If people are worshipping the “wrong” god, why can’t God forgive them for being misled?
“Why can’t God understand other religions and forgive them for being misled?”
If God forgives sin, why does he not just forgive the “sin” of being deceived about not having faith in Him?
Why would sincere people who just made a mistake about religion be denied to spend eternity with God?
The first thing I can tell you is that God is not impulsive , changeable or unpredictable,by just forgiving some and denying forgiveness to others. In fact, God desires for all people to experience forgiveness for sins and spend eternity with Him. He says, 2 Peter 3:9-10,159 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. (His promise is to come to fetch us)No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.……15 And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him But God isn’t simply “forgiving.” He is complex and has many other characteristics that mean he can’t simply “ignore” sin. Sin has consequences.But why is it faith in Christ’s forgiveness so crucial? Why can’t God just “overlook” sin. Lets look at some of the reasons:
1) God is Holy. He cannot tolerate sin of any kind. So everyone has a problem, not just some of us, because we are all sinful.2) God is just. A just God cannot just look the other way when we do evil, like a loving grandfather. If God is to be just, all sin must be dealt with. In the same way a judge who lets criminals off with no penalty is not a good and justjudge; a God who wink at evil is not just.3) God is merciful. God’s justice is not all that He is. His love of mercy means he desires a way for sin to be punished without people bearing the full penalty. His mercy provided a substitute to bear the penalty of sin; Jesus.4) God is love. God loved his creation, people, so much that he was willing to suffer the penalty for our sin himself. He willingly substituted himself in our place, paying for our sin, so that he could demonstrate his mercy and love to us and still remain just and holy. In my view, this is the only way God can be just, merciful, Holy and loving all at the same time.So, if one believes in “other religions” why can’t God apply the sacrifice made by Jesus to them or for that matter to everyone? The reason is simple , He did sacrifice Jesus for everyone , but you must receive that gift, it is your choice . Jesus made clear that the only way to receive this gift of forgiveness of sin was to believe in Him. John 14:66 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.But why is this faith response so critical? Why can’t Jesus’ death and resurrection be applied to all who are sincere?To me, the answer lies in understanding God’s purpose in creating people in the first place. He could have made more angels who would automatically love him. But he made people, and made them in his image. Part of that image, in my mind, is that we share in some way God’s power to choose. He created all of mankind with the power to choose to love him, or to choose not to. Mankind can choose to do as God desires, or do as we want.
You get soft toys for children like a teddy bear that speak when you squeeze its paw , you can then ask it a question, and pause for a response. It will say, “What’s your favourite colour?” and after a audible response it would reply, “That’s my favourite too.” Randomly the bear will say, “I love you” and “You’re my best friend.” The bear’sresponse would be answers that one would normally find in a genuine relationship, but it isn’t a genuine relationship. The bear doesn’t really love; it just says that because the answers have been hard-wired onto the memory chip inside. It will say the same thing for anyone and everyone. God could have made people as ‘hard-wired’ animatronic beings who love without choice. But that wouldn’t be genuine love,the love that one chooses to give.So the choice we have is that we can choose to love God or choose not to love Him. Some choose not to love Him and God is hurt when we choose not to love Him. That option is what makes the action meaningful. It’s not required, but it does have eternal consequences.And the consequences are that we are responsible for how we respond to God’s offer of forgiveness, based on the evidence he gave us. Romans 1:18-20 says, 18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.(Or who, by their wickedness, prevent the truth from being known.) 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.So God’s justice is perfect, no one can have an excuse by sayng “I did not know” because all people have evidence of God’s divine attributes. They know their sin, and God’s divinity and power. So if they sincerely want to follow the right path, they must follow the path withthe evidence God has given them to follow. And that path requires the need for a saviour, and it leads to Jesus. In that way, it’s clear that not all path’s are equal, and sincerity does not necessary lead to that path either.So doing good and being sincere will not get you on that path. “You can be sincere but you can be sincerely wrong”We all deserve to be separated from God because of our sin. The only way to deal with sin is for someone to pay the penalty for it.Only Jesus, God incarnate, can be the substitute for sin. To reject Jesus’ offer and follow a path of trying to be “good or sincere enough” is in most cases the problem.
Sometimes the narrow path that leads to God is hard to understand. God longs to see all people in heaven. The reason the path is narrow is because the problem of our sin is so overwhelmingly difficult to overcome given the nature of God.God’s wish is for all to find the path, that is why He is patient, tolerant and enduring. We read in: 2 Peter3:9He does not want anyone to be destroyed,Only his substitution for us could open the only path to him. Jesus would not have endured the cross if it were not necessary. But having done so, he offers us full forgiveness and welcomes us to know him and his love for us.There is another side to this problem and that is completely up to God on judgement day at the great white throne.God can still even at that late stage show mercy and compassion to anyone He wants to Romans 9:15For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”So what is the final conclusion If people are worshipping the “wrong” god but we see that they are good, loving caring and sincere in spite of their religion not being the Christian path to God.God in all His wisdom can still decide if anyone is worthy to enter His Kingdom if he decides to do so when the sheep is separated from the goats in the final judgementRevelation 20:11[ The Final Judgment ] And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide.Revelation 7:9After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.Matthew 25:31-33The Final Judgment 31 “But when the Son of Man[d] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations[e] will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.That day will come but only God knows the outcome