Weekly Devotional 4-4-21 Held Responsible or Not
Recently a Christian brother was pondering the state of children who, because of their age, are not able to understand what sin is or make right and wrong spiritual decisions. He contended rightly so, that they are unable to make such determinations. He wondered if this would not also be true of those who have never heard the gospel, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, that Jesus Christ is the only propitiation for sin. He wrote: “I’m not fully convinced nor resigned to the severe fate of a sentence to hell for all eternity presumed for the uninformed who are basically good folks, especially those who have not under-stood sin or that they are guilty of it.
In answer to those ponderings, it should be understood, God does not hold anyone responsible for not accepting unrevealed truth. Scripture reveals however that God does hold all persons responsible for their rejection of revealed truth. The truth that He exists and that, He is holy.
The apostle Paul writing about persons of the past, the then present, and all future persons, wrote: “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1.18-22). Paul writes that God is revealed in nature and when that testimony is rejected, they are held accountable. This accountability is true of all persons, for as Paul would later write: “10 As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
All of Adam’s offspring (all of Mankind) is bent toward evil and the rejection of any hint of True God. Why? Because by one man sin entered the world (See Romans 5:12). The consequence of Adam’s sin was a sin nature seminally passed to all his offspring. When Adam, man’s representative (Adam) disobeyed God in the Garden and took of the forbidden fruit he became other than he had been created. He was created righteous, in a state of innocence, but when he sinned (disobeyed) he became unrighteous. He chose to follow his own will, not God’s. He chose to follow a new governing nature, a nature that was controlled by pride and self-rule. But someone might argue, If I had been in the Garden, I would not have sinned, as did Adam. That is an indefensible argument since no one will ever be in the Garden. That this nature became the nature of all Adam’s offspring is proven that even in the most remote parts of the earth, men break the rules (the laws) of their given society. Even in our own societies we find people breaking the speed limit, running red lights, parking in handicap zones, though they are not handicapped, and so on. We must even teach our children to be good, why? It is because of the sin nature. We should understand, we only see one another as we seem to be, by outward appearance but God sees the hardness of the heart which is at enmity with God.
Men are lost and separated from God because of sin, more importantly God has separated Himself from fallen (sinful) man.
But thank God, this is not the end of the story. He has taken the salvation of man upon Himself and those who turn to Him in faith, after knowing the truth, are forgiven of their sin, and are given the righteousness of Christ.
I am convinced that God is a just God and that He applies the blood of salvation to all who are not able to determine that they are sinners and separated from Him, including children and the mentally infirm. However, because God is holy, He will not allow (He can-not allow) those capable of repentance to be in His presence.
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