Unbelievers only judged for unbelief?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by thistle93, Jan 8, 2015.

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  1. thistle93

    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-
  2. arapahoepark

    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?
  3. KeithW

    KeithW Puritan Board Freshman

    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.

    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.
  4. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

  5. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    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.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  6. JOwen

    JOwen Puritan Board Junior

    It is original sin, and not unbelief that objectively sends people to hell.

    WSC Q & A 19,

  7. KeithW

    KeithW Puritan Board Freshman

    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.

    We start in a state of condemnation. Only believing in the name of Jesus Christ removes that condemnation.

    This seems to be independent of the other "books" mentioned earlier in that chapter where individual acts are being judged.
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