Dick asked: So what would be your assumption for men with souls who lived for
a hundred thousand years before Adam, thumb up or thumb down?
I answered: The same as my assumption for all the billions of men who have
never heard of God's means for our salvation who have lived in the thousands
of years since Adam, Christ will judge them based upon their works and their
Dick responded: We are saved by grace not judged by works, but I bet you knew
Of course I did, Dick. I was not referring to the basis by which "we" will be
judged. I was clearly referring to the basis by which those who have never
heard the gospel message will be judged. They will not be judged by their
faith, for as Paul wrote to the Romans, "How can they believe in the one of
whom they have not heard? ... Consequently, faith comes from hearing the
message." (Rom. 10:14,17)
However, as Christians we should keep in mind that the way in which our faith
may be judged will also have a lot to do with our works. For, as James wrote,
"Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." A saving
faith is more than merely a strong belief in God and Christ. For as James
also wrote, "Even the demons believe - and tremble." (James 2:17,19) Yes, we
will be judged by our faith. But a real live faith produces good works, as
surely as a real fire produces heat.
Of course, no amount of good works can possibly earn us God's forgiveness for
our sins. When it comes to the value of good works being able to buy us God's
forgiveness for our sins, "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags."
(Isaiah 64:6) Nevertheless, Jesus clearly indicated that He will judge the
reality and the quality of our faith by the good works it produces. Christ
said He will one day separate all those who call Him "Lord," just as a
shepherd separates sheep from goats. And Christ said He will then determine
who among those who call Him their "Lord" will receive "eternal life," and
who among them will receive "eternal punishment," based on the acts of
kindness they had shown to others. Jesus made this quite clear. (Matt.
I believe God made Christ's story of "the sheep and the goats" and James'
letter on faith and works a part of the Bible for an important reason. I
think we ignore them at our peril.
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