Key Texts: Acts 4:12; Psa. 87:4-6; John 10:16; Rom. 2:12-16; John 14:6; Rom. 1:18
Q. – “Will all be saved, or will some be lost?”
This is the last lesson in the progression of lessons we have been following this quarter, all of them focused on the subject of Christian mission. We have seen, over this past quarter that God is seriously missional when it comes to Planet Earth. Interestingly, God uses human instrumentalities to prosecute His mission. And the goal is for the good news about God to go to the whole world, to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” This is a very tall order that brings to mind two very big and challenging questions produced by the fact that, in spite of sometimes very diligent and sacrificial work by human missionaries, most of the people in history have not heard the good news of God particularly not as it is revealed in Jesus Christ.
The first of these big and difficult questions has to do with the day of judgement that the Bible speaks of, a day of reckoning that is yet to come at which time all humans will be called upon to give account of their lives and their living. So, how is God, in all fairness, going to deal with those billions who never heard?
The second question is related to the first but is focused differently. Is there salvation outside someone’s knowing the Christian plan of salvation? In other words, do all religions offer an equal path to redemption or does one have to know the Christian way in order to be saved. And, to be even more particular, does one have to know the name of Jesus and say it as a saving act of faith? This last question, as we all know, is a rather delicate one particularly in our time.
- a crucial text is Acts 4:12, stating that there is no other name given among humans whereby we might be saved.
- What role does General Revelation play in this subject matter?
- What do we do with all the people in the Old Testament who did not know about Jesus?
- How much must one know in order to be saved?
- Do all religions offer an equal path to salvation?
- What might Romans 2:6, 7 teach about this? “6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;” ESV
- Is the Bible pluralistic in its views?
- Does the Bible teach a universalist approach to salvation, that in time, all will be saved?
- Is some are going to be lost, why does God not save them? Why does he not excuse their sins and let them into Paradise?
- How should we understand the “whole world” phrase? Is it every corner of earth or can it be understood in a more metaphorical sense?