only god and He is the best god ( whatever that means ) and He is better than god of any other religion and if you dont believe in Him, you die or suffer or basically go to hell ( whatever that means). And only 1 God is possible - 0 or 2 Gods is not possible. Argue anyone who says 0 or 2 Gods are possible. Believe in some book that was written thousands ( or atleast hundreds for some religions) of years ago that probably have no or little significance in modern, scientific world. Praying, building religious temple, going here and there for "religious service". Keep long hairs or short hair or no hairs as written in some book. Wearing something written somewhere else. Justify whatever they do by quoting some part of the book. If you murder you quote something, if you forgive , quote something else. Basically doing what you want like anyone else but sugar-coat it with religious quotes.

There might be some pros also but the cons are far too many. I hope people just stick to pros of religion ( if there are any).

Basically I wanted to say a lots of other things as well but I stop here -

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Old 12-30-2003, 08:11 AM   #19
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I dont disagree with you really at all
I dont think you need religion necessarily to believe in God.
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Old 12-30-2003, 11:34 AM   #20
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But if we are creating our own religion, when we say "I believe in God" are we essentially saying "I believe in something I made up"?
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