3 Common Questions About Salvation
3 Common Questions About Salvation

3 Common Questions About Salvation

3 Common Questions About Salvation

[written for those who love God’s salvation]

Overview of Article

Introduction: So Great a Salvation!

What a wonderful salvation God has provided for us through His Son, and what a wonderful Savior is our Lord Jesus Christ!

Paul was so in love with Jesus, his Savior, and so appreciated the Gospel that he often referred to it as “my Gospel” (Rom 2:16; Rom 16:25; 2 Tim 2:8). Paul had received a wonderful revelation of the Gospel and it is all about Jesus!

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Romans 1:16-17 – For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

On several occasions, the Psalmist talks about “those who love salvation.”

Psalms 40:16 – Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The Lord be magnified!" (See also Psalm 70:4.)

The writer of Hebrews exhorts us never to neglect or forget such a “Great Salvation.”

Hebrews 2:3 – How shall we escape if we neglect such a GREAT SALVATION? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard.

Peter tells us that spiritual shortsightedness and even blindness can occur if we forget that our old sins have been washed away:

2 Peter 1:9 – For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Usually, when Christians talk about salvation, they are referring to the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins by the Blood of Jesus and the gift of eternal life. This is definitely an initial part of salvation, but there is so much more to God’s plan for man. As someone once said, “God loves us just as we are, but He loves us too much to leave us like that!” Being saved from eternal punishment in hell is something for which we will be eternally grateful; yet, what God has provided through His Son, Jesus Christ, does not stop there. He wants to restore, sanctify, and transform us from “glory to glory into the same image” (2 Cor 3:18). 

May we never forget just how great this salvation is!

• Sidenote #1: The Roman Road

It is vital to ensure we are on the same page concerning the Gospel. A beautiful way to understand the Gospel is a simple method called the “Roman Road.” The “Roman Road” walks through four verses in Romans that reveal man’s need, God’s provision in Christ, and how to receive the gift of salvation. More on the “Roman Road” can be read here: https://slentz.org/blog/teachings/roman-road/the-roman-road-revisited-expanded/

  1. Romans 3:23 – “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  2. Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death…”
  3. Romans 6:23b – “…BUT (an important word!) the Free Gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  4. Romans 10:9-10 – “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
• Sidenote #2: The Difference Between Asking Questions and Questioning

There are several questions that arise concerning the Gospel (the “Good News”) of Jesus Christ. Of course, asking questions is a good thing, but, first of all, this needs to be said:

It is one thing (and a good thing) to ask God questions. However, it is quite another thing (and NOT a good thing) to question God.

A person who questions God only does so because they do not honor God as Creator and, therefore, they do not trust Him. People who question God are, in their inner core, simply “unreasonable” – they would not even want to hear or understand a response to their questioning. Paul asked the church to pray that God would deliver him from “unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith” (2 Thes 3:2).

A person who chooses to love, trust, and surrender to God may have many appropriate questions, but they would never consider questioning God or His motives, for deep down in every fiber of their being, they agree with the psalmist when he proclaims: “You are good, and You do good…” (Psalm 119:68).

Therefore, the responses to these questions are purposely addressed to those who sincerely want to hear Biblical reasoning that can satisfy their questions.

Question #1: Could People Be Saved Before Jesus Died on the Cross? If So, How?

→ Misconception #1: In the Old Testament, Salvation was by Keeping the Law of Moses
→ Misconception #2: In the Old Testament, Salvation was by the Blood of Sacrifices
→ Sidenote #3: There Is Only One Gospel – the “5 Solas”
→ Sidenote #4: Where Is “Grace Alone” & “Faith Alone” Seen in the Old Testament?
→ Sidenote #5: How Could Salvation be “In Christ Alone” in the Old Testament?

→ Misconception #1: In the Old Testament, Salvation was by Keeping the Law of Moses

One prevalent misconception is that people in the Old Testament were saved by keeping the Law of Moses. But Scripture makes it clear that that idea is not valid:

Romans 3:20 – Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Galatians 2:16 – Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Galatians 3:11 – Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
→ Misconception #2: In the Old Testament, Salvation was by the Blood of Sacrifices

Another misconception is that the blood of the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament Law would atone for and wash their sins away. This, too, is a misunderstanding:

Hebrews 10:4 – For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

So, right from the start, we must be very clear about what the Bible teaches for all of mankind, past, present, or for the remainder of man’s future on this earth:

→ Sidenote #3: There Is Only One Gospel – the “5 Solas”

There can be only one Gospel. Paul was very clear about this (2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6-9)!  The Gospel of salvation has always been and always will be by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone. This truth is expressed in the Five “Solas” of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century:

  1. Sola Scriptura (Latin for “Scripture Alone”) – 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21
  2. Sola Gratia (Latin for “Grace Alone”) – Eph 2:8-9
  3. Sola Fide (Latin for “Faith Alone”) – Eph 2:8-9
  4. Solus Christus (Latin for “Christ Alone”) – John 14:6; 1 Tim 2:4-6
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (Latin for “Glory to God Alone”) – Rom 11:33-36; 1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17; 1 Peter 4:10-11
Salvation is only by “Grace Alone” through “Faith Alone.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Salvation is only found “in Christ Alone”!
John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through Me.”
1 Timothy 2:3-6 – For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In Hebrews, we are told that the Gospel (the same Gospel!) was preached to the Israelites even though many of them did not receive it:

Hebrews 4:2 – For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

Now, concerning the fact that Salvation is only received by faith, let’s look at the definition that Hebrews gives us:

Hebrews 11:1,6 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
→ Sidenote #4 – Where Is “Grace Alone” & “Faith Alone” Seen in the Old Testament?

This same chapter in Hebrews continues this theme of faith by telling of men and women who had faith in God and in that faith did great things that pleased God. But then, this chapter makes a remarkable statement:

Hebrews 11:13,16 – These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth…Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

So… somehow, and in some way, these men had faith in the one true God. Because of their faith, God says, “I am not ashamed to be called their God.” Wow! In fact, this is seen all throughout the Bible where we see God referred to as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Exo 3:6; Exo 3:15-16; Exo 4:5; Mat 23:32; Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37; Acts 3:13; Acts 7:32).

Jesus makes it yet more apparent that men like these will be in the Kingdom of God:

Matthew 8:11 – And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (See also Luke 13:28.)

Now the Psalmist David sang about the forgiveness of sins, and the word salvation appears more than sixty times in the book of Psalms:

Psalms 51:10-12 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…
Psalms 32:1-2 – Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
Psalms 85:2 – You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin.
Psalms 86:5 – For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Psalms 103:2-3 – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Psalms 130:3-4 – If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.

So it is evident that there were people in the Old Testament who experienced salvation and are in Heaven right now.

But how?

By grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! The faith these Old Testament had was not a vague, personal-interpretation, man-made idea of God. Instead, they had faith in the one true God who created the heavens, the earth, and everything in them. They sought Him, found Him, and experienced salvation.

With Jesus’ arrival in the New Testament, the content of faith became more specific. The promised Messiah had arrived. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament sacrificial system, the one Savior for all mankind who restores man into relationship with God.

In one of the most remarkable passages of Scripture, we see the resurrected Jesus suddenly walking with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Neither of these men recognized Jesus. With no idea with Whom they were conversing, they explained how disillusioned they were because the One they thought would be the Messiah had been crucified.

Then, without yet revealing Himself, Jesus says this:

Luke 24:25-27 – And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Later, while breaking bread in their home, their eyes are suddenly opened to recognize Jesus, and in that very instant, Jesus disappeared. How awesome is that! Oh, how I dearly love reading how those men spoke to each other right after Jesus disappeared:

Luke 24:32 – And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

Luke then tells how Jesus suddenly appears in a room with His disciples and gives them the burning Bible Study about the Gospel from the Old Testament:

Luke 24:44-48 – Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.”

What God revealed throughout Moses and the Prophets had now been perfectly fulfilled in Jesus.

Peter tells us something else quite remarkable about the Old Testament prophets:

1 Peter 1:10-12 – As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,  seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

Peter explains that the “Spirit of Christ” was in those prophets who spoke God’s Word. Now, it must be understood that the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit are not the same (that is another teaching!). The “Spirit of Christ” refers to Christ, the Second Person of the Triune God. So, when someone confesses Jesus as Lord and believes in their heart who Jesus is and that He has risen from the dead, they have “received Jesus.” Or it can also be said that they have received the “Spirit of Christ” and are birthed into God’s family. Now Jesus is the “Word” (John 1:1-14), so it can also be said that they have “received the Word” – an expression especially used throughout the book of Acts to describe when someone has been born again (see Acts 11:1).

This is precisely what John describes :

John 1:12-13 – But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Paul further explains that when we are born again, God sends the “Spirit of His Son” into our hearts, and we, as newly-born children of God, cry out, “Abba [Daddy], Father” (Gal 4:6).

So, putting these pieces together, we can understand that when Peter says that the “Spirit of Christ” was in these Old Testament prophets, it means that they had believed and become children of God.

As Peter explained, these Old Testament believers understood something about God’s provision of salvation, but it was not yet a fully-painted picture. Nevertheless, by grace through faith in God’s Word, these men experienced salvation.

Today, since Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Messiah has already come, the picture of salvation has been fully painted in full living color. The writer of Hebrews explains it this way:

Hebrews 1:1-2 – God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…

Meanwhile, back again in the faith chapter of Hebrews, we are given a little key to better understand the faith God requires for a person to be saved before Christ died on the Cross:

Hebrews 11:13 – These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having SEEN THEM AFAR OFF were assured of them, embraced them…

In agreement with Hebrews 11:13, Jesus spoke specifically about how Abraham “saw” something far off in the future:

John 8:56-59 – “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Isaiah is known as the Messianic prophet because of everything he spoke about Jesus. In fact, Isaiah 53 graphically reveals Jesus’ crucifixion. Quoting from Isaiah 53:1, John informs us that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus:

John 12:38,41 – That the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

As we said before, Abraham, David, Isaiah, and the other Old Testament believers could not see the entire picture because it was not fully painted here on earth, but what they did see of God’s promise “afar off” (Heb 11:13), was a revelation of salvation which they believed with all their heart and they “embraced” and cherished it.

→ Sidenote #5: How Could Salvation be “In Christ Alone” in the Old Testament?

So, we have seen how salvation has and always will be “by grace alone, through faith alone.” BUT… how can we say that salvation always has been and always will be “in Christ alone” when Christ and His death on the Cross did not occur until the New Testament times?

Peter gives us a marvelous glimpse that can unlock this mystery:

1 Peter 1:18-21 – Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was FOREORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

And in Revelation, this idea of Christ being the Lamb slain from all eternity is even clearer:

Revelation 13:8 – All who dwell on the earth will worship him [the antichrist], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.

To understand how Jesus was the “Lamb slain” even before the Heavens and Earth were created, we need to understand the eternal nature of the Triune God. Look how Isaiah explains this important truth:

Isaiah 57:15 – For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

God “inhabits eternity.” He does not live on our temporal timeline, for He is the One who created time! A Christian physicist made this observation. He said that in physics, there are three things referred to as the “continuum” (watch the YouTube video: https://youtu.be/cR_qr-omOdM). They are Time, Space, and Matter. All three are contained in the first ten words of the Bible. [Notice that this continuum is a trinity of trinities (3 sets of 3) created by the Triune God!]

  1.   Time“In the beginning God” (3 dimensions: past, present, future)
  2.   Space “created the Heavens” (3 dimensions: height, width, depth)
  3.   Matter “and the Earth” (3 dimensions: solid, liquid, gas)

Time, Space, and Matter could never have evolved over millions of years because they cannot exist independently. Consider this:

  1. If matter was created before space, WHERE would you put the matter?
  2. If matter and space were created before time, WHEN would you put them?

God is the Creator, and, according to Genesis 1:1, He created Time, Space, and Matter simultaneously. Since God is the Creator, He is not subject to time, space, and matter. Just like a man who builds a computer cannot exist within the computer, God does not exist within the Time–Space–Matter Continuum, nor is He subject to their limitations.

So when we understand that God “inhabits eternity” (dwells outside of time), it makes sense that Jesus Christ, the eternally existent Son of God, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead, is also the “Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world.” In God’s mind, the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross has already been accomplished before our timeline ever came into existence and made “manifest” for us in these last times. From the animal slain to clothe Adam and Eve to all the animal sacrifices required by the Mosaic Law – all of these are nothing other than “shadows” of the reality of “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.”

So salvation has always been and will always be “in Christ alone,” and we can express it like this:

• Believers BEFORE Christ – had a faith that “looked FORWARD in time” to the Cross.
• Believers AFTER Christ – have a faith that “looks BACKWARD in time” to the Cross.

This is what the writer of Hebrews meant:

Hebrews 11:13,16 – These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them AFAR OFF [in the future] were assured of them, embraced them… Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God…
Hebrews 11:39-40 (Amplified) – And all of these, though they gained [divine] approval through their faith, did not receive [the fulfillment of] what was promised, because God had us in mind and had something better for us, so that they [these men and women of authentic faith] would not be made perfect [that is, completed in Him] apart from us.

So it is very fitting that the writer of Hebrews would begin chapter twelve with this exhortation to run the race because “we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (referring to these Old Testament men and women of faith who are already in Heaven):

Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Question #2 – How Does God Judge People Raised in Non-Christian Cultures?

→ Sidenote #6: The Proper Frame of Reference: God’s Ultimate Goodness & Perfection
→ Sidenote #7: How could we ever doubt God’s perfect ways of doing things?

A much less respectful way in which this question is often asked is: “How can a good God send a person to hell for eternity when that person never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ?”

But that kind of critical questioning is a direct result of unbelief and doubting God’s goodness.

→ Sidenote #6: The Proper Frame of Reference: God’s Ultimate Goodness & Perfection

People question or challenge God’s absolute Goodness because of the poisonous seed first dropped into Eve’s heart as she stood looking at the forbidden fruit. Notice how Satan sows his malicious lies:

Genesis 3:1-5 – Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Satan sowed the seed of doubt about God’s character of absolute goodness and perfection in two ways:

  1. “You will not surely die.” – He said God was lying that they would die if they ate the fruit.
  2. “For God knows that when you eat that fruit, you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – In other words, God was withholding something that would be really good for them

Adam and Eve accepted and acted upon Satan’s lies. Since that day, the human race has inherited this poison of mistrust and doubt in God’s ultimate goodness.

No wonder faith pleases God so much! In fact, the salvation God designed for us is all about God demonstrating His love and goodness in the most extravagant, cinematic event ever orchestrated – all that we might believe and fully trust and rely upon Him:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

As we said before in this document, we must get this truth engraved deep down upon our heart, soul, and mind:

Salvation has always been and always will be: 

  • By grace alone
  • Through faith alone
  • In Christ alone

So back to the question – but this time, without doubting God’s goodness!

What happens to people from other cultures who have never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

This question assumes that God only uses one specific method to reveal Himself to people. However, the Scriptures show us that God can – and already has – revealed Himself in another unique way:

Romans 1:18-20 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

So God clearly speaks to all people through the created universe, and because of this, those who ignore God as Creator are without excuse.

Additionally, God also chooses to reveal Himself to those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 notes that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

An example of this is found in the book of Acts:

Acts 10:1-2 – There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

Even though Cornelius was a gentile, he was a man who sincerely sought God. The Lord responded to this man’s faith by connecting him with Peter. Consider all the ways God brought that about:

  • Cornelius has a vision of an angel who gives him Simon Peter’s address and tells him to send men to bring Peter back with them.
  • Peter has three visions while praying on a rooftop.
  • Immediately after those three visions, the Holy Spirit tells Peter that men are coming to the house and that he should go down and go with those men without any more doubting.

Peter, being a Jew, was reluctant to go to a gentile’s house since it was forbidden by Jewish law. But nevertheless, Peter starts with this significant revelation that was brand new to him:

Acts 10:34-35 – Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth, I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

Then Peter started his Gospel message, but he only shared a few sentences. He did not even have a chance to make an altar call! Then, to Peter’s complete surprise, Cornelius and those with him are baptized in the Holy Spirit, and they began speaking in tongues!

Acts 10:44-46 –  While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Peter’s immediate response was this:

Acts 10:47-48 – “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord.

Peter’s revelation had completely revolutionized his Jewish thinking: “…in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:35).

As Peter uses it, fearing God corresponds to believing, seeking, and honoring God – not just any vague deity – but the one true God, the only God who created Heaven and Earth.

Years ago, I met a missionary woman who had been raised in a part of India where Hinduism was practiced fervently. That area had never been reached with the Gospel. Then, as a teenager, she had a dream where a person appeared to her saying, “I am Jesus. I am God.” This happened several nights in a row. She had never met a Christian before, and neither she nor her family had heard of anyone named Jesus. But she immediately stopped worshipping the Hindu gods, and she began worshipping and praying to the Jesus she saw in her dreams. Shortly after that, a missionary came to her village for the first time. He began to preach about Jesus in their streets, and to his surprise, she ran up to him and said, “I know Jesus! I worship Jesus!” Her family and friends disowned her, but shortly after, she joined a missionary organization and preached the Gospel in India and many other places.

There are many accounts just like that from all around the world where God reveals Himself in miraculous ways. Formerly unreached people have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and embraced Him as Savior. God reveals Himself to those who seek Him.

→ Sidenote #7: How could we ever doubt God’s perfect ways of doing things?
Deuteronomy 32:4 – He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.

God decides how and when to reveal Himself. We are not called to question His ways but to trust Him.

Psalms 147:5 –  Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.

Romans 11:33-36 – Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?
Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him?
For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Question #3:  Is There an Age of Accountability in the Bible?

Another way this question can be asked is, “What Happens to Babies That Die?”

The concept of an “age of accountability” refers to a certain age at which people become accountable to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation. Before that age, this belief teaches that children who die go to heaven because they are not old enough to understand what it means to choose faith in Christ. This time period is also called the “age of innocence.”

Those who speak of the “age of accountability” often differ among themselves as to what that exact age may be. However, the Bible gives no direct support for any specific age of accountability. It likely varies from child to child. A child has passed the age of accountability once they are capable of making a faith decision for or against Christ.

In 2 Samuel, we have a passage of Scripture that sheds some light upon this matter. We see King David fasting and praying for his infant son, who is ill. When the child dies, David stops fasting and mourning, which completely confuses his servants:

2 Samuel 12:21 – Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

David’s answer is astonishing:

2 Samuel 12:22-23 – And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

In King David’s words, two observations can be made:

  1. David had wonderful assurance concerning eternity. He understood that he would once again see his infant son, who had died.
  2. David actually finds comfort when his child passes away. Why? Because his revelation of God and eternity involved a deep understanding of God’s perfect love and graciousness. This is evident in many of the Psalms David penned.

The Bible does not directly tell us that young children or others who are unable to make a decision to respond to the Gospel and receive Christ as their Savior. Nevertheless, there is no reason to say that God would not mercifully save those who cannot make a genuine faith decision.

So we can safely say that the age of accountability is not a specific age but rather a theological idea that God’s grace extends to those too young to make a decision to receive Christ by faith as the Bible teaches. 

The Conclusion: Our Responsibility – The Call of the Gospel

So, in conclusion, knowing that God is absolutely good and perfect, we can leave the decisions in all these circumstances to the One who loves every soul far more than we could ever imagine. 

However, while we can rest our minds that God knows what He is doing, just knowing there are people today who have not yet heard and not yet responded to the Gospel should stir us up to action!

Believers are called to take the message of Christ to all the nations:

Matthew 28:19-20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

The fact that many die apart from Christ should motivate us to urgently take the gospel to those who have yet to hear – whether they be people groups in faraway lands or young children down the street. We need to be praying that God would send more workers into the fields that are ripe for harvest:

Matthew 9:37-38 – Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Paul said it like this:

Romans 10:13-15 – For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

So, knowing we have the Gospel – the Greatest Good News ever – let’s answer the call as Isaiah did:

Isaiah 6:8 – Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”
Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

Lord, here am I! Send me. Amen.

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