Can a person who walks in all the light given to him be saved even if he doesn’t know Jesus?

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Speaker 1

So we have an anonymous question here today. Can you be saved if you follow all the light you’ve been given, even if that light is absent of the knowledge of Jesus?

Speaker 2

Huge deep question. I think that’s one of the most important questions somebody can ask, right? Like I said, a lot of people struggling with what about family members who maybe didn’t know about Jesus, didn’t have access to the Gospel, what happens to them? What’s your thought, Tina?

Speaker 3

Well, whenever I hear this question, there’s a really beautiful verse that I can’t help but think of. I mean, there’s multiple verses that come to mind and one is basically talking about how the nature speaks to us like God speaks to us in different ways. And it’s not that it’s okay to just follow nature and you don’t need Jesus. Of course, if you need Jesus, he’s the way, the truth in the life. But there are people that will never have heard the name of Christ. But I do believe that there will be people in heaven who have never heard of the name Jesus. And I base that upon a verse in the book of Zechariah. And it’s in Zechariah chapter 13 and verse six. And if you want to go there, it’s a really powerful verse. And honestly, I hope I don’t get emotional because it makes me cry every time I read this first. But yeah, Zechariah chapter 13 in verse six. And the Bible reads, I wasn’t sure if it’s going to get there. We go and it says, and one shall say unto him, and this would be Jesus, what are these wounds in thine hands?

Speaker 3

Then he shall answer those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. And so to me this is talking about in the future when we’re in heaven and there’s going to be people that are going to approach him, which is Jesus, and say, where did you get these scars in your hands? And he’s going to say, I got them at the house of my friends. Sorry, I love Jesus. So anyways, it’s basically telling the story that people in heaven are going to approach Jesus and say, what happened here? We don’t understand. They’ve never heard the story of the planet Redemption, of Jesus sacrificing himself for their salvation, and sadly at the house of his friends, because we know that Jesus was betrayed by his own people, which was the nation of Israel back 2000 years ago. And so to me, it just tells me that definitely there’s going to be people in heaven that they lived up to the knowledge they could. They lived up to the dictates of their conscience and they did what was right. Even though they didn’t really know the name of Jesus, they felt a burden to do God’s will.

Speaker 3

And it talks about the new covenant that God’s law will be written in our hearts and people will say to each other, you know the law, but they’ll say we all know the laws. It’s what’s written in our hearts. And so it’s us living up to the knowledge that we do know and following what is right, what God has put in our heart. And like it says in Acts, chapter 17, verse 30, that at times of ignorance God has winked, but now he calls everyone to repentance. So if we’re ignorant, we don’t know better on certain things. Of course God’s going to be understanding. He’s not going to hold us accountable for something we didn’t even have the possibility of knowing. But if we are negligent and we don’t take the opportunities that God has presented, we don’t follow those impressions of the Holy Spirit, we quiet those down and we push that away and we live selfishly, then yeah, I think then you’re walking in your own way. You’re not walking in the wind of salvation. I don’t know. Jay, do you have any other thoughts on that one? Or I could talk.

Speaker 2

I think we got time to talk about it. And I love the thought of going with the verse from Zechariah. That’s so true and that really gets me to that verse. But I also think of I think the pace of Paul has a lot to.

Speaker 3

Are you pulling up?

Speaker 2

We tried a lot of plan in here and it’s like pretty loud in my ears. It’s all hot in here. Yeah. So we have this verse now in Romans two that I think is really all putting succinctly about what happens to those who don’t have the law. And there’s a lot actually in Romans along these subjects. But Romans two starting at verse twelve, and while we’re getting a birth ready, I see some comments from Cal. Wow, he’s touched by that same bird Zechariah, and he says.

Speaker 1

I want to put that up to our director. I’m in special ed. And a lot of scars too, on my body.

Speaker 3

God loves you, my friend Cal. I’ll tell you that much.

Speaker 2

Yeah. And isn’t it profound that Christ will carry the scars within the eternity as a reminder of how close he came to connect with us and our suffering?

Speaker 3

Roman, I was just going to say, it’s so beautiful when you think about Jesus as the person who died for us, that he loves us so much. It talks about Hebrews, that basically that he’s a high priest who knows us and he knows what we’ve gone through and there’s nothing that he doesn’t understand. It says he was tempted in all points, like as we are, yet without sin, just thinking about Jesus, like he has scars, just like we have scars, and he’s gone through afflictions, he’s gone through pain, he’s gone through suffering. There’s nothing that we experience in our lives that we suffer and that Jesus doesn’t know about. To my brother Kelly, and to anybody out there who’s hurting or suffering, I just want to point you to Jesus, who is a God who understands and who loves you and has gone through the same thing and experiences it with you. I just want to encourage you to stay close to that Savior because Jesus, there’s no one in the universe like Him, so keep your heart close to Him.

Speaker 2

And that’s what really just so blows me away about the way God is with there being God the Father, God the Son, the Holy Spirit, where you have got the Father just able to be up there in heaven. He’s always gone, he’s always omnipotent, he’s always perfect, untouched in that light that no one could approach. But then you got Jesus, who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily that can walk with us, dwell with us, that we can touch and feel and kiss and then experiencing what we experience, being a baby, being an adult, being mocked, being naked, being abused, like everything. It’s like the God, you want it’s in every aspect all at one time. Plus you want God to be within you. And so the Holy Spirit is there within you, comforting you, helping you, transforming you. So we have a comment from Nancy.

Speaker 1

Nancy says, we can know that our scars will heal with our new bodies, but Jesus will have those in his hands and his side for all eternity. Wow, that’s a profound thought.

Speaker 2

Yeah, that’s true. Whatever we have is but for a short period of time.

Speaker 3

I know, I get so excited. Like when I read Revelation 21, verse four. It says, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more pain, neither death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain for the former things that passed away. And I just think, oh God, I can’t wait for that time, for all the pain and suffering and all the heartache and all the death and just terrible things in this world, they will pass away. But thank God, his word doesn’t pass away and his love doesn’t pass away. Beautiful thought that forever we’re going to be reminded.

Speaker 2

No problem, we can be flexible today. The Romans two, verse twelve. So get it back to the point of what if someone didn’t know Jesus? Can it be saved? So it says, for as many as have sinned without law also perished without the law. Okay. So those who have sinned without the Law shall also perish without the law, and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law. And then the next verse reads Romans 1213, it is not the heroes of the law that are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. And then the next verse says, for when the Gentiles, which have not the law do by nature the things contained in the law, these have not the law. Sorry. These having not the Law are a law unto themselves. And then verse 16 ends with in the day when Christ they’ll judge the secrets of men by Christ according to my gospel. What is Paul saying there? And there’s other verses that Price spelled out also very well. But those who know Christ, who know about the Ten Commandments, know about God’s law of love.

Speaker 2

We’re going to be held to that standard. That’s what we’re held to. But those who didn’t know it are going to be judged for what they knew. And if someone deep down felt like they needed to do something because that was the right thing, and then they did that, that’s what they’re judged by. Or maybe they still knew, maybe inherently they knew it was wrong to steal, but they stole anyways. They’re judged on that. And then we come to act 17, verses 30 to 31. And this is Paul, I believe, even talking about. I think he’s reflecting even back on some of his own experiences. And he says, the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now command is all men everywhere to repent. And the next verse says, because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hatha. Now we’re in the old King James, whereas he has given assurance unto all men and that he has raised him from the dead. So God has a day when he’s going to judge people, but he’s going to wink at the times of people’s ignorance when they didn’t know what they’re supposed to be doing or they had wrong ideas, but they were trying to live according to the best light they had.

Speaker 3

Yeah, and I think about me, too.

Speaker 2

No, I finished the thought.

Speaker 3

Okay. I kind of think about people who too like maybe they’ve heard of Jesus, but their depiction of who or what Christianity is is very distorted. And they still live up to being a righteous person, but they don’t adhere to the Christian faith because what they saw in the church, which was maybe very ugly things. I’ve known people who were raised in a Catholic Church and they were molested by priests or things like that. It’s like, what do you do in situations like that? And that happens in everyday nomination. I’m not pointing that it only happens in the Catholic Church. It doesn’t, sadly. It happens in a lot of churches in a lot of places. Or they just went to a Christian school and then the people were just mean and abusive. There’s lots of things that happen. Or just some parents, they’re all law and no love, and they just get this terrible picture of what Christianity is and who Jesus is. And in those cases, I want to say I feel like this also applies because if they turn their back on a church where they’re seeing only bad things associated with the gospel and they don’t see any of the true character of God and his love.

Speaker 3

I have to think that if they’re living up to the knowledge that they do have to the conviction of their conscience, it would go in that direction as well. I don’t know. What do you guys think on that?

Speaker 2

I was actually going to ask that very question because I think that really is an important one too, where there are so many people who probably ignorance and says because of what they have seen, have been taught being so wrong by people professing to be Christians.

Speaker 3

Exactly.

Speaker 1

I could even share a little bit of a story on this for myself. I wasn’t raised in a church growing up, my parents did believe in the Bible and in Jesus, but life was very hard and the circumstances, what they were I didn’t read the Bible, I didn’t go to church. I didn’t really get to know Jesus through His Word, yet God had his hand in my life all the time. I didn’t know that was God at the time. It was so strong that my siblings actually thought I had an imaginary friend that I was talking to. And I didn’t know what they were talking about because I didn’t have an imaginary friend. But I did communicate with this presence that was with me. And it wasn’t until many years later, it wasn’t until I had reached young adulthood and God was really starting to reveal Himself much more strongly in who he really was, that he said to me directly, you are a Christian and I’m going to show you. And so I didn’t even know that relationship I had all those years was with God until that day. And actually even that day I didn’t even know it.

Speaker 1

It wasn’t until six months later when he really showed me and revealed to me from His Word who he was, that I became aware of it. So I do believe that God can work in the lives of people and that relationship can exist without actually having read the Bible, without knowing the name of Jesus. That is the amazing thing about God and his love and how he has a way of reaching people that goes beyond language, that goes beyond books and materials and printed things. These are creative things, but there is something more innate that is built into us in that connection with God and that is available to everybody, regardless of where they came from, what they have experienced in life, what they have known in life, what they’ve learned. I mean, if you took someone who was deaf and blind, they were not able to read the Bible and maybe they didn’t know sign language, they’re not able to read the Bible, they’re not able to hear the Word spoken to them or to hear the name of Jesus. To say that that person couldn’t be saved would deny God’s power. I think so.

Speaker 1

I personally believe that God can reach and connect with people at a level that goes beyond what we see in here.

Speaker 3

That’s true. And, you know, what’s interesting is and I know that this is the name of Jesus coming into the picture, but I know I’ve heard of people who they were searching for the true God, and God revealed themselves to them, like in dreams. I remember a testimony of a man who was raised in the Middle East. He never heard Jesus, and he was praying. He’s like, who are you, God? And he’s like, I’m Jesus. And Jesus revealed himself to him in a dream, but it was only when his heart was crying out to know God. Who are you? And I think that when our heart is crying out to God, like, who are you? That’s when he reveals himself. And God talks about that in Jeremiah 29, I think. Twelve and 13, where it says, search for me with all your heart, and you will call upon me and go and pray to me, and I will listen to you, and you will seek me and find me when you search for it with all your heart. And I really feel that to be true because I know that was definitely my conversion, was I was, like, 1213 years old, and I was just so miserable in my life at that time.

Speaker 3

I was in a really low point, and I kind of had turned my back on church and things like that at that time because I also had a really bad experience with a lot of basically everybody in my church and the Christian school that I went to. And I was just so like, I’m done. I’m done with church. I’m done with everything, because these people are awful. And if this is what Christianity is, I don’t want anything to do with it. And what God finally did is he showed me, thank God, through this one Christian friend that I made at that school, who is truly a Christian. And she never preached me. She never did anything, but she was just so loving. And one day she was just with her mom, and they were just so happy, and they were glowing with joy, and I was like, Why are they so happy? She had the same bad situation that I was in. She had a broken home and other things that were going on her life that were not great, but she was genuinely happy. And I was like, Why? And God was just like, they have Jesus Christ.

Speaker 3

And it was just like, I could hear it since that day. And I had been asking God, I want to know you. I want to know who you are. And it was only at that moment that God revealed himself to me in that way. And I told God at that time, I was like, you know what, Lord? If you’re real, I’ll serve you for the rest of my life. But you just have to be something real. I don’t want to do some fake bologna religion. I want something real that has substance, that’s based on something that I can put my faith in. And it’s substantial. And honestly, every time I turn to God and go, god, are you there? I need you. He shows up in a beautiful way. And it’s not maybe always the way that my selfish heart wants, but it’s in a way that I can see that he’s present and it’s a way that it’s very clear that he’s working, he’s doing something and he’s there. And I can’t tell you how many times when I’ve done ministry and I reached out to share God’s word that Jesus has shown up in an amazing way.

Speaker 3

And if you put yourself out there, I really think God will reveal Himself to you, he will make his name known to you. But I think God is limited to our earthly understanding all the time of how things work. Should we spread the gospel of Jesus? Of course. Should we spread the name of Jesus? Absolutely. Because there’s power in the name of Jesus Christ, but his name is his character. And so the heart of what the name of Jesus is, who God is in his very core of his being. And you read about that in Exodus 34, like in the story of Moses. Do you remember the story, guys, where basically Moses says, I want to know your name, God. He’d already been very close to God, but he says, Lord, I want to know your name. And God says, I will have all my glory passed before you go over. And I believe that’s in Exodus 33 where Moses asks him his name and verse in Exodus 34, I believe it’s in verse six. Let me go ahead and go there really quick just so I can quote it the right way. And it says in Exodus 34, verse six, it says when the Lord passed before Him and proclaimed basically his name, which is the Lord the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth.

Speaker 3

And then verse seven keeps going. There’s more and more to this of these verses, but basically keeping mercy for thousands for giving iniquity and transgressions and sin and by no means clearing the guilty. And it’s really interesting if you study what that means. By no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation, but not that God is going to hold you accountable, but rather that those sins get passed down. But remembering in Exodus 20 in the commandments, God says holding the iniquity into the third and fourth generation, but for having mercy for those that love me and keep My commandments. So if we love God and keep his commandments and we’re not those who have to carry the burden of our parents sin, that sin can end in our generation and we can have mercy. But just the thought that the name of Jesus has power because the name of God isn’t just the name Jesus. Like that doesn’t really mean anything. I know a lot of people in Spanish the name Jesus. I know a lot of friends are family members because I’m Mexican and they’re named Jesus.

Speaker 3

Does that mean when I say, Hey, Jesus, come over, does that mean something special? No, it’s not in the letters J-E-S-U-S that mean anything. It’s the character of that name. And that’s why I think it’s so beautiful that you see here at Exodus 34 six, that the Lord God merciful. That’s who he is. He’s merciful, long suffering and abounding and mercy and truth and goodness and truth. And that’s who God is. He’s a merciful God. He’s a loving God, he’s a patient God, he’s a caring God. And then when he goes on to say, but by no means will clear the guilty, that just means he’s going to hold sin accountable. He doesn’t just let things slide. Now, does that mean, Oh, we’re doomed because we send no, because Jesus paid for that penalty for us. And that’s why it says by no means we’ll clear the guilty just for no reason. He says, but the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, which again, is a beautiful aspect of God’s character, his name that he’s proclaiming to us as people. I hope I didn’t go on too much of a tangent there.

Speaker 3

I just love God.

Speaker 2

I actually want to hop onto a point that Kell raises.

Speaker 3

Okay, great.

Speaker 2

I love what John verse one says, whoever believes that Jesus is Christ is born of God. And then I think a related verse would be like John 316 whosoever believes in God will receive the gift of everlasting life. And Jesus also says, I am the way, the truth and the life. So do these verses tell us that actually Jesus knowing Jesus is the only way to be saved? Again, do we need to know Jesus in order to be saved? Because I think there’s some people who really might try to take these verses and make that argument.

Speaker 3

That you don’t need Jesus.

Speaker 2

I’m sorry, no, that you have to have Jesus in order to be saved.

Speaker 1

When I look at this first, I think of it more as like if I recognize that Jesus God, I guess I look at it as a recognition, like even if I haven’t known Jesus in my life, I haven’t known the Bible stories. But then I meet Jesus and I look at that and I’m like, that man is of God and I can see that and I can recognize that, then that’s the path that I want to be on as well. I think that is consistent with the concept here that they are born of God. Now, if they look at Jesus and they’re like, that’s evil, I don’t want anything to do with that. Well, that then would be more like they are the ones that are deceived, but they’re not able to see and understand God’s love or accept God’s love. And that amazingness of his love. That’s kind of how I’m looking at it.

Speaker 2

Okay.

Speaker 1

I don’t know. I’m interested to hear from you guys, too.

Speaker 2

I think it’s true that nobody can be saved except because of what Jesus has done and because of his death on the cross and because he is working as a mediator to bring us to God. That is the path. But then the question is yes, but does that mean then that you still have to have knowledge of Him to know and have his power to work on your behalf?

Speaker 1

What does it mean to have knowledge? Is knowledge just something that happens.

Speaker 3

In.

Speaker 1

One part of our brain? Or is knowledge is something that happens, like in our whole body and in our soul, in our heart? What does it mean to have knowledge or to know? I think that’s what that’s a good question.

Speaker 2

And then maybe let’s look at a verse that then again, some people sight when they’re struggling with this issue. And it’s Romans ten, starting at verse 13. And we’ll go to verse 17. To 17. So reads, for whoever calls in the name of the Lord shall be saved. And how shall they preach unless they are sent? How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear about without a preacher? So basically, how could he know about Jesus if nobody talked about Him? Let’s look at verse 15 now. And how shall they preach unless they are sent talked about the preachers as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things. Verse 16 then but they have not all obeyed the Gospel, for Isaiah says, who shall believe our report? Verse 17. And then this is the important verse, right? So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So the line of reason is how can you know God without basically having the Bible, having someone preach the Bible to you, studying it, all those things.

Speaker 2

That’s sort of this issue that Paul is grappling with here in these verses. And he’s going back to this verse that says sorry. Verse 13 everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.

Speaker 3

I’m sorry, I don’t know if you wanted to make a point or throwing this question.

Speaker 2

If you want to give your idea then about is this verse something we should be worried about or that people who don’t know Jesus should be worried.

Speaker 3

About if they knew about it personally.

Speaker 1

I don’t think we need to be worried about it because I think it comes back to that experience I had growing up where my heart knew God, and in many ways, my mind did as well. But I just didn’t like there’s different ways and different levels of knowing, and there was a connection there. I just didn’t know to call that presence in my life God, and that presence in my life, Jesus. I didn’t have that word for it. I didn’t have that word association for it, but yet I knew that presence in my life and I knew that character in my life. I don’t think you have to have the word, because if you did, then you would have to be able to hear or see or speak, and not everyone can.

Speaker 3

Christina and I think it goes back to you. So he’s the one that made us. He’s our creator. He’s the one trying to save us. So no matter what, it’s always God who’s the one calling to us and providing for us and blessing us, because that’s who God is. When you read about in Matthew, chapter five, jesus is saying basically to be perfect, like your Father in heaven is perfect, because he sends the sun to rise on the evil and on the good. He sends rain on the just and the unjust. So whatever we’re experiencing, wherever we’re going through, god is the one there, even if we realize it or not. So I do hear what you’re saying, but is it important to know God as much as you have ability? Of course, if you’re just like, Oh, I don’t want to hear about religion, that’s another story. But, yeah, of course, we don’t need to be fearful. But I think it’s just more of a calling because I think there’s so many people who are like you, Wendy, who are out there, who just don’t know. But God is working on them. God loves them, obviously.

Speaker 3

Exactly. And that’s why Jesus says the harvest is white, the harvest is ripe, but the laborers are few. And so God just wants to proclaim it because how much more of a blessing will your relationship with God be? I mean, how much more did it grow? When you knew who God was, you knew the Bible, you knew the truth. It went from being this kind of this thing you couldn’t really describe to putting a name on it. And there’s just something very special and different about it. It’s like saying you had a pen palette, you’ve written to them all these years, and it’s nice getting letters, but to meet them face to face, that’s a totally different experience. And I feel like that’s what God is trying to do. He’s trying to go deeper with us. And that’s why he wants us to know his name and know who he is, so that he can have a better relationship, because he loves it.

Speaker 1

Absolutely.

Speaker 2

Nancy, I think several points you guys are making. Maybe when do you read that? We can put it up.

Speaker 1

So Nancy says, I believe that everyone has some sense of right and wrong, good and evil, love and hate, no matter whether they’ve heard of Jesus and God’s commandments or not, and they choose which path they will follow and like and if they never hear of Jesus, they will still be judged by their choices. Based on what? Their innate sense of those things. I believe that sense they have is the Holy Spirit or God speaking to them.

Speaker 3

Yeah, I definitely agree with that. Thank you so much, Nancy.

Speaker 2

And to go back to maybe even from the Scripture, confirm what you guys are saying, too. If we go back to the Romans ten, verse 13, it says, for everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But does it say, only those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved?

Speaker 3

That’s a good point.

Speaker 2

No, it doesn’t say that in the law. We have what’s called or even in terms of logic, there’s things called necessary conditions and sufficient conditions. So if something is necessary, that means without that thing, you’re not going to get something else, and then there’s sufficient condition, which says if you have that, then you are guaranteed to have this other thing. So is this one saying, calling upon the name of the Lord is necessary in order to be saved?

Speaker 3

Not if you don’t have that access to it.

Speaker 2

Yeah, it’s not saying it’s a necessary condition. What it’s saying is, it’s a sufficient condition. So anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, if they’re doing that, they’re going to be saved. What does it mean to call upon the name of the Lord? I think that’s we’ve talked more about what is faith like? Real faith, not just leaving God exists, but there’s much more. Not just verbalizing it yeah, that’s just verbalizing. Not just saying, I’m a Christian? No, it’s real. Actual faith. That’s a relationship with God that’s allowing God to transform you and return into genuine love for others. As Kell Green says, I just want to change for him. That’s a really good way of putting it. When you get to that point. That’s how it should be, and that’s how you’re not having to work spaces based religion that’s trying to save you. You’re doing it because you love God. You’re responding to his love in your life.

Speaker 1

That’s a really I love that comment. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Speaker 2

Go ahead.

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