Did the Romans go to hell for not believing in a god they didn't know exist?
Maybe. Maybe not. God will be the judge.
Everyone who goes to Hell
goes to Hell for the same reason:
Not for belief.
Not for disbelief.
Only: for their sins.
- Anonymous2 months ago
Ignorance is never an excuse for God on judgment day.
- John SLv 72 months ago
This is a question that gets asked a lot throughout time... don't worry, it is a good one to ponder.
Here are my thoughts...
1) God doesn't deal with groups of people like "romans" or "pagans" etc. He looks at each individual. So we can't really say all Romans went here or there. Some may have, just like some Christians may, or some Hindus may, or some Americans may end up in Hell. - It all depends.
2) We're not God and only God can perfectly judge because only God is perfect and knows all. Also, only God is both perfect AND spent time as a human. - So really it is not our place to say "All or most Romans went to Hell (or Heaven)" -- We need to realize our place in the Universe and our role is NOT as final Judge, therefore we should keep this in mind.
3) A long standing Christian Principle has been that SOME people lacked knowledge of God through no fault of their own (typically portrayed as some remote island tribe that NEVER heard about God) but the vast majority of us who lack knowledge of God do so out of DELIBERATE ignorance - keeping ourselves ignorant of him on purpose. Obviously, we assume that God judges those 2 people differently. One based on how well they happen to follow him and his teachings and to the degree that they DID have faith in a higher power - even though they didn't know him. The 2nd maybe more sternly, because they purposely avoided him.
Even the Apostle Paul hints at this when he says that those who don't know Jesus will be judged based on their life - with their actions either condemning them or saving them.
4) A long standing Christian principle is that God builds into each of us, a basic set of morals a sense of right 'n' wrong. He ALSO builds into us an unsettled sense that there is a higher power - a basic desire to seek him, to seek out truth, and to seek out good. These basic impulses should thus drive us TOWARDS him. They can get misdirected or confused, but all of us have a basic compass that points in the direction of God. So in some sense we can all be judged on how well we listened to this and followed the compass of our soul. Even earlier cultures would have had this and we see this reflected in almost every culture being religious or starting off religious.
5) The Roman culture was VERY religious -- so much so that they EVEN had temples to "unknown gods" -- they didn't want to even offend minor deities that they didn't even know existed. So they sometimes offered up sacrifices to all the gods they were ignorant of.
The Apostles Paul even uses this fact to evangelize to them and says - (paraphrase) "hey, know how you're always afraid that there might be a god you don't know about so you offer a sacrifice to him?.... well let me tell ya about the 1 TRUE God that you don't know about!"
And according to History, the Roman culture responded to that in a BIG way - eventually becoming a Christian empire.
6) As mentioned in #5 -- Which Roman Empire are you talking about.. or more exactly, which timeframe. Because around the 4th century AD the Roman Empire converted TO Christianity. Now in reality this change over might have taken a hundred years..but Pre-Christ, the Roman Empire was pagan, but After Christ, it was (or became) Christian. So once the Roman Empire heard OF Christ..they eventually converted.
7) A long standing Christian principle is that Christ revealed the BEST and most SURE FIRE way to salvation for us Humans, but God is not restricted by whom he saves. In other words, Salvation is the normal way for us living humans, but God can make exceptions AND there may be a slightly different way to eternity for those who came BEFORE us.
God has not revealed what that process is, but we can HOPE, based upon our sense of justice that God has a plan for those who lived before Jesus.
In fact, the Bible hints that Jesus, when he died, went to witness to those souls which lived before, in Sheol or Purgatory, or wherever they were.
In the end, if it occurs to us that justice demands that God deal with non-believers in a fair manner, meeting them where they are at -- Then most likely God, who is perfectly just - DOES take into account their beliefs, their knowledge, and what they did with their lives.
He reconciles ALL souls back to him.
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- ?Lv 52 months ago
First, knowing that God exists is not a contingency for salvation. Accepting the gift of Jesus is the contingency.
Second, many of them did recognise Christ and sought salvation. Under Constantine the Roman Empire gave up it's pagan gods and accepted Christ Jesus.
- MistyLv 72 months ago
No, there is no such place.
ALL THE DEAD ARE SLEEPING TILL EITHER RAPTURE OR JUDGMENT...BELIEVE me GOD knows what to do...staying UNsaved is very dangerous.
- Anonymous2 months ago
They might not have known the details but everyone knows God in their hearts, if they choose to listen.
- CommenterLv 52 months ago
No. One of the reasons God sent His Son was so that we would know Him.
- Anonymous2 months ago
No. Ignorance is bliss, or so they say.
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.”
Then said Jesus, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”