Quotes and Notes for the Day
HOW LOST ARE THE HEATHEN? – IV
Are The Heathen Non-Responsible?
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things that are contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another:” Romans 1:14
It may be charitable to assume that the heathen who have never heard the gospel are void of responsibility and therefore “saved”. But is this really the truth? On the contrary, there is reason to believe that this view is a serious error springing from Biblical ignorance and humanistic ideas. There are those who, because of the alleged non-responsibility of the heathen, maintain that along with infants and the mentally deficient, and the unevangelized heathen are covered with the blood of Christ, and that for them there is an unconditional salvation. There is not one iota of the Scripture to support this view. Yes, the infants are saved, not because they are innocent, for each has inherited a sinful nature according to Romans 5:12-14, which reads, “wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin so death passed upon men, for that all have sinned……”; but because they are members of the race for which Christ died, and have not forfeited their salvation by willful sin and unbelief. As without personal acts of the infants they inherited corruption from Adam, so without personal act of theirs salvation is provided in Christ. As there was the application to the infants of the death of Adam; there also is an application to infants of the life of Christ.
Can this argument be applied with equal propriety to the unevangelized heathen? Is there any parallel? It doubtless does apply equally to the children and mentally deficient among the heathen. But what of the rest? Scripture affirms that they are without excuse. We read in Romans 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creature of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and God-head; so that they are without excuse:”
We ask this: are the heathen innocent? Have they not consciously sinned against the light of their conscience? We need to bear in mind that, there is a vast difference between the innocence of a babe (one who is mentally incapable of discriminating between right and wrong), and those who are morally responsible because they do know right from wrong and have chosen to do wrong. Think of it, the heathen are ignorant of many moral laws; but do they therefore escape the consequences of their law-breaking even in this present life? Is there any reason to be different to think that it will be different in the life after? Yes, ignorance may palliate the guilt but it can not nullify it.
A missionary to one of the remote tribes in Africa who were unknown by the rest of the world, in the depth of the jungle with no civilization of any kind. This missionary working for the first time among them; came home on a furlough after many years of service. While presenting his work to the local church that sent him, he was asked; ” Do those people have any conception of what is right and wrong?” Amazing was the missionary’s reply. He said, “ the native would have not come in the dead of the night to steal his neighbors chicken if he did not know what he was doing is wrong. Which shew the work of the law written in his heart, his conscience also bearing witness,….” How true; if the man did not know that stealing from his neighbor is wrong, he might as well have come in broad day light and taken the chickens while his neighbor is tending his garden.
The whole tenner of the teaching of the Bible on this gravely important subject is that, while men are never condemned for ignorance of the truth, they are held strictly responsible for the a right use of the such light as has been granted to them. In reaction against the one-sided, exaggerated teaching which in effect condemned men for ignorance of what it was impossible for them to know, the opposite tendency has minimized or even denied any moral guilt on the part of those who have not heard the gospel. Such view view has not only been responsible for a great deal of indifference to missions, but it also affects the earnestness of those who are actively interested in them.
How far people who have never heard, or read the Scriptures, are responsible for the errors which they have inhibited? Here the real point at issue is their conduct in the relation to such light as they possess. It would appear justifiable to conclude that all persons such as infants who are in God’s sight irresponsible, are through God’s grace covered by the blood of Christ, and have no charge against them. All others are fully responsible for their actions and consequent results, and will be dealt with according to the degree of their responsibility. And the degree of responsibility will be according to the light they have enjoyed.
From The Staff of The Peoples Gospel Hour!
How to be Saved …and KNOW it – your most important stop on this site.
The Bible reveals two ways which people are following to get into heaven. One way, the true way, is God’s way. God’s way into heaven is the way of peace and truth and righteousness. It is the only way approved of God. This way centers in the Lord Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). The Bible declares that there is another way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).
There are so many popular ways today filled with lost multitudes all over the land, such as the way of morality, the way of respectability, the way of religion, the way of churchianity, the way of baptism, the way of christening, the way of confirmation, the way of penance, the way of confession, the way of “doing the best I can”, the way of self, the way of education, the way of philosophy, the way of false isms and cults that crowd the street. Little wonder then when we speak to people about the way of salvation, that so many have asked, “How can I know which is the true way? There are so many different ideas and so many religions.”
But there is ONE difference between God’s way of salvation and man’s way, and that difference is found in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice that man leaves Christ out of the center of his way. You will discover that the modern false cults and isms demote Christ to a mere man and add something to what He has already done for your salvation and mine. We become children of God through a supernatural birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7)
“May the Lord bless you, and make you a blessing!” – The PGH Staff.