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What Then Happens To The Unbeliever?

To the learned Christians, pls tell me;

What happens to someone born in Iraq or Saudi, where the commonly acceptable religion is Islam. A preacher may have spoken to the person, but the preacher wasnt effective. Would this unbeliever be doomed to hell?

And To the diligent Muslim, I ask you; What happens to the Christian who has actually listened to your views and wasnt convinced, because there seemed to be some unnanswered questions. Would he end up in Hell?

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Good points by all.

So do we then reluctantly agree that there are different kinds of unbelievers, and as such we cannot use our earthly scales of judgement to determine who gets in and who stays out, afterall it was Christ Himself who said things like:

The last shall be first.

Again,

- To enter into the kingdom, you must be like these little ones.

- No one is good except God.

And many other statements, many of which we cannot humanly claim to agree with or genuinely understand.

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Why is it taking forever for the Bible quoters to answer the questions posed here?  I thought ya'll were God's PA that know who enters heaven or not.  Funny people.

To the best of my understanding, this age of acountability stuff is only applicable on the judgement day.  The fact that God did not spare any children here on earth, doesn't mean He'll allow them rot in hell forever.

I have noticed that a lot of people see God as unfair whenever He allows "innocent people" die "for no just cause".  But one thing they fail to realise is that their death on earth here is just as inconsequential.  Afterall, we'll all die some day and whether some peeps die very early in the lifetime, or in an excruciating manner, or in an unjust way or he allows poverty to kill them, that does not make Him unfair.  Far from it; because those are just the way we see them as humans that we are.  I believe God has only taken them away from where He placed them initialy, for reasons best known to Him, and in the way best appealing to Him.  What really matters is where they end up eternally, and that is where we can begin to rate the fairness of God. .  again, as humans.

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@Topic.

Although I did'nt go through the whole thread but I will just want to make this little contribution. God is a just God and so I beleive He will judge everybody according to the light received. Somewhere in the Bible(sorry cant remember the place now) says that God has written His laws in our Hearts and this is what we know as conscience. There is no Human beign without a conscience irrespective of your beleif or religion. It is the conscience that enables us to differentiate b/w wrong and right And so if for some reasons you did not hear or receive the Gospel of Christ, God will not condemn you rather He will judge you according to how you kept the law of your conscience.

Read Romans chapter 2. verses12 - 16 says

"For as many as have sinned without Law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

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 meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another".

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What about people who are born disabled or suffer terrible accidents? As a result are pretty upset with God and thus cannot see truth from fact.

What about Adults who are slightly slow. Their brains are unable to understand the concept of faith. Hence the view that a jew died for their sins 2000 years ago may be difficult to comprehend.

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ok, I have heard a lot about this age of accountability thing and to be sincere, it will be a great relief to agree with it but there are so many exceptions. Take three instances in the bible such as in Genesis when God destroyed sodom and Gomorrah, He spared no children; take another instance when God destroyed the world with flood, He spared no children; Take the case in 2 kings 2:23 & 24 where elosha cursed kids, he spared no children, can u then explain it?

@ Trini _ gurl,

Thanx for leadinmg me here. It was ur trail that brought me here and I don't regret.

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Only 2 over 20yrs of age entered the promised land. But all those below 20 entered the promised land. Would you assume that all those under 20 were found in obedience to the law?

Yep i firmly believe that God's nature of mercy allows infants and little children to go to heaven since they do not yet have the cognitive abilities to respond to the gospel.

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David, are you contending that I am over spiritualizing the so called "age of accountability"? It's quite simple.

Consider that only 2 entered because only 2 were found in obedience to the law instituted at that time.

As I said adamic/imputed sin's penalty which was atoned for by the levitican priesthood, carried a penalty of physical death regardless of age. But under the new covenant of grace, as long as even a child understands the message of salvation he can be saved.

However, we cannot take a firm stance and say that babies go to heaven, since we are all born separated from God.  We can hope and expect that the nature of God allows it.

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Sometimes we are also guilty of over spiritualisation. God must have had a reason why of all the adults over 20 yrs of age who came out of Egypt, only 2 made it to the promised land. Would you claim that the 16yr old then was not conceived in sin too?

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Did Jesus forget that the little children here were also concieved in sin too?

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Yeah, i'll especially miss his mutilation of the bible and the use of human wisdom to understand spiritual truths.

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You're asking the same question I need answers to.

One thing though, do you guys really think people just choose to disbelieve just because they feel like? For all you of to have believed in and accepted Jesus, you had to be convinced first, right?

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Beautifully stated. Thank you.

Once again, you evade the question, as usual. I will be greatly surprised if you tell me that you are a Christian today because you just 'heard' the gospel. If you say you are a Christian because of what you have experienced and seen, then why do you think others who haven't had such experiences will go to hell, as you've been trying to make me believe? Guy, I'm in serious need of answers here, I'm not here to show any superior wisdom.

They should not fail their exams because they know fully well the aftermath of their failure. They should get a Chemistry textbook by all means in order to pass their exams. This is absolutely not the case with an unbeliever. Again, your analogy is flawed.

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I think the same thing is being argued.

"The age of accountability today is when you reach the age of cognition."

I don't know if fully understanding the Gospel defines the age of accountability/cognition. There are lots of grown-ups who do not have a basic understanding of other issues of life, let alone having to fully understand the Gospel.

I would offer that even in the Old Testament, children were seen as accountable for their actions without specifying an age bracket. 2 Ki 2:23-24 "And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them."

Number 26:31 should be understood in light of Deut. 1:39 - "Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it."

The line that underscores what davidylan was trying to point out as far as regards the age of accountability is the clause: "had no knowledge between good and evil." When someone acts out of cognition/knowledge of between good and evil, such is demonstrating the age of accountability - IMHO. But there again, I may be wrong, and I'll graciously receive correction thereto.

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I have to do some contextual research to verify that. Ididn't miss it, I just couldn't see the relevance of referring to pre new covenant modus operandi. It will be interesting to see what I find on the age of accoutability in the old testament.

The age of accountability today is when you reach the age of cognition where you fully understand the gospel and can make a decision. it can be as early as 12 years old, dependant on the child's ability to understand.

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eeerrrmm i guess you missed the part in bold. When the Isrealites where in the wilderness, the cut of age for those who were held accountable for their trangressions was set at 20. please read several instances in Exodus and Numbers where the age was used as the cut off for those who were to be numbered as able to go to war or those who were to perish in the wilderness for their sins.

Today thanks to the fact that kids born today end up getting mature faster than those born in 1930, if you died at 18 without getting saved, you are on your own o.

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hold on hold on hold on! wait just a minute here. David, explain to me how you came up with the age of accountability being 20?  So are you saying that if I die at 18 whether or not I am saved I will go to heaven?

What do you understand to be the "age of accountability"?

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My own question: what happens to those who were taught chemistry by a bad teacher and thus could not understand the fundamentals? should they also fail their exams?

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This simplistic "having-just-only-heard-the-Gospel-but-did-not-believe" argument is an empty drum. What happens to those who heard several times and yet still did not believe?

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LOVE and COMPASSION for humanity and God's creation at large,that is the essence of Christ.

It has nothing to do with religious affiliations.IMHO.

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@ group point, can i use that same excuse on the judgement day?

Errr God if not for pastors like Reverend King, i would have been born again. . .

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So guys are we in agreement if we say the following:

1. The only way to heaven is through Christ.

2. However, there are indeed some who genuinely did not believe, because the preacher appeared ungodly (as many propsperity, miraculous, Naija and USA preachers often appear).

This non-believer will surely not go to hell because the bible says that the sins of these ones will be borne by the ungodly (false) preacher?

I am really in search of the truth here.

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Probably you should go to the forum games and make such wishes. Making it here, is equivalent to pouring water on a hard rock as to my case, because I will never stop short of telling you where you are wrong as to the scriptures.

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I am really struggling to pick out the chaff from the wheat in the postings which have been made so far.

May I politely ask that if it is at all possible, could we:

Use edifying Christian language, one to another (Simply because Jesus Himself admonishes this).

The exchanges have reached such a pitch that even the unbeliever may end up asking God that he/she should not be placed amongst some of us christian bros and sisters.

Sp please Trini, Goodguy, Davidylan, Mr Pataki. You all have valid ponts, but let us not be found wanting by reason of the use of our tongues.

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I wasn't following your posts. I was reading through a thread which you happened to be a part of. Is there any crime in that?

Don't be too sure. By the way, I didn't say you contradicted yourself in your posts. What I said was, your responses there contradict the kind of attitude you've displayed here. You gave good injunctions on a thread, but went against your own words in another.

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@ goodguy,

Please answer my question.

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It would be nice if you took your own advice sometimes. You have not exhibited any trace of wisdom in your misguided arguments.

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trini_girl,

From what I've gathered so far, you seem like a smart lady to me. But unfortunately, you don't apply your smartness correctly everytime.

Also, you always seem to contradict yourself in many of your posts. I just finished reading through a thread, and your responses there, though quite interesting, contradict the kind of attitude you've displayed here so far.

My dear, Wisdom is Profitable to Direct.

Peace.

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@ goodguy,

Labelling me to your taste can only satisfy me with the joy of knowing that I speak the truth at all times. There you go again of trying to twist davidlyans input which was directed at you to trini_girl!

Yet you indulge in the idiotic jabberings that you dont trade insults here! Or that we attack you for some of your baseless inputs here.

Stop being hypocritical and learn to see issues as they point at your ignorance and supposedly "fake" knowledge acquisition.

I quoted your statements above, yet you reply me that I have low comprehension ability towards English. Yet I pray, please explain the quoted statements above in my previous reply to you.

I have said it before, will say it again pray to the Holyspirit for grace of knowledge.

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goodguy, sadly you exhibit traits of islamic fundamentalism, Since when did pointing out your delusion become "attacks" and "insults"?

Stop going about under the cover of christianity, your inputs here have convinced me beyond doubt that you are merely wolf in sheeps clothing. At the harvest, the tares and the wheat will be clearly delineated.

As for my post you twisted to satisfy your fantasies, keep it up.

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http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-23029.0.html

Check it there comprehensively

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*** shakes head in pity ***

thank you for proving my point about you to all.

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that was taken from a book, which has been rewritten in so many languages, words have been change and misinterpreted.

so if your quote is true, that means, he, the one you call god can not be perfect.

true ?

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I wouldn't say God is the author of our evil acts, but what I know for sure is that He created evil.

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I frankly believe you are genuinely confused and do not understand the God you purport to worship/serve. Who are the atheists you mention here? Those who are not "convinced" of the existence of God but in your own "reasoning" will still make heaven because they can go on the judgement day to argue their case before God?

I hope you are not trying to insinuate here that those "books" mentioned in revelations include the quran, book of the mormons and other lies of the enemy. If the books refered to by John here is the bible then your argument has no basis if indeed it can be called an argument.

Your shallow and tenous attempt to use human reasoning to understand spiritual things is really alarming. Are these the kind of "christians" in our midst now? No wonder Christ said at His appearing will he find faith on the earth?

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goodguy,

one thing I've learned about people who are wrong is that when you show them their error it shakes the very foundation of their belief system and they become confused.

they also become defensive and will utter alll sorts of rubbish to defend their position. 

coming from an orthodox background i understand your spiritual blindness and it is pointless to expect you to entertain anyone else's truthful opinion even when you are given scripture to back it up.  You rather hold on to your own pie in the sky notion that people who are given the opportunity to receive chirst, over and over again, even though they are not "convinced" will somehow have a chance after that to sit down and"reason" with God at the judgment. LOL!!

Even writing it sounds funny! lol

Things are so simple when it comes to salvation yet we always try to complicate it.  *sigh*

Explain what we christians like to call "conviction"? I'm guessing you mean "Godly sorrow"

Tell me, if I kick a man in gut for calling my mother a prostitute, but the man had no legs and was in a wheelchair, when my anger goes away, is it Godly sorrow, or simply remorse for the horrible things I've done.

In like manner, if a man hears the gospel, and reasons with himself that he has done wrong and is a sinner, even his own human nature will bring him remorse IF he is willing to ACCEPT the truth laid out to him.

This is my own opinion, but I believe that "conviction" or "godly sorrow" that leads to repentance comes from a christian who walks with God, and if/when we sin or fall short, the spirit who we have surrendered our lives to, comes in and CORRECTS us, REPROVES us and CHASTISES to make us better christians.  Like a father chastising his children.

When we share the gospel, we should always prepare in prayer asking God to open the hearts and ears of those we share it with.  Rebuke a couple demons if you have to, and go in faith.  Sometimes people who hear the gospel and know that it's true and STILL put off receiving Jesus for a later time in their life.

Others are blinded by all type of spiritual influences.  It's a fact that not all will enter into the kingdom. 

And it's also quite possible for the spirit to lay such heaviness on a man's heart that they will in no doubt call him Lord.

But even if he does all that, and he is still rejected on earth, what in the world makes you think that after denying him all this time and only because you are convinced after death that he is real and now your judge, that he will listen to "reason".  What will you say "Lord, well I wasn't convinced you were real then, but I'm convinced now! So can I enter heaven"?? lol!!

I call that a get out of hell free card for everyone on earth, like david said.

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@ goodguy,

You keep building upon your foundation of fallacies. I have just one question for you, did God force you to accept whichever religion you belong to now? Was it not of your own freewill?

Did he force you to eat the food you ate this morning? Did he force you to sleep at the time you chose to sleep? Did he force you to come on the internet at the time you chose to?

Stop using Human definition to define who God is. God has freely given us Salvation, the decision is now yours (freewill) to accept it or throw it away. But remember we all will give account on the day of Judgment.

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I think the problem you're having is that you seem to forget that CONVICTION precedes ACCEPTANCE.  How on earth do you expect someone you preached to, and wasn't convinced to just accept "because the Bible says so".  This is why I said earlier that everyone of us Christians holds on to Christianity because of what we have seen and experienced, hence our conviction, and subsequent acceptance.  I'm pretty sure Shahan and her siblings didn't get converted by just 'hearing' the Gospel, and then ending there.  There must have been something they all saw to make them go away from Islam to turn to Christianity.  Most of you that are against my notion here will not be saying these same things if you were ardent Muslims.  Imagine yourself being a conc. Muslim, and someone comes to preach to you concerning the Gospel, which is totally antithetical to what you've always believed in; and the person expects you to just accept, even if you're not convinced, and even threatens you that if you don't accept, you're doomed to hell.  Can you just imagine such?

Betterstill, are you trying to tell me now that God is being partial by making some people belong to a religion that is the "only way", while making billions of others that he knows will never be convinced, to belong to "false religions"?  And please, don't tell me the other billions of humans out there chose to belong to "false religions" out of their "freewill" because. . .

. . . this idea of freewill has been debunked already, as it seems to contradict the omniscient and omnibenevolent nature of God (by Human definition).

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Here's a puzzle for you as well Mr. davidylan.  What is the essence of evangelism, since God knows fully well that there are people that still won't make heaven, no matter the amount of preaching?

By the way, I never said people that are not convinced will enter heaven, and I don't think they will go to hell either.  But what I believe is that God will judge everyone differently.

This would depend on the state of the mind of Jesus when He made that statement. "He that believeth not. . ."  Belief on what basis exactly?  Those that consciously chose to believeth not despite knowing the truth, or those that believeth not because of some of the reasons highlighted by Grouppoint?

Personally, me thinks the unbelievers Jesus talked about are the ones described in Hebrew 6:4-6 - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

Another case is that of Lucifer.  He knew the truth, but still went ahead to rebel against God.  I believe it is him and his likes that are condemned already.

Again, you're missing out the fact that there are billions of others that believe in God, but do not see Him the Christian way.  In this case, I believe God will use whatever they associate with Him, to judge them.

No.  Actually, I should be asking you if you assume God has just one particular set of guidelines for all mankind, irrespective of what religion they belong to.  If you admit that is the case, then you wouldn't be painting God as good.

Again, they wouldn't be the one to give excuses.  God will jugde everyone accordingly.

Only the truth sets one free (John 8:32).  For those who know the truth, and continue to sin, they shouldn't expect mercy.  But for those that really do not know, well, the God I serve is a Merciful One.

Your use of "unfortunately" here shows that even you expect God to be merciful to those that are genuinely ignorant, but you think He isn't.  Well, the good news is, He is Merciful.

I believe this applies to the atheists alone.  Even then, I don't believe God will condemn the good ones among them to hell.  They may not enter heaven, I don't think they'll rot in hell either.

All in all, John tells us what was revealed to him in Rev 20:12 - ". . . and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

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going by your own rules, is it not possible to assume that for someone who thinks he wants to go to heaven it would be a priority to ensure you have adequately studied the rules and regulations (the bible) guiding heaven? Do you assume because God is not man then he also has no guidelines or codes of behaviour that characterize those that would be in heaven? Why do you assume that those who are not "convinced" about the message of salvation including those who scoff at the very idea of God and an after life should be automatically entitled to heaven on the excuse that they were not "convinced" enough?

Why then should anyone bother to be a christian? why don't we all continue in sin and use the "not convinced" trump card on the day of judgement?

Unfortunately the God i serve does not run a sympathy party. Read this: Heb 11: 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

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@ trini_girl,

i'm sure 4Play was refering to goodguy in his write-up and not you.

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Please note I made no mention of law, biblical or secular in relation to the ignorance of it being no excuse.

What I said was the ignorance of the TRUTH does not make you exempt from the consequence.

However, those who choose to live by the law will be judged by the law, and who choose to live under the new covenant of grace will be judged by same.

Please show scriptural support for this statement?

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People are confusing a fundamental principle of human law with that of divine law;"ignorance of the law is no excuse"

The rationale for that principle lies in the fact that had it been otherwise,everyone could claim ignorance and it would be very difficult to prove knowledge.

In divine law,ignorance carries greater potency,for God will be able to know the truly ignorant from the sufficiently knowledgeable

So the principle "ignorance of the law is no excuse"has no relevance in matters of salvation

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Here is a puzzle for you mr. goodguy. What is the essence of evangelism if those who dont believe and are nt convinced still go to heaven anyway?

Why did Christ make this statement, . . . he that believeth not is condemned already? Was that a statement of an uncaring individual?

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Thanks for all your postings on this thread.

So what then happens to the unbeliever?

My understanding is that there are a few groups of unbelievers.

1. Those who heard the message, believed it, but the cares of the world led them astray.

2. Those who heard, but did not believe, because the message just did not sound right.(e.g. God was born of a virgin, was made man, died like a thief. etc).To many non-believers It can truly sound unbelievable.

3. Those who heard from incompetent or shady preachers. Hence Christianity was misrepresented.

4. Those who cannot read. Hence sceptical about a message from a third party.

5. Those who simply find it hard to believe that God can allow all the injustices to occur on His earth.

6. Those who feel that Religion has done more harm than good, hence have chosen to be as good as they can humanly be to their fellow man, and turn away from religious discussions of right or wrong.

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Unfortunately, if you have heard the message of salvation and redemption to God through Jesus Christ and rejected it for whatever reason,  God will not be able to save you from the second death.

It is for this very reason that he sent his son to die.  To give us a pathway to salvation through the remission of inherent sin.

He gives us clear guidleness on what is required, spiritual re-birth, confession and baptism.

John 3: 2-8

, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."

In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

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Romans 10: 9-10

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Ephesians 2: 8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

"Good people" will not enter into the Kingdom of God if they are not born again. Muslims if they are not converted will not enter into the Kingdon of heaven. 

Ignorance of truth does not make you exempt from the consequence. I believe the goodness of God makes it possible for each person to hear the good news of the gospel at least once in their lives, and we choose to either accept or reject him.

If you choose not to receive the free gift of salvation, then it is out of God's hands to save you.  You have practised free will.

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Here again we will try and rephrase your argument:

Well, personally, I believe a criminal is someone who outrightly flouts the law, despite knowing the truth. Don't you think it will be unfair of Singapore to hang someone who is absolutely ignorant/unconvinced about the law? Afterall, it was not his fault that he had never read or seen the Singaporean constitution. Note that every true Singaporean today still obeys the law because of what they've seen and experienced. But what happens to those that are yet to [or may never like foreigners] see or experience anything that is supposed to alert them about severe consequences of breaking Singaporean law?

Try and see if this your lame argument holds up in a Singaporean court of law not to talk of the white throne judgement.

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@ goodguy,

yours indeed is a very interesting hypothesis. At this rate no one will be in hell at all, one look at the fury of hell and everyone might as well come up with the excuse of not being "fully convinced" about the message of salvation.

If you read the tone of the early apostles and even Jesus Christ in the new testament, it was not half and half. They were categorical in their statements not trying to give excuses. HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY. That soul does not need to die, the condemnation is already there.

Let's rephrase YOUR own scenario:

A Nigerian travels to Singapore and is ignorant of strict drug laws, he is arrested, not because he was not aware it was a crime but because in Nigeria you can still carry cocaine and get away with a slap on the wrist. It's difficult to do away with the atitude one has been stuck with from Nigeria, you know? Will such person be condemned to death if he traffics cocaine in Singapore on that basis? I can recall I said something on one thread concerning this, that it's one thing for one to know the law and still flout it, and another for someone to be genuinely oblivious of the law since he's never been to Singapore before. Will this person still be hanged on this basis as well?

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