In the prior post I mentioned how Ben, an international student in Chicago, voiced the “lottery objection” to faith in Jesus.
To summarize: Picking the right religious beliefs out of the thousands available is like winning the lottery. There’s a lot of luck involved. Either God should make “right belief” more obvious to humanity or he shouldn’t hold anyone accountable for getting it wrong. This whole system makes God appear random and unfair.
What I said in return: The Bible teaches that God’s existence is made plain through nature and conscience (Romans 1 and 2). That’s step one in finding true belief.
Secondly, every person is held accountable by God for the amount of light they’ve been given. This is a stewardship issue: How have you stewarded the information given you about God and his Son, Jesus Christ?
Exactly what this means for salvation, I don’t know. God is wise and just. He judges according to his infinite wisdom. Scripture teaches that no one is saved outside the work of Jesus Christ. But can a person be saved by Christ without knowing Christ personally?
It seems Abraham, Moses and David were all saved without knowing Christ personally. So yes, it’s at least possible.
Back to the crucial question, then, for Ben: For any given person, how have they stewarded the portion of “gospel light” they’ve been given?
To whom much is given, much is required.
But for those given less: If you’ve humbled yourself before the creator, asked further questions, allowed your heart to open to greater things . . . this is certainly headed in the right direction.
The Bible says, “Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
We leave the true seeker, who perhaps never even heard of Jesus Christ in their lifetime, in the hands of a loving and just God. Trust in his character is our final assurance and hope.
May I suggest a more thorough treatment of this subject in my Faith is Like Skydiving, ch. 10.