What’s the true connection between “IDOL WORSHIP” and God’s seeming violent reaction toward it?

Exodus 20:4-6

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0830832610&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“You shall not make yourself any graven {refers to the household gods of idolaters. “Every nation and city had its own gods. Yet every family had its separate household or tutelary god.” } image [to worship { A title of honor, used in addresses to certain magistrates and other of respectable character.} or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me,But showing mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

THIS COMMAND IS VERY CLEAR TO ME, IS IT NOT CLEAR TO YOU? 

HOW COULD ANYONE “MISINTERPRET”THIS CLEAR STATEMENT AGAINST HAVING PERSONAL OR NATIONAL IDOLS TO WORSHIP (Give credit for life) or BOW DOWN TO (Give over control of life too).

WHAT DO THESE “MILLIONS AND MILLIONS” OF IDOLS AROUND THE WORLD MEAN IN THE BIG PICTURE OF WHAT GOD SEES?

KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE WERE “NO IDOLS WHATSOEVER”BEFORE THE FLOOD!

Why ?

I believe that the CLOSER that one gets to the time of Adam & Eve, the greater the PURE http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0875522629&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrKNOWLEDGE OF THE LIVING GOD’S EXISTENCE & PRESENCE IS BOTH “FELT BY THE SENSES”and “SEEN WITH THE PHYSICAL EYES”.

BUT THE FARTHER YOU GET FROM THE TIME OF THE GREAT FLOOD, AFTER GOD CAME DOWN TO “CONFUSE THE LANGUAGES & SPREAD MAN OUT INTO ALL THE FACE OF THE EARTH, THE PRESENCE OF GOD DIMINISHED IN THE “PRESENCE OF MAN” AND MAN ONLY “PASSED GOD ON AS A STORY OF THE PAST.

THAT STORY TELLING WAS PASSED ON FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR MAN TO RECALL GOD.

THEY “INVENTED IDOLS” FROM THE “MYTH” and THE FACT OF GOD MIXED TOGETHER.

IDOLS BECAME THE REPRESENTATIVE’S OF WHAT GOD WAS TO THOSE WHO TOLD THE ANCIENT STORIES AND FROM “INNOCENT INTENTIONS”, FROM HEARTS THAT WISHED TO WORSHIP THE GOD OF ANCIENT HISTORY WAS BORN AN ABOMINATION THE BIBLE CALLS “WILL WORSHIP”.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004NNVEZU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThis is where we actually worship our own reason,and understanding of God as we see him,rather than what the bible teaches about God.

{From our MINDS are born false idols, the reflections of those mis-understandings.}
Exodus 34:14
“For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God,”
NOW, LOOK CAREFULLY AT THIS VERSE …GOD’S NAME IS IMPASSIONED, IN OTHER WORDS HIS “AUTHORITY TO DO WHAT HE DOES AGAINST “IDOLS” IS IMPASSIONED, HE’S VERY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS AND WILL NEVER BACK DOWN!
NOW ASK YOURSELF WHY IS HE SO IMPASSIONED ABOUT THIS?

Deuteronomy 4:24
“For the Lord your God is a consuming{Burning; wasting; destroying; expending; eating; devouring.} fire, a jealous { An Impassioned} God.”

Deuteronomy 6:15 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003F76HRK&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“For the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous {IMPASSIONED} God; lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and He destroy you from the face of the earth.”

WHY?

Because of IDOLS!

Deuteronomy 32:16,21
“They provoked {Excited; roused; incited; made angry; incensed.} Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations they provoked Him to anger….They have moved Me to jealousy {IMPASSIONED} with what is not God; they have angered Me with their idols. So I will move them to jealousy {TO BE IMPASSIONED TOWARD} with those who are not a people {GOD PLACED THEM IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO “INVENTED” THEIR FALSE gods,to show them that these gods could not save them from his judgment!}; I will anger them with a foolish { Nation without UNDERSTANDING, A} nation { that WORSHIPS OTHER GODS THAT MY PEOPLE “THINK” ARE GODS,THAT ARE “NO GODS”}.

1 Samuel 15:23 
“For rebellion {An open and avowed renunciation of the authority of the government to which one owes allegiance; or the taking of arms traitorously to resist the authority of lawful government; revolt. } is as the sin of witchcraft{ The practices of witches; sorcery; enchantments; intercourse OR interaction of powers of deception with the devil}, and http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0674443136&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrstubbornness {Perverse and unreasonable obstinacy; inflexibility } is as idolatry { The worship of idols, images, or any thing made by hands, or which is not God.

Idolatry is of two kinds

the worship of images, statues, pictures, made by hands; and the worship of the heavenly bodies,the sun, moon and stars, or of demons, angels, men and animals. Excessive attachment or veneration for any thing, or that which borders on adoration. } and teraphim (household good luck images).

“Because you have rejected {Thrown away; cast off; refused; slighted. } the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

THIS IS KEY HERE ABOUT GOD,HE WILL NOT PUNISH WHAT THAT WHICH HE HAS NOT PRE-WARNED US ABOUT,WE MUST “REJECT” WHAT GOD COMMANDS TO BE DONE OR NOT DONE BEFORE HIS JUDGMENT FALLS!

“Detestable or Extremely hateful; abominable; very odious; deserving abhorrence.” An intolerant word that does not belong in the mouths of enlightened people. Or does it ?

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002GYWNF8&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWe live in an era where native religions are looked upon with respect and interest, almost with longing. Native American religions are the current fad in the US, while in Britain there is a renewed interest in the religion of the ancient Druids. One question that is not asked very loudly is, “What does the true God think of these religions?”

Scripture indicates that God takes false religions with extreme seriousness, since they pose a great threat to the purity of his people’s faith.

Canaan was populated by a conglomeration of many emigrant peoples, there were many variations and some local deities, not to mention the many gods worshiped in Egypt.
Dagon was worshiped by the Philistines. Chemosh, Milkom, and Molech are probably different names for the same god worshiped by the Ammonites which involved child sacrifice.

Baal and Ashtoreth

The chief Canaanite fertility gods, however, were Baal and Ashtoreth. Baal (the son of El) was revered as the god with power over rain, wind, clouds, and therefore over fertility. Ashtoreth was a Semite goddess derived from the Babylonian god Ishtar. As worshiped locally in Canaan, she was the consort of Baal, and supposedly brought fertility to the people who worshiped her.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0970220200&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWhile temples are occasionally mentioned, Canaanite worship often took place in open-air sites at the tops of hills, referred to in the Bible as “high places.” Usually there was a masseba or stone pillar erected as a symbol of the male deity and an asherah representing the female counterpart, some sort of wooden pole or image of the goddess. In front of these was a sacrificial altar.

Cult Prostitution

Craigie and Wilson describe some of the worship:

“Characteristic of Canaanite fertility ritual is the association of male and female ‘holy ones’ (cult prostitutes) with temples and shrines of the fertility deities. By joining in the activities of cultic sexuality, common people could participate in ‘stockpiling’ fertility energy, which ensured the continuing stability of agricultural as well as human and animal productivity. 

Archaeological excavations in Canaanite locations have uncovered temples with chambers where sexual activity took place. Also, many iconographic representations of the fertility goddess with exaggerated sexual features have been discovered. The influence of the fertility cult was widespread; it was combated fiercely in Israel as alien to the covenant faith (e.g. Hosea 1-3)” (P.C. Craigie and G.H. Wilson, ISBE 4:100).

But an even greater danger than the detestable practices of Canaanite religion, were the http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000BVGYSU&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrassumptions that underlay them, which were diametrically opposed to the worship of Yahweh. We need to consider carefully how the worship of the true God differed.

Monotheism

We take monotheism, the worship of one God, for granted. But the Israelites lived in a culture, both in Egypt and now in Canaan, where many gods were worshiped. The First Commandment was clear:

“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). 

The great saying of Israel, the Shema, became its hallmark and identifying feature down through the centuries, even quoted by Jesus (Mark 12:29):

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

The TRUE Christian understanding of the Trinity is also monotheistic. We believe in a tri-unity, “God in three persons.

But Canaanite religion challenged this monotheism, and Israel was constantly tempted to http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002KOIHVI&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrworship additional gods for added “insurance” against bad crops or infertility of herds JUST IMAGINE,HAVING TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH AN ANIMAL TO PRODUCE “FERTILITY” for your herds…that is what these gods demanded of their worshipers.

Idolatry

Another earmark of the worship of Yahweh was that He was invisible.
Paul’s doxology in 1 Timothy 1:17 summarizes this unique understanding of the true God:

“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (KJV).

” Even though various prophets have had visions of God, “No one has ever seen God {IN HIS COMPLETE REVEALED GLORY}, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (John 1:18). 

He lives in glory, glory so unapproachable that Moses could not see God’s face but only his backside (Exodus 33:20-23), and speaking to him left a glow on Moses’ face (Exodus 34:29).
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=056702573X&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThough God is spoken of in various places in Scripture as having human attributes — the hand of God, the arm of the Lord — these are figurative, anthropomorphisms, just as is the reference to him sheltering his people under his wings (Psalm 91:4).

According to Jesus, God is spirit, not flesh (John 4:24) and must be worshiped that way.
The miracle of the Incarnation is that “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Failure to understand the invisibility and immortality of God is serious. In our day, Mormons misunderstand this. They teach that God the Father had a body just like us. Their God is intensely physical.

What does this have to do with idolatry? 

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0955958288&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIdolatry stems from a basic misunderstanding of the immortal and invisible spirit-nature of God. It tries to depict God in a physical way so he can be visualized and worshiped concretely. 

In the Ten Commandments God gave very specific commands against this:

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (Exodus 20:4; KJV).

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness had no physical God in its “Holy of Holies,” only an ark, which represented his throne. The absence of an image on this throne was a telling reminder that the true God transcended a desert tent. Even Solomon, when dedicating the glorious temple in Jerusalem, prayed, “The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27)

The Protestants stripped sanctuaries of any kind of decoration. They KNEW that the Catholic images of the saints had become idols to be worshiped in and of themselves.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0875521983&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrCatholic theologians counter that the Church has always taught that these images are not to be worshiped, but to serve as reminders.

BUT that’s the exact same thing ALL IDOLATERS SAY ABOUT THEIR FALSE WORSHIP!

Nevertheless, there is always the danger that we will try to HARDEN God into an image or icon or statuette which we can venerate.

That is what Israel’s neighbors were doing with their household idols and the statues of their gods at their high places. And this danger of idolatry is always a threat to a true understanding of God. 

“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Tim. 1:17).

Detestable

While we may be “Forgiving and tolerant, the very survival of the people of Israel depended upon them being intolerant of the religions around them. Most of us in the Western world live in pluralistic societies that are governed as a democracy, where the majority rules.

We cannot understand ancient Israel unless we understand it as a completely different kind of nation, a theocracy ruled by a king — God himself (and through human kings who are to rule on God’s behalf). A theocracy cannot tolerate other religions any more than a democracy can tolerate organizations whose aim is the violent overthrow the constituted government. If we http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0802833748&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrtolerate subversives and traitors to our government, we sow the seeds of the destruction of our way of life. Treason against the king in a theocracy is worship of another king or god, and cannot be tolerated.

The Bible refers to these false gods as detestable. God, through Moses, commanded them, “Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy. 20:17-18. See also Genesis 15:16; 2 Kings 21:11; Ezra 9:1; 1 Kings 11:5-7; 1 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 23:13; 2 Chronicles 36:14; Ezra 9:11; Judges 10:6.)

The beliefs and practices of the Canaanites were not only detestable, they also defiled and degraded the people who practiced them { The LAND ITSELF WAS COMPLETELY POLLUTED BY THEIR SEXUAL AND HUMAN SACRIFICE and After a list of sexual sins, God commands the Israelites in Leviticus:

Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways { In incestuous copulations and marriages, in adultery, corporeal and spiritual, and bestiality , God made laws against unnatural lusts, sodomy and bestiality, sins not to be named nor thought of without the utmost abhorrence imaginable, Lev_18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. “
Lev 18:23 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0874415837&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr“Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion”…OF WHAT ? Think about this for a moment,sexual sins with men can lead them to mental confusion by the very “spiritual nature” of sex..so HOW MUCH MORE WITH ANIMALS!”

Other sins level men with the beasts, but these sink them much lower. That there ever should have been occasion for the making of these laws is bad enough, since they were published by God to men that they should ever have been broken is even more disturbing, it is the perpetual reproach and scandal of human nature; and the giving of men up to these vile affections was frequently the punishment of their idolatries; so the apostle shows,
Rom_1:24 

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:” }, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws.”

 

The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0525951369&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you (Leviticus 18:24-28).

These seven nations of the land of Canaan, which God ejected out of their land to make room for the them, and on account of the above shocking common vices which abounded among them; so the land they dwelt upon was defiled by there personal & national sins, even the land called for vengeance on them as Abel’s blood called out to God, as even loathing its inhabitants.

Think about how you would feel as a parent if all your training and loving personal touch were being consistently threatened by an outside source every time you released your children into the hands of their school by “DETESTABLE” teaching about unnatural things TAUGHT AS NORMAL EVERYDAY OCCURRENCE THAT SHOULD BE TOLERATED AND ALLOWED TO HAPPEN AS A NATURAL LOVE BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS. 

How would you feel about that happening to you? 

WELL THAT’S JUST WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO GOD, HIS PLANS ARE BEING CONSTANTLY OVERTHROWN,NOT BY SATAN; BUT BY HIS OWN CHILDREN…CAN http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004J8HU4S&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWE HONESTLY TRY TO CONVINCE OURSELVES THAT GOD HAS NO RIGHT TO BE “JEALOUS” AND POSSESSIVE OF HIS OWN CREATION, JUST AS YOU AS A PARENT ARE OF YOUR CHILDREN?

Idolatry in the Pentateuch: An Innertextual Strategy

 A Vindication of the Doctrine that the Sacrifice of the Mass is Idolatry 

The Baal Conspiracy: An Expose’ of Everyday Idolatry 

The Idolatry of Black America 

At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry Workbook 

A STARTLING TRUTH REVEALED ABOUT IDOL WORSHIP & ITS CONNECTION TO THE QUESTION OF WHY GOD ERADICATED WHOLE PEOPLES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0036FUCZO&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrFor the first 2500 years of human history there is not one record available (and certainly not in the Bible) which shows the use of idols in the form of stones, metals, woods, or any other earthly substance as a means through which humans worshiped the true God in heaven — or even in the worship of false gods!
This fact can be abundantly proved by the Bible and the historical records that have come down to us from antiquity. This proves that FALSE religion CAME LATER and was not a part of God’s original plan. It did not enter into the thoughts of men to worship anyone or thing but God himself.
 
This truth means that for well over a third of recorded human history, no one in civilized society thought it proper to worship divine beings through images made of earthly materials. Such early people would have considered that procedure to be silly and absurd. 
  When it finally occurred, it represented a major departure — actually, a degeneracy — into a form of worship that the earliest people on earth would have found ridiculous and childish! Believe me, this includes those who would have been living in the areas of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, Rome, or Palestine.
This may be difficult to believe but it is a truth that can be absolutely proved from the biblical revelation if one is willing to pay attention to what it teaches. But people are more prone to conveniently overlook (either by accident or design) what the Bible actually says on these matters. This is a sad state of affairs because the Bible is so clear and understandable if people would just pay heed to what it says.
What emerges is this: Pagan idolatry (in which images made of stones, metals, woods, etc., were used) had its origin only about 3500 to 3600 years ago. It developed at a time when almost the entire world went into a wholesale idolatry IN A VERY SHORT TIME. 
The series of historical events that brought about its evolution occurred within a one-hundred to a two-hundred year period. The biblical record shows that hardly anyone in the civilized world used images through which to worship God, and then suddenly the whole world seems to have gone over to the error of using material substances to worship God.
Sacred Cows are SIMPLY cows in the end!
It is time that this historical truth is made known to the general public. 
If people of the present (and those who have lived since the introduction of images and idolatry) could thoroughly understand how the pagan gods originated and how images and idolatry http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000W984QG&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrdeveloped (and how silly the whole thing is), people would have long ago been able to appreciate and comprehend the simple truths of God which He revealed to mankind from the beginning.
Strangely these false teachings, which should have been jettisoned by thinking people years ago, have become firmly entrenched within the very fabric of modern Christianity itself!
The Bible tells us that the move into idolatry was a deliberate attempt on the part of some intelligent people to corrupt the simple teachings of God. 
Paul gives us some facts about the origin of idolatry, and he is very pointed in saying that the people who devised such erroneous beliefs were well aware of their falsity.
 Do you worship the Cross of Christ or Carry your cross?
Romans 1:20–21, 18
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they KNEW GOD, they glorified him not as God … [these were they] who HOLD BACK [original Greek] the truth in unrighteousness.”


http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1140765620&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrPaul goes on to say that mankind’s determined will was to “hold back” the real truth and to change the glory of the incorruptible God into, “corruptible man, birds, fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:23).
There was a definite reason why paganism and idolatry were inaugurated. And though many false teachings began to emerge not long after the Flood of Noah, the use of image/idolatry was something that came on the world scene at a particular time.
That period was just after the death of Joseph (who had ruled as second in command next to Pharaoh in Egypt). By the time of the Exodus from Egypt by the Israelites, idolatry was a prime religious factor in the worship of all deities.

Why Was Idolatry So Wrong?

 

 


The representation of divine beings in image forms, or planting trees in commemoration of divine favors, or making pictures was not wrong in itself! In the time of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph such things were done without the slightest condemnation by God. 
They only became idolatrous when persons reckoned the image itself to have some power from God, or that the image partakes of some kind of “life” or “spirit-essence.” When Jacob set up the first Bethel-stone he did not believe that God entered the stone, which was what the later pagans came to believe.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1171128002&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIt was simply a memorial stone to Jacob. But from the time of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, images of various creatures (human, animal, etc.) were then being acknowledged as containing the efficacy of God himself. This is what made God so angry when Aaron made the calf and presented it before the Israelites as their God who brought them out of Egypt.
“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 32:4). This was a great error and God showed how evil it was in the latter part of the Exodus 32. Even Israelites became idolaters!
This was the main reason that there is a prohibition against making any images of anything in the Ten Commandments. The only exceptions were statues of the two cherubs in the holy of holies and their pictures on the curtains. 
Since these were within the holy place of the Tabernacle (and later the Temple), God allowed these images to continue under the supervision of the priests. But the common people were prevented from making any other images or pictures.
What this shows is that people are prone to turn things that God allows (or even ordains) into illegal and promiscuous uses. This is why God forbade the common people to employ any images, pictures, etc., in the worship of Him. 
They misused what God once allowed!
The same thing happened with the brazen serpent. God actually commanded Moses to construct such an image as a symbol (or as a reminder) of God’s protection from the serpents at that time (Numbers 21:8).
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1596381981&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWithin a few generations (as normally happens with special items connected with religious symbolism), the people turned it into an idol and began to worship it — or to worship God through it. 
The righteous king Hezekiah saw the evil of this Mosaic image (commanded by God himself) and he ordered it destroyed (2 Kings 18:4). Our modern medical profession has adopted the image as a symbol
Frankly, this is perfectly all right as long as it represents a mere symbol (as did Moses’ first caduceus) and not an idolatrous emblem to be worshiped or through which to worship God. If the latter is done, it turns the innocent image into a dangerous idol — as far as the biblical revelation is concerned.
Do you Worship the Alter or Sacrifice Self upon it?
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0916938174&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrAnother example of a righteous ornament being turned into an idolatrous emblem is that of the ephod which was ordained of God to be a part of the High Priest’s official wardrobe (Exodus 28:4, 6). But in the time of the judge Gideon, the Bible says he,
Judges 8:27
 
“… made an ephod, and put it in the city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.”

The fact is, it makes no difference how holy and proper something might be (and even if previously ordained of God himself ), if people misuse the item in a wrong way, the biblical writers would call the thing idolatrous.
 Your Faith must stand out, not blend in!
 And that means anything — even if it included Sabbaths, new moons, and holidays (Galatians 4:10; Colossians 2:16)! Men have sorely mishandled all these things over the centuries, as well as images, caduceuses, ephods, trees, pillars, temples, etc.
With mature Christians, however, any type of image, picture, or once holy artifact is of little http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0758906315&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrworth in the worship of the true God. Paul makes it clear that even idols themselves are nothing (1 Corinthians 8:4; 10:19).
One could even eat meat which had been offered to idols, and even do so within an idol’s temple, and be none the worse off, if one truly believes that such things are mere ornaments and have nothing to do with real religion or Christianity (1 Corinthians 8:4–13). 
If one sees, however, the slightest spiritual influence in an image (be it good or bad), such things should be avoided because they take a person away from a proper relationship with Christ Jesus and the Father in heaven (1 John 5:21).
A survey of the origins of religion shows that great numbers of heroes worshiped as gods and goddesses were at one time individuals who lived on earth, and were deified by later human beings.
Not all of these deified people were evil or especially bad. Many had done great exploits for the benefit of mankind and who were wrongly honored after their deaths by deification. Some were http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B001P81GYK&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifreven the righteous people of the Bible such as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samson, Ruth, and others.
Even many of the rituals and emblems of religious worship which we associate today with outright heathenism were in many cases corrupted forms of solemnities which were once acceptable to God.
What has happened is the fact that people of later times have taken even the good things given to mankind by God and turned them into evil. This has happened with almost everything that one can imagine.
In the early parts of the Bible it was perfectly respectable to call God by the name of Baal WHY?
Because it simply means Lord, Master, or Owner. But the name got so connected with heathen worship that God expressly prohibited even the phonetic use of the name in association with His true worship (Hosea 2:16).
This same thing has happened since the canonization of the New Testament. 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1456548751&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIt was quite common for the false prophets of the New Testament period and later {The Catholic Church} to use the names, the offices, institutions, ceremonies, and personages of New Testament fame and turn them into corrupt and alien forms of Christianity.
 2 Corinthians 11:13–15 

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works.”

It has always been the common custom of the false prophets mentioned in the Bible to use the righteous institutions, ceremonies and offices which ordinary people recognize as being God-ordained, in order to twist their meanings for their own gain. 
This even applies to those who misuse such Old Covenant ceremonies as the seventh-day Sabbath, new moons, and the Mosaic holy days. 
There have been men who have adopted such things into their church for the purpose of ruling and dominating people. If this is done for wrong reasons, the Bible shows that God would be displeased.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0937422401&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIt is taking something that God gave to ancient Israel as a blessing and turning it into a curse for people to live under today. God destroyed the holy Temple in Jerusalem (the holiest physical structure on earth at the time) — and He did it twice! Jeremiah warned people about trusting in physical things wrongly (Jeremiah 7:4–16). 
This is idolatry!
Even people who claim to walk with Christ and have many charismatic gifts are not immune to corrupting the simple teachings of Christ. Because people look good and righteous on the surface is no standard by which to judge the issues regarding pure and undefiled religion. 
We live in EXTREME DAYS, and we CANNOT EVER lose sight of that;or we all lose out!
 Matthew 7:21–23

“Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity [lawlessness].”

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004NIFVKY&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThe law that should now govern all Christians is that of love —And not to follow AS LAW, the law of Moses or the rituals of the Old Covenant,or any RITUALS from any church (Romans 13:8, 10). 
We should now be ruled by the law of faith by which we should see and practice these things (Romans 3:27), and having the fruits of God’s Spirit actively in our lives (Galatians 5:22–23), “against such there is no law.” 
In truth, no law is against those fruits — this means that the principles of love, joy, faith, peace, patience, etc., are the laws for Christians today!

BUT LET ME BE VERY CLEAR HERE :

If some OF US wish to keep the Old Covenant rituals as Jewish Christians DO,THIS IS PERFECTLY FINE AND WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM as it adds to our MUTUAL HERITAGE AS BELIEVER’S IN YESHUA, as long as people realize that there is not one ounce of salvation in any ritual or ceremony (Ephesians 2:8). 
A person could keep every day mentioned in the Old Testament if one wants (and Jewish Christians normally wish to do this — and it is perfectly all right), but even in doing this there should be certain modifications to account for later Christian teaching. 
For example, it would not be Christian to fast on the Day of Atonement, since it is made clear that Christ has forgiven us of all our sins and it would be wrong to recall them every year by fasting on the Day of Atonement. This is even testified in the Old Testament itself.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004MPROBM&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIn Zechariah 8:19 God said the period of the Messianic age will cause all the official fast days (including the Day of Atonement in the seventh month) to be cheerful days of joy and feasting, NOT FASTING!
However, the use of images, rituals, holy days, and other physical ceremonies have always been acceptable to God as long as such things are not turned into idolatrous actions —or misused to enslave people or to MISLEAD PEOPLE TO BELIEVE WHAT IS NO LONGER TRUE, it should be obvious to all who is guilty of doing this in the religions of the day.

This is where ALL RELIGION GOES WRONG!

They first worshiped idols and second they worshiped days and customs! Both of these practices enslaved men. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
The truth is, many of the men and women that later pagans deified, or rituals and symbols that God once allowed, have been turned into false deities or idolatrous institutions.
If one had the ingenuity to strip away all the nonsensical additions that have been attached to some of the early teachings, it might be possible to discover many truths of early mankind and to see that God has never let any of the human race to be utterly destitute of His divine truths.
It is hoped that some of these truths may one day be discovered within the records. 
The key, however, to interpreting all data, both of a historical or religious nature, is the Holy Bible.
It is the only vehicle by which all teachings (both ancient and modern) can be properly judged. But even here, one must be careful because over the centuries men have even turned the pure teachings and artifacts of God into idolatrous things.
The Christian, however, should hardly have trouble with any of these matters provided that the principles of love (and the fruits of the Holy Spirit) are firmly placed in his or her life. 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1171155328&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrThe apostle who emphasized that essential principle of love was John. After devoting almost all of his epistle called First John to the subject of love, he closed with a solemn appeal:
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols!” (1 John 5:21).
Such things happen with all of us. It is the nature of us humans to supplement stories with ideas that originate with ourselves. In most cases it is not an attempt to deceive deliberately. It occurs simply because we want to make the accounts more interesting. 

Part 5 – Skeptical Questioning of The Skeptical Mind!!

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0310287294&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrHow can those who have never heard about Christ and what he did ever be saved?  

REMEMBER its not that Atheists CARE about those who haven’t heard they don’t, this question is one of many distracting questions THEY THINK CAN’T BE ANSWERED.

Such a question can be raised only by those who have heard about Jesus Christ. So none of us belongs to the category of those who never heard about him. 
Therefore posing this question can be either a way of justifying one’s adherence to atheism or to other religions (since the answer is not easy at all), or the way of expressing a genuine interest for understanding how one’s Christian faith can be reconciled with the claims of other religions.
Whatever the case might be, finding a proper answer to this question is important.
This answer may not be a complete answer to this question, but I hope it will begin to REVEAL how much God loves the world http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0849948169&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrDESPITE the fact his church sometimes does not EXPRESS HIS LOVE AS COMMANDED!
Romans 10:13-14 (KJV)
” For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Two extremes must be avoided when addressing the salvation of those who have never heard about Christ. 
First, if humans can be saved only after hearing about him, the multitudes which never had this chance during their lifetime would necessarily be damned to eternal suffering in hell.
THIS is the position of the HYPOCRITICAL FALSE FAITH’S WHO DO NOT LOVE ANYONE WHO DOES NOT CONFORM TO THEIR FORM OF RELIGION.
It is obvious that such a cruelty would not be consistent with his love for us, which sent Christ to die on the cross for our sins.
If God is all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful, he must have a solution for those who have never heard about his final revelation in Jesus Christ.

Ecc 3:11
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time”:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1879159821&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifralso he hath set the world ( properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always: – always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting,more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

He hath made all (the travail, Ecc_3:10) beautiful (fit, in harmony with the whole work of God) in its time; also He hath set eternity in their heart (i. e., the heart of the sons of men, Ecc_3:10).

The word, translated “world” in the text, and “eternity” in this note, is used seven times in Ecclesiastes.

The interpretation “eternity,” is conceived in the sense of a long indefinite period of time.
God has placed in the inborn constitution of man the capability of conceiving of eternity, the struggle to apprehend the everlasting, the longing after an eternal life.

Second,
if all other religions were valid ways to God, the Christian claim that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the only possibility for human salvation should be rejected. 
If humans could have worked out their salvation by carefully following any available known religion, God shouldn’t have allowed the crucifixion of Christ to happen, for it was unnecessary.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0785271805&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrChristianity would have been a mere extra alternative to reach God to those already existing, and Jesus only one religious teacher among others.

John 14:6 (KJV)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ” 
So if we are believers in Jesus,we must accept what Jesus said as TRUTH OR REJECT HIM OUTRIGHT!

Is it possible that only those who have heard about Christ can be saved?

Or is salvation also available for those who haven’t heard about him?

What happens to those who haven’t heard the gospel when they die?

Do the unevangelized go to hell?

Can God be considered loving and just if He fails to provide large numbers of people with an opportunity for salvation through Jesus Christ?

If the unevangelized have an opportunity for salvation, how is it made available to them?

Differing viewpoints on the eternal destiny of the unevangelized


1. Restrictivism (also called Particularism or Ecclesiocentrism):
tragically, all the unevangelized are damned.

2. Universalism: everyone, including the unevangelized will be saved.

3. Religious instrumentalism:
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B001U8859Y&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrnon-Christian religions have a positive saving potential similar to Judaism in the Old Testament

4. Universal evangelization: God ensures the gospel will somehow get to those who are searching

5. Universal opportunity at moment of death.

6. The “If” theory:
God will save those who would have accepted Christ if they had heard about Him.

7. Postmortem evangelization:
people can hear about Christ and accept him after they die.

8. Wider hope (called Inclusivism by some writers):
salvation is possible apart from evangelization.

The un-evangelized are saved or lost on the basis of their following what light they have within them, we are ALL BORN with the commands of God in our innermost being. 

This is why we gravitate toward LAWFUL actions, and Civilized Society, where else do the desires to do right OR WRONG come from? 

Consciousness IS NOT OF NATURAL origin, it is of spiritual dimensions.


God never intended anyone to be out of fellowship with Him. Heaven was intended to be man’s destination, while earth was his proving ground. The thing Atheists are not willing to admit to is just what happened – MAN FAILED HIS TEST AT RULING THIS WORLD to a low life fallen Angel who thought God wouldn’t be able to recover his greatest Love – MANKIND!



It was ‘humanism’ that failed to impress because in the face of the supernatural we bowed, but not to its HIGHEST CREATOR but to a lowly ‘Archangel Megalomaniac’ who couldn’t keep his first estate. Satan’s Failure became Man’s failure, but UNLIKE Satan we can escape our final end through Obedience to God’s plan, because we are God’s HIGHEST CREATION.
God is holy and loving and wants everyone to repent (Exod. 34:6-7; Jonah 4:10-11; 2 Peter 3:9).

Though He is a just and righteous God AND WILL PUNISH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, He’ s also a loving God, who simply desires true repentance in order to free us from our failure. 
Romans 1:18-32 (KJV)
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1878555006&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.
Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B002LITSL6&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifranother; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. “

God’s nature prevents Him from being unfair.
The Bible teaches that God judges fairly
(Gen. 18:25; Psalm 7:11, 9:18; 1 Peter 1:17).
In His infinite justice, He will be much fairer than we with our limited understanding of justice could possibly be.

Man is not in total ignorance or spiritual darkness concerning his knowledge about God.
The Bible clearly teaches that man has an awareness both of God and of eternity
(Psalm 19:1-4; Eccl. 3:11; John 1:9; Acts 14:15-17;Rom 2:15). 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0788002937&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrIt was the Roman sage Seneca who said, “God is near you, is with you. A sacred Spirit dwells within us, the Observer and Guardian of all our evil and all our good.
There is no good man without God.” 
[Quoted in J. Oswald Sanders,
How Lost Are the Heathen?
(Chicago: Moody, 1972), 53.]

We all are BORN with a “God sized hole” in our souls that we ATTEMPT to fill with what we think is that “Missing Piece.”

However, this God-consciousness is not enough it is the shadow of the real thing meant only to remind us of that which we must follow.

Man must have more information than this in order to be saved.

The Christian message is in jeopardy at either extreme. 
If God-consciousness were sufficient for salvation, then the Bible’s revelation is unnecessary.
This is wrong because the Bible places such an importance in bringing the message of Jesus Christ to those who have not heard (Rom. 10:14).
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=080103308X&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrBut if the Bible is the only way a person can be saved, then we are back to our initial question about those who haven’t heard. 
God will provide the necessary information to those who seek Him.
God rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
He will give anyone who earnestly seeks Him enough information to make a decision (1 Chron. 15:2; Psalm 9:10; Prov. 8:17; Jer. 29:13; Acts 8:30-31). 
God sent Peter to a Roman official named Cornelius to tell him about Jesus (Acts 10). 
It is also possible that God may work faith in a person’s heart so that, like Job, he may say, “I know that my Redeemer lives,”  without knowing the identity of the Redeemer. 
The responsibility for a decision concerning this information belongs to each one of us.
We are ultimately responsible for the course we choose.
No one can make the decision for us. As C.W. Hale Amos wrote, “From what we know, http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0814629482&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrrespecting the terms of salvation, we are led irresistibly to the conclusion that no man can perish except by his own fault and deliberate choice.” [Ibid., 54.]

I have heard many stories of people coming to faith in Christ as the result of a dream or vision where He appears to them, inviting them to trust in Him. 
This is particularly happening in the Muslim world.
Many people instantly know it’s the Lord Jesus when He appears to them, but some do not. 
In some dreams and visions, He tells them who He is, and in others He does not—He just loves them and calls them to come to Him.
After the dream/vision, the Lord provides someone to identify Him as they continue to seek Him. (We see something similar in the story of Cornelius in Acts 10.)

People are putting their trust in Christ, but some don’t know anything more about Him than that He is God, He loves them and He invites them to trust in Him. 
Two recurrent invitations continue to appear in the dreams and visions we are hearing about:
1)
“I am the way, the truth and the life,” 
and 2)
“You belong to Me.” 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B0006Q93ZG&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrAs people are then able to get a copy of the Bible or talk to a Christian, their knowledge of Christ, the Cross, and the Christian life grows, as well as their faith and their understanding of who Jesus is and what He did.

So what that means is that if a person has never heard of Jesus through the preaching of the gospel, that is no obstacle for God. He can, and testimony shows that He does, appear directly to—and call a person to—have faith in Him.

A classic example of how people belonging to cultures foreign to the Judeo-Christian world can still have a revelation of God and meet him is the Magi from the east mentioned in Matthew 2,1-12.
Despite the fact that they were astrologers and probably believed that human destiny is shaped by the stars, which is contrary to biblical teaching, they were still granted a special revelation from God regarding his intervention to save humankind from sin.
They worshiped Jesus as king of the Jews and brought him gifts worthy of a king. Their coming to Bethlehem was obviously not customary. 
It was not a rule for the Magi to worship a new king born in Judea. Their visit was rather a surprise for all, and a serious reason for Herod to feel his throne threatened. 
This example shows that God can use unorthodox methods to reveal himself to those who are completely foreign to his revelation in the Bible.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1430300485&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrHe has sufficient means to do it all over the earth. Again we can notice that the most important factor in defining faith is human response to his revelation. 
The Magi could have ignored the Bethlehem star.
However, their journey proves their faith and this faith brings them to worship the true God.

The problem of humanity has never been the lack of revelation, but rather pride and the refusal of grace.

People do not respond to the amount of revelation they already have; they know what to do, but refuse to do it.
Most of Jesus’ contemporaries rejected him because they refused to believe despite all fulfilled prophecies, miracles, healings and even despite his resurrection. 
The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16,19-31) is extremely relevant here.
People are given everything they need in order to be saved, but if they refuse the available revelation, they are fully responsible for it and cannot be justified at God’s judgment.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0060730668&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrGod will and does go FAR out of his way to reconcile the world to himself,through the WITNESS of MEN,all of CREATION,the STARS ABOVE,DREAMS,VISIONS,EVEN GRACE REVEALLED IN DIFFERENT FALSE RELIGIONS AROUND THE WORLD!
There have been many spiritual masters who recognized the necessity of grace and the impossibility of attaining salvation by one’s own efforts. 
Ramanuja and Madhva are brilliant examples in the Hindu tradition, as is Shantideva in Mahayana Buddhism.
The spiritual trend called prapatti in Hinduism and the Pure Land school of Buddhism focus on grace as the only solution for attaining liberation. 
According to them, the whole merit for being saved belongs to the god (in Hinduism) or bodhisattva (in Buddhism) they worship.
There are also many cases of tribal religions in which grace plays a key role in salvation. 
The God who reveals himself in the Bible knows one’s inner attitude and motivation for performing certain religious duties.
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1177672448&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrAny efforts which aim at self-justification are of no value, no matter how impressive they might be.
The proper attitude is one of humility and openness towards God’s grace, which he offers unconditionally.
We have observed this attitude in the prapatti devotional trend of Hinduism, which demands giving up the control of one’s personal life to the god Vishnu and leaving to him all responsibility for attaining salvation. 
The follower of this trend has to acknowledge that he is not good enough to attain liberation by performing rituals and moral obligations.
The whole prapatti philosophy can be summarized in the following verse, written by Vedanta Deshika, a 14th century follower of Ramanuja:

“Lord, I, who am nothing, conform to your will and desist being contrary to it, and with faith and prayer, submit to you the burden of saving my soul” (Nyasadashaka 2).
This is PURE REVELATION FROM THE GOD OF THE BIBLE to those who HAVE not heard as yet the TRUE GOSPEL of Jesus,What would be the result of a missionary finally reaching these people with the REST of the revelation?
It must also be remembered that God is UNWILLING for ANYONE to perish, so he will go to GREAT length’s to lead the world to himself WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF HIS REVEALED WORD TO THE WORLD-HIS PERFECT WILL!

The same is the case with the Pure Land School of Mahayana Buddhism, which flourished in Japan. 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004FGLS0G&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrAccording to its doctrine, the bodhisattva Amida (the Buddha of Infinite Light) is able to save even the most despised sinner by his grace (tariki). 
Heaven (Amida’s Pure Land) can be reached only by his grace, not by human efforts such as meditation or performing good deeds.
Such spiritual trends in other religions prove that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world, convincing people of their sin and limitations and turning their hearts toward God’s grace.
According to the character displayed by the God of the Bible, we can expect that he will save such people, by the grace available for all in Jesus Christ. 
They will be saved not through their native religions, but despite them, not because they didn’t hear about Christ, but despite the fact that they didn’t hear about him, as a reward for their humility and recognition of the need for grace. 

In other words, it is not Vishnu or Amida who saves them, but Christ through his grace, as a result of their need for grace expressed towards Vishnu or Amida.

Whether there are many or few people in this category we cannot know. 

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1591566355&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrGod revealed himself through his GRACE to Martin Luthor WHILE he was in BONDAGE TO WORKS in the Catholic faith,so nothing is IMPOSSIBLE TO HIM!

If people can be saved without hearing about Christ, does it mean that Christian missions are futile?
By no means.
There are two important reasons for Christian missions in the world.

First,

Jesus himself commanded it (Matthew 28,18-20). He is the final revelation of God and his message of salvation has to be proclaimed “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1,8).
That people can be saved without hearing about Christ is only a temporary solution, which operates only until his message will reach all people.

Second,

all people should share the fullness and blessings of the Christian life, not only in eternity, but also during this present earthly life. 
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=theope-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1594483493&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrJesus came to redeem our earthly life as well, so that we could start to experience his love now, in a personal relationship with him and also in the Christian community. 
If the salvation of tribes living in remote areas depended entirely on missionaries’ preaching, a lot of people would suffer eternal damnation in hell only because Christian missionaries didn’t manage to reach their part of the world in time.
In many cases the disobedience of Christians to go into remote parts of the world would be responsible for that.
Even worse is the case of missionaries that have reached remote parts of the world but didn’t preach the “right” Jesus.
Remember how the New World was colonized. 
Christian missions have not always been inspired by love but by forced venues.
They haven’t always preached the message of love, but one of greed and hypocrisy. Therefore, God could not condemn people to hell only because his so-called followers perverted his message. This wouldn’t be at all consistent with God’s perfect justice and love for the lost.
God didn’t leave the world without a proper testimony about himself (Acts 14,17) and doesn’t condemn anybody without first revealing his grace.
Although this article may not offer an acceptable answer to the question in the title, nobody’s salvation depends on how convincing such an answer could be.

Rejecting it (by those who have heard about him) cannot be justified by the lack of intellectual satisfaction one gets from polemical debates.

The real question I have to now ask is
“Do you know about Jesus and if you do, are you USING QUESTIONS to try and REFUTE in your own conscience that nagging conviction of your personal sin before God..

THE BALL’S IN YOUR COURT NOW,WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH IT?