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Can one be saved if he only accumulates good deeds without doing evil but does not believe in God?

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Can one be saved if he only accumulates good deeds without doing evil but does not believe in God?

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If a person did that, they would essentially be a vegetable or disabled person, and I think the consensus is that yes, they are saved.

Otherwise, a completely rational and intelligent human mind would fail.

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Seeing as to how accepting the gift of salvation is something consciously done by a person... I'm leaning towards "no".  Yes is a possibility, but since the man is just kind of floating there... Ehhhh?

God's definition of sin applies to the thought life too, so if  Veggie Man even considered lusting after his neighbor for a millisecond, that'd be sin, even if he didn't actually do it.

I like Cato's point. You'd basically have to have no brain or personality as human to not even contemplate sinful thoughts.

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I like Cato's point. You'd basically have to have no brain or personality as human to not even contemplate sinful thoughts.

Yes, that's precisely what I meant, worded in a more clear way.

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Can one be saved if he only accumulates good deeds without doing evil but does not believe in God?

Yeah, that couldn't actually happen, but either way not worshipping Christ is at least a sin of omission.

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Yeah, that couldn't actually happen, but either way not worshipping Christ is at least a sin of omission.

Why?

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Depends. If this poor soul had never heard of Christianity, then yes. God is infinately merciful and will not condemn someone to Hell out of ignorance. If they were a good person, and tried to be the best person they possibly could, then they are saved. If they choose not to convert after they are told the good news, then we should pray for them because they're in trouble.

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No, faith is where we find salvation. Without faith, our works are meaningless.

Salvation from what?

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Salvation from what?

Sin, through faith we find forgiveness of sins, not a scale where we try to outweigh the bad.

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Sin, through faith we find forgiveness of sins, not a scale where we try to outweigh the bad.

What sin? You seem to be ignoring the premises of the question.

Why couldn't a sinless life happen, or why would not worshipping Christ be a sin of omission at least?

The second one. I agree with the first.

What is a sin of omission? If we take James 4:17 then it seems to imply that a sin of omission is knowing the right thing to do any failing to do that action anyway. If one does not worship Christ out of ignorance/incorrectness about his divinity then I don't see how that can be considered a sin of omission.

Edited by Cato

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There was a verse I believe that stated that it's not by good works, only by faith. I can't remember the verse off hand though.

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What sin? You seem to be ignoring the premises of the question.

Any sin. Through sin, we have lost union with God, and through the Atonement we are reconciled to him. The entire message of the Gospel is that our sins have led to death, but Jesus offers forgiveness for all of our sins. Does that answer your question? 

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Any sin. Through sin, we have lost union with God, and through the Atonement we are reconciled to him. The entire message of the Gospel is that our sins have led to death, but Jesus offers forgiveness for all of our sins. Does that answer your question?

My question was rhetorical. My advice to you is to re-read the question that the thread-starter asked.

Edited by Cato

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I'm going to move this thread from Classic Topics to Bible Discussions.

 

 

If a person did that, they would essentially be a vegetable or disabled person, and I think the consensus is that yes, they are saved.

Otherwise, a completely rational and intelligent human mind would fail.

 

I don't think that's what the OP meant - I think he/she meant the "basically good" person, not someone who literally never did anything wrong in their whole life.  

 

Even in regards to the hypothetical person, i don't think the consensus is that they are saved. I'll say upfront that I don't have an answer, but a lot of Christians believe that such a person would still go to hell due to "original sin."  

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I don't think that's what the OP meant - I think he/she meant the "basically good" person, not someone who literally never did anything wrong in their whole life.

Even in regards to the hypothetical person, i don't think the consensus is that they are saved. I'll say upfront that I don't have an answer, but a lot of Christians believe that such a person would still go to hell due to "original sin."

Maybe, but then the answer seems trivially obvious (of course they go to hell). I saw no reason to not take the question as worded literally.

The consensus is that a disabled person to the point of mental retardation, or no brain activity, is saved. What I was saying is that this hypothetical person is practically equivalent to this.

Edited by Cato

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Depends. If this poor soul had never heard of Christianity, then yes. God is infinately merciful and will not condemn someone to Hell out of ignorance. If they were a good person, and tried to be the best person they possibly could, then they are saved. If they choose not to convert after they are told the good news, then we should pray for them because they're in trouble.

Even if this person that's dying has never heard of God, he will still go to hell. Sad to say

Edited by Bryce B.

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Even if this person that's dying has never heard of God, he will still go to hell. Sad to say

I beg to differ. I look at it a little differently based on these verses. This would be very few that this would apply too so we still need missionaries, but a few would still go to heaven even without having the Bible.

 

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things 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 2:14-15)

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I beg to differ. I look at it a little differently based on these verses. This would be very few that this would apply too so we still need missionaries, but a few would still go to heaven even without having the Bible.

 

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things 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 2:14-15)

 

Paul goes on shortly after this to show that everyone has completely broken whatever law they have, so this verse does not support people being saved outside of knowing Christ.

 

This isn't to say for sure that it can't happen. But Romans 2:14-15 do not support it.

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Think about it this way. If there's a tribe of pagans living on some island in the middle of nowhere, and they haven't heard of God, at all. They are still worshipping their false gods. But, while doing this they still manage to follow Natural Law, which is the Law of God in our hearts (don't kill, steal, etc.) and they live a good life. Why would our most merciful Father condemn His children to Hell when they haven't even heard of Him and thus have no way to accept Christ? It doesn't make sense that our God, who is love itself, would send them to Hell when they never even had the option to accept Chridt in the first place. Granted, this doesn't mean that we should leave people like this and not give them the Word of God. Everyone needs to know about the love that God has for them. But, what kind of Father, knowing that His children don't love Him because they can't. I mean, what human can love Someone whom they don't know exists? It makes no sense. That being said, God is infinitely merciful and understands their condition. While it isn't preferred that they live this way, God, in His love and mercy, knows the hearts of His children. He knows that those pagans try to live good lives and would love Him if they were given the chance to do so.

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Think about it this way. If there's a tribe of pagans living on some island in the middle of nowhere, and they haven't heard of God, at all. They are still worshipping their false gods. But, while doing this they still manage to follow Natural Law, which is the Law of God in our hearts (don't kill, steal, etc.) and they live a good life. Why would our most merciful Father condemn His children to Hell when they haven't even heard of Him and thus have no way to accept Christ? It doesn't make sense that our God, who is love itself, would send them to Hell when they never even had the option to accept Chridt in the first place. Granted, this doesn't mean that we should leave people like this and not give them the Word of God. Everyone needs to know about the love that God has for them. But, what kind of Father, knowing that His children don't love Him because they can't. I mean, what human can love Someone whom they don't know exists? It makes no sense. That being said, God is infinitely merciful and understands their condition. While it isn't preferred that they live this way, God, in His love and mercy, knows the hearts of His children. He knows that those pagans try to live good lives and would love Him if they were given the chance to do so.

 

The question is: does such a hypothetical situation actually exist, or rather is it the case that all men are thoroughly polluted by sin, so that they are in rebellion against God even in light of natural law?

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