Unbelievers only judged for unbelief?

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thistle93

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi I occasionally hear from non-reformed people that unbelievers will only judged by God for their unbelief and that is what what sends them to hell. I believe this is becasue they think Jesus paid for all the sins of the world (except unbelief). Ironically I think they reverse John Owen's "double punishment" argument. Whereas John Owen said "definite atonement" must be becasue God does not punish sin twice, the non-reformed use this argument backwards to promote "universal atonement", making the only sin of judgment that of "unbelief". While I disagree with "universal atonement" I guess at least they are being consistent becasue this seems to be the only option for those who would deny "definite atonement".
Big problem I have with this line of argument is I find it no where in Scripture that only unbelief is the sin of judgment for unbelievers. Someone please help me if I am wrong. I know their is the "unpardonable sin" which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit which many take as unbelief but I do not think that excludes other sins of unbelievers from being taken into account for judgment. Thoughts?


For His Glory-
Matthew
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Arminianism to some degree is dispensational in thought. See this: Riddleblog - The Latest Post - The Canons of Dort, Second Head of Doctrine, Refutation of Errors, Article Four

That line of argument gets rid of the idea of original sin, imputed sin and not to mention the sins of the individual (particularly the unbeliever.) It is similar to the idea that Jesus didn't die for the sin of unbelief. If he didn't then former atheists, let alone most people, would be screwed. They believed after a period of unbelief. So all their sins are washed away but that of their former unbelief? Then how is that atoned for?
 

KeithW

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi I occasionally hear from non-reformed people that unbelievers will only judged by God for their unbelief and that is what what sends them to hell.
If they are saying unbelief in Jesus Christ is sufficient to condemn people to hell then this also is (or at least used to be) the reformed position. Older reformed confessions even explain this with regards to original sin.

1530 - Augsburg Confession (Lutheran Church) said:
"...since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, ...and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again..."
1618 - The Canons of Dordt (Reformed Church) said:
"Man brought forth children of the same nature as himself after the fall. That is to say, being corrupt he brought forth corrupt children. The corruption spread, by God's just judgment, from Adam to all his descendants – except for Christ alone – not by way of imitation (as in former times the Pelagians would have it) but by way of the propagation of his perverted nature."

"Therefore, all people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good, inclined to evil, dead in their sins, and slaves to sin;..."

"... original sin in itself is enough to condemn the whole human race..."
1618 - Belgic Confession (Reformed Church) said:
"... by the disobedience of Adam original sin has been spread through the whole human race."

"It is a corruption of all nature-- an inherited depravity which even infects small infants in their mother's womb, and the root which produces in man every sort of sin. It is therefore so vile and enormous in God's sight that it is enough to condemn the human race,..."
But this seems to not be a popular viewpoint any more. Churches constantly try to teach that only once you have personally broken God's law then are you held accountable. So even the tiniest sin is so vile in God's eyes that it is enough to condemn you in hell for eternity. This is an attempt to promote man's responsibility at the expense of teaching that original sin is sufficient to condemn all men.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Hi I occasionally hear from non-reformed people that unbelievers will only judged by God for their unbelief and that is what what sends them to hell. I believe this is becasue they think Jesus paid for all the sins of the world (except unbelief). Ironically I think they reverse John Owen's "double punishment" argument. Whereas John Owen said "definite atonement" must be becasue God does not punish sin twice, the non-reformed use this argument backwards to promote "universal atonement", making the only sin of judgment that of "unbelief". While I disagree with "universal atonement" I guess at least they are being consistent becasue this seems to be the only option for those who would deny "definite atonement".
Big problem I have with this line of argument is I find it no where in Scripture that only unbelief is the sin of judgment for unbelievers. Someone please help me if I am wrong. I know their is the "unpardonable sin" which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit which many take as unbelief but I do not think that excludes other sins of unbelievers from being taken into account for judgment. Thoughts?


For His Glory-
Matthew
The imputation of Adam's sin is as biblical as the imputation of Our Lord's righteousness and all of mankind's works shall be judged to see if the person gets a reward or extra stripes.

One is sent to hell because of Adam, and one is sent to heaven because of Jesus, and the degree of judgment in hell or reward in heaven is done by the person who is sent.
 
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JOwen

Puritan Board Junior
Hi I occasionally hear from non-reformed people that unbelievers will only judged by God for their unbelief and that is what what sends them to hell. Thoughts?
It is original sin, and not unbelief that objectively sends people to hell.

WSC Q & A 19,

Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.
 

KeithW

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi I occasionally hear from non-reformed people that unbelievers will only judged by God for their unbelief and that is what what sends them to hell.
I have the opposite story. I started Christianity in non-Reformed churches. I read Reformed/Baptist authors and had friends who believe in the doctrines of Grace. But I had never heard that unbelief, being unsaved, was sufficient to condemn us to hell -- at least in the way the reformed confessions explain it. I only knew it as: saved means going to heaven, unsaved means going to hell. I didn't even hear it from the Reformed church I started going to. It was not until I started trying to work out the extent of what the federal headship of Adam might mean that I worked out that the sinful nature is propogated and that nature is enough to condemn us to hell. It was only last year that I looked up original sin in all of the reformed confessions and learned this doctrine was orthodox.

There are two verses I know of which lend to the idea of unbelief being sufficient to condemn to hell.

KJV said:
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)
We start in a state of condemnation. Only believing in the name of Jesus Christ removes that condemnation.

KJV said:
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:15)
This seems to be independent of the other "books" mentioned earlier in that chapter where individual acts are being judged.
 
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