Like I say, it's language. At the end of theday they're being condemned for their 'sin' of non-belief. Now that IS saying they're being condmned for their non-belief. Regardless of how much you try and 'pretty it up' that's exactly what you're saying.
It's a bit like the Titanic sinking. You're in a lifeboat and there's adequete room for others to join you. Yet instead of feeling sorry for those drowning an freezing to death, you take comfort in that you're alive on that little boat, ignoring the horrors of those around you dying. Because at the end of the day you got to live.
Ok, there's a very big hole in that. Sure that works in the example I provided, that's true and it works in a number of other things too. The problem is that only works where the 'sin' has a victim. In that case repentance works much like the justice system. they serve the time, but if they do it again, they're put back in because they didn't change at all.
However the trick is that a number of sins are 'victimless'. How does one go about repenting (for example) for feeling an emotion? A number of emotions (anger, envy, pride, lust, love) are listed as sins. If that emotion takes over then it can lead to situations where there's obvious victims (ie murdering while angry or raping while lustful) and in situations like that you have something clear and obvious to repent for. But what about feeling any one of those emotions? They are listed as sins unanimously and yet they are victimless. You can't say you won't feel those emotions again, because (no matter how devout) you are still a human and you will feel those emotions at some point (even if only fleetingly). So what then?
Could God have done it another way? Not without showing us how serious sin is!
Ah, you hit on a point there which leads me to another question. you say yourself his cruifixtion was unjust. Yet it was, no doubt, showy. People today still talk about it. Christians the world over have crucifixes of their own (personally I see that as rather bad taste). So the question is would it have still covered it if he'd lived to old age and died of natural causes? Did his death had to be done in an unjust way for it to take effect?
As to those who died before Jesus was born, the Bible speaks of Jesus' blood being an atonement for all time, retrospectively covering the sins of those who died in the past. The Hebrews/Jews who followed God had their method of salvation, but it was only temporary and a shadow, and could not save them if Jesus had not been born and died. As to all the other nations - those who had heard about the God of the Hebrews and chose not to follow him, probably they are doomed. Those who had not heard about the Hebrew God, the same thing goes for them as those who have not heard of Jesus today. I don't know, but I suspect God will know their hearts and give them the choice after death, and know whether each individual would have chosen to follow God during life.
I guess it wouldn't take into account the third category of people. That's most likely down to the writers not knowing they were other people in the world (In the Americas/Australia etc). Obviously, they couldn't know that those people existed, so wouldn't take them into account. (Which, of course makes the text a little suspect, since if it's g'god breathed' god would surely know of those people even though the authors did not.)
The last sentence of the first part strikes me as rather curious. Why? Because those people are given a chance before god. But other non-christians aren't? A lot of people would reconsider their position on god if they had the chance to 'meet him' in such a setting. After all a lot of people are pushed from christianity or put off the idea of god because of how believers act and asuch a meeting would change minds. So why not give them a chance too?
Why is the most important thing is always chosing to follow god? Why aren't people judged based on their actions? Isn't that a rather arbitary way of choosing who will be 'saved'?
Edited by shadowhive, 20 February 2013 - 01:07 AM.