The sun sure seems lazy waking up these days!
Are we comfortable with yesterday’s lesson, that it is God’s prerogative whether or not to have mercy and extend grace on whomever he chooses? Or to not? Is this reasonable? Again, this all starts with the original position of man. Have we truly excluded ourselves from heaven because of our sin, down the very last human being? Furthermore, are we incapable of rectifying this situation ourselves? Or, is there something that we can do? Indeed, my life verse addresses this very thing.
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
That’s a quote by Paul from Joel 2:32. I’ve shared at other times a great number of verses that same distinct, clear message.
So, problem solved. Our original question was simple: What about people who have never heard of the Gospel? If God has revealed himself to mankind through the things that have been made (Romans 1:20) and we are all held without excuse for this (same verse), then it seems reasonable that people all over the globe would turn to God – whether or not they have ever heard of Jesus. Let’s face it, certainly it is possible that there are people on this earth who, even to this day, have not heard of Jesus. And yes, it is possible that most who have heard of him have never really heard of him. Therefore, it is quite reasonable that all of mankind may be saved, no matter our original sin. Furthermore, should we be surprised if people call God by another name or develop their own customs? Therefore, all the work we went through to this point has been academic, it would seem.
Except we have a few nagging questions. First, what about these verses (which are a list of multiple verses from the Psalms, Proverbs, and Isaiah)?
Romans 3:10-18 as it is written: “None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Are these verses describing “original sin” or something more? Empirically, if there is so much as stake regarding eternity, why wouldn’t we see every single person who has heard the gospel convert and follow Jesus with everything they have? After all, Christianity is quite reasonable and humans are reasonable. After all, we are created in the image of God, are we not? Even so, we see very, very few choose Jesus even when presented very clearly with the gospel.
No, there is something more to all this. On one hand, scripture tells us we are hopeless and doomed. On the other, it tells us we may be saved by simply having faith. My friends, this is the type of conundrum that many people walk away from the whole idea of religion. It doesn’t make sense, does it? No wonder simple questions so easily make our message meaningless.
Meaningless, that is, unless we are willing to look at scripture apart from our own bias. There indeed is more to this whole topic.
Father, keep it coming! Amen!
Copyright © 2017 Scott Powers