Why not explore beyond the religion you inherited?
Friday, December 29, 2006
The Timing of Salvation
Anonymous writes, questioning a plan of salvation that could not possibly have helped until that message had time to reach other lands. He is right. Unless there is a way for us to find hope without believing certain facts about Jesus, then many who lived have never been given a chance. He writes:
Consider the following:
You are a person living in North America around 30 AD. Jesus has just died on the cross and risen again. For that matter, let’s say he’s already ascended into heaven and the 11 apostles have been given their mission. Now, let’s say the guy living in North America dies almost immediately after this event. Thus, it is IMPOSSIBLE for any missionary in any possible way to ever have reached this person. In addition, the guy had no idea of the OT laws, since there were no Jews in North America . Is this person going to hell even though it is IMPOSSIBLE (not just inconvenient) for him to know about Jesus? I find this hard to believe, but maybe you have something to add.
The issue is really about the timing of salvation. Several preachers press the urgency of believing NOW because you may not get the chance later, but the guy in North America never got the chance. Also, why did God wait so long before providing the sacrifice for sins? Why did he not do it immediately after Adam and Eve sinned or after the flood around Noah’s time so that we wouldn’t have the problem with the guy in North America . Why do people have to be told they are a sinner with scriptures several years later? Why couldn’t God just come down after Noah’s flood, tell them they made him mad by basically being alive, send his Son to die for everyone’s sin, and leave it at that? For that matter, why did he have to destroy mankind with a flood? Why couldn’t he just send his Son then so that those people could be redeemed without being drowned? Going back even further, why did he have to punish Adam and Eve to begin with? Couldn’t he just let Eve or maybe one of her daughters have his Son so that everything could be made right immediately and everyone could live happily ever after?
This also brings up the question of why did Jesus have to be killed by the Jews? Couldn’t God just do the tormenting himself without involving mankind? After all, he expected Abraham to kill his son (which he seemed more than willing to do); can’t God get his hands dirty without involving people?
One finds it hard to believe that God would have designed salvation so restrictively that so many people never had a chance. These are good questions.