An Amusing Question

What if somebody is born into a family of Non-Christians. Missionaries visit them and tell him he needs to accept jesus or go to hell. He is frightened and tries to accept jesus. But no matter how hard he tries, he will never truly believes. He knows this, so he pretends. He pretends it makes sense to him, he pretends he has faith, he pretends to believe.

Is our poor little boy doomed to hell? Just a question, might have different responses, might be all the same, just wondering

First of all, if he really didn’t believe, then why would he be scared of hell? Are you saying that he thought it might be true, so he wanted to be on the safe side? Perhaps we should analyze what you mean by “truly believing.”

God judges the heart. God offers us grace in Christ and we are judged by how we respond. If we do not perceive grace, but simply a message that is held over us by external threats, then we have not truly heard the Gospel at all.

And no one can say who is or is not doomed to hell.

Edwin

[quote=Contarini]First of all, if he really didn’t believe, then why would he be scared of hell? Are you saying that he thought it might be true, so he wanted to be on the safe side? Perhaps we should analyze what you mean by “truly believing.”

God judges the heart. God offers us grace in Christ and we are judged by how we respond. If we do not perceive grace, but simply a message that is held over us by external threats, then we have not truly heard the Gospel at all.

And no one can say who is or is not doomed to hell.

Edwin
[/quote]

He believes the existance of hell, fears it more actually. However, cannot accept the story of jesus, the virgin, and ressurection.

[quote=OkeyDokei]What if somebody is born into a family of Non-Christians. Missionaries visit them and tell him he needs to accept jesus or go to hell. He is frightened and tries to accept jesus. But no matter how hard he tries, he will never truly believes. He knows this, so he pretends. He pretends it makes sense to him, he pretends he has faith, he pretends to believe.

Is our poor little boy doomed to hell? Just a question, might have different responses, might be all the same, just wondering
[/quote]

We don’t know. Only God can judge what’s in his heart, whether he is culpable or not for rejecting Christ.

The desire to have faith is itself a form of faith. Faith is not just a feeling. It includes intellectual assent. Whether he feels faith or not is not the point. Aristotle surmised that as if we want to become something we should act like that something. If you want to be brave then act brave. If you want to have faith then act faithful. In the end you become what you do. Pascal had some interesting thoughts on this as well.

[quote=Genesis315]We don’t know. Only God can judge what’s in his heart, whether he is culpable or not for rejecting Christ.
[/quote]

The hypothetical tells us what is in his heart. He does not accept Jesus as God, he does not accept the resurrection.

5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

He will not come to the Father.

[quote=OkeyDokei]He believes the existance of hell, fears it more actually. However, cannot accept the story of jesus, the virgin, and ressurection.
[/quote]

But if he doesn’t believe that the story of Jesus is true, why would he think he would go to hell if he doesn’t believe it? This makes no sense.

I grant that people’s reactions, especially those of impressionable children, don’t always make sense. And missionaries who use fear tactics in this way will answer at the Judgment. But God knows how to sort out people’s motives.

Edwin

[quote=OkeyDokei]He believes the existance of hell, fears it more actually. However, cannot accept the story of jesus, the virgin, and ressurection.
[/quote]

If he does not believe in or accept the story of jesus, the virgin, and ressurection, then his fear is based on a false concept of hell. Thus he is not culpable.

Many of my christian friends share similar beliefs. They doubt the story of jesus, but the fear of hell looms in their mind. Their fear serves as their faith…

Yeah, pascal did have interesting thoughts on this…Pascals Wager

Maybe they have difficulties more then doubts. A thousand difficulties do not make a single doubt. I don’t think fear of hell tends to be a motivator for many folks nowadays. I look around my parish and dont’ see to many people who are doubters and are just hoping to make brownie points to avoid hell. Most to varying degrees are believers. You need to broaden your circle of Christian acquaintences.

Maybe him saying he doesn’t “truly believe” is a cop-out. Maybe he wants to live his life how he pleases - apart from any rules or accountablity so he convinces himself that he doesn’t “really” belive in Jesus, rather than admitting that although he believes, he doesn’t care. The whole, oh poor thing… no matter how hard he tries he just doesn’t believe it - nope, not buying it. Because if he WANTED to believe, God would give him faith. He doesn’t want it.

[quote=OkeyDokei]What if somebody is born into a family of Non-Christians. Missionaries visit them and tell him he needs to accept jesus or go to hell. He is frightened and tries to accept jesus. But no matter how hard he tries, he will never truly believes. He knows this, so he pretends. He pretends it makes sense to him, he pretends he has faith, he pretends to believe.

Is our poor little boy doomed to hell? Just a question, might have different responses, might be all the same, just wondering
[/quote]

Faith isn’t about trying to make yourself believe. It’s about responding to the grace God gives you so that you may believe. If someone seeks the truth, seeks God with a sincere heart, God will give him the grace necessary to believe. Scripture says that if we draw close to God, God will draw close to us.

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