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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How To Kill and Be Killed 101: Death of the "Innocent" Man

One of the major stumbling blocks for many Christians (and non-christians alike) is what has become to be known as the "Innocent Man" problem. The logic usually goes like this:

"I know that you need to believe in Christ to go to heaven. But, what about the innocent native in Africa (or some other far off place) who's never heard the gospel; are you telling me that if he dies, he still goes to Hell?! I can't accept that--if God is love, then I can't believe that he would send someone to hell without ever giving them a chance to believe..."

However valid the question may appear to be, it is faulty on many different levels when held up to the light of Scripture. The clip below is of a preacher who shares his experience in the mission field and how he came to understand this by the grace of God. He does an excellent job of presenting the truth of God's Word up and against the humanistic "gospel" that is so prevelant in our day. It also has a warning against a grave error that can potentially be made by all who share the gospel: Putting too much emphasis on what we do and not what God does through us. We must always remember that we are merely runners--never to attempt to improve on God's justice but to reflect His glory.

The preacher in this clip is not named, but his words are true. If anyone recognizes his voice, please let me know. Enjoy:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. - Romans 1:18-20 ESV

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." - Romans 3:10-18 ESV

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- Romans 9:14-23 ESV

And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." - John 6:65 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria,

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