John 3:36 (NIV) Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John 3:36 (KJV) He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Bob, maybe you can help me out with this. I see this as the foundation of an arminist's beliefs. I put both versions because they can be interpretted differently. Now I can quote a dozen versus that have to do with election but I'm trying to reconcile the two thoughts. I don't want to cherry pick my beliefs but take the bible as a whole, as the infallible and inspired word of God. You know I am a 5 point calvinist. I very much believe in unconditional election. I believe God saves whom God wants to save. In truth, this makes me feel better about issues that I don't understand, such as age of accountability. Or how somebody that lives in a sheltered 3rd world nation could be condemned by God? It seems none were given an opportunity to accept or reject Christ. So how then can we say that if your faith isn't in Christ, you are condemned? I am not arguing salvation is through Christ alone (I believe that with all my heart) and I most certainly don't consider myself a universalist. But consider the bible also says the following:
Hebrews 10 (NIV)
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
John 10:14 (NIV) “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—
Romans 1:20 (NIV) For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Do you think it is possible to know God without even knowing His name?
1 Timothy 1 (NIV)
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Can ignorance be pardoned?