How do the islanders determine which of these individuals has the true gospel?

  • ROBERT June 8, 2013 at 5:54 am
    Jason et al,
    One of the major problems with your analogy is its limited, if not impossible, applicability to contexts where the gospel has not been heard. Eric’s point alludes to it a bit (though I don’t know if that was intentional).
    For example:
    There is an island in the middle of the Pacific ocean where the people are fully literate but the gospel has never been proclaimed.
    A Roman Catholic missionary, Eastern Orthodox monk, Presbyterian evangelist, Mormon missionary, Witness from the Watchtower Bible and Tract society, sedevancanist Roman Catholic, liberal Protestant well-builder, and Benny Hinn come to the island.
    Because all these groups have some sort of allegiance, professed or real, to the Bible, the islanders come to believe that the Bible is revelation from God.
    After hearing from all of them for a few months, they realize that these different individuals are all teaching things that are very, very different while all of them claim to be Christian.
    How do the islanders determine which of these individuals has the true gospel?

    Several ways Robert.
    1st. It is by the grace of God that anyone comes to the Father through Christ. Participating in the Divine life of God is the foundation for salvation.
    Philippians 2:11-13
    King James Version (KJV)
    11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    2nd. They compare the preaching to the Bible. For instance, Sola Scriptura. They can look for it in the Bible and notice that it contradicts Scripture.

    Faith alone and all the rest of the alones as well, are either absent from Scripture or contradict Scripture.

    3rd. Some will be brought into the faith by their parents.

    Perhaps this will help you understand how people come to believe in the Gospel:
    Mark 4
    King James Version (KJV)
    4 And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. 2 And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14 The sower soweth the word.
    15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

    Sincerely,

    De Maria

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2 comments

  1. Mark T.

    I think also, that the islanders would have noticed the strong, if not near identical teachings of the sedes, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholics. By eliminating the most obvious, one could work their way from there.

    I need to address Russell sometime in the future over at your other blog. He obviously never read my posting all the way through because he ignored 90% of the content and continued to insist on his single Bible passage as prove instead of reading the whole epistle in context. Funny he talks about Catholics using circular reasoning but he is the one running circles around answering my questions directly.

    God Bless

    Liked by 2 people

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