Do they know God?

World missions discussion scenarios

Four scenarios developed by "Theology of Missions" class members.

These were used within small groups in the classroom.

These scenarios were written to provoke discussion. The students did not write them in order to push a particular point of view.

The material in Don Richardson's Eternity in their hearts will aid reflection on these scenarios.

Scenario #1

Marty Muslim has lived in Turkey all his life. He has grown up in the Muslim faith. Marty has lived a decent, moral life. Because Jesus is mentioned in the Qur'an, Marty has at least heard of Him. Like other Muslims, however, Marty rejects any belief in the deity of Jesus. One day Marty Muslim gets trampled by a herd of camels and dies.

Is there a chance Marty might have a saving relationship with God even though he hasn't definitively accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior? Why or why not?

Scenario #2

Tommy Tribal is a holy man in a tribal group that has had virtually no contact with the "civilized" world. Tommy and his people worship a high god as creator and Lord although they do believe in spirits that interact with them on a daily basis. They have a moral code and attempt to follow it. Many things about their god are similar to the God revealed in the Bible, but Tommy and his people know nothing about Jesus.

Could it be said that Tommy Tribal and his people know God? Or, do they go to Hell given that no one has told them about Jesus? Why or why not?

Scenario #3

Carl Crusader lived during the Crusades in the 1200s. He had proclaimed his faith in Jesus and had said that Jesus was the Lord of his life. Carl went on one of the Crusades where he and his fellow Christian soldiers killed Muslims because they believed it was the Christian thing to do.

Does Carl Crusader really know God? Why or why not?

Scenario #4

Atheist Amy grew up in a family that does not believe in God. Amy's parents have made sure that their views were passed on to her. Amy has lived a good life. Sometimes, she wonders what the difference is between her and her Christian friends since she acts just like they do (at times even better than they do!). Amy does believe that Jesus may have been some kind of prophet (even if the Christian claim that He was divine is beyond what she can accept). Amy and her family try to follow many of Jesus' teachings.

Could it be said that Amy knows God since she knows about Jesus and even follows His moral teachings? Why or why not?

Are the unevangelized heathen lost? Answers to an oft-asked question

NextWhat is the biblical position on the fate of those who die never having heard anyone speak or preach about Jesus Christ? [ more ]

    -- Howard Culbertson,

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