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Can non-believers be Godly?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by WilliamBo, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. WilliamBo

    WilliamBo Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    This was a blog post of mine but I made it into a thread instead so I can get more replies.

    Lately I have been noticing a lot of good qualities in people that most likely are not saved. I've always loved the Book of Ruth. In my prayer time this morning I was asking God how some people can have christ-like characteristics but not be a Christian. Then I thought about Ruth. She was a pagan, or at least a gentile. She was not a Jew, but she had characteristics that were very pleasing to God. She made close friends with her mother-in-law. It says that when she moved to a new town that she went around and made known to everyone that she was a very kind and worthy person. That's very inspiring to me. It helps me get a grip of Common Sense on being kind to people and simply our conscience showing that we are doing the right thing. It seems like Ruth new God and understood his ways without even learning any scriptures. The book says she became a Jew eventually because her mother-in-law was a Jew but her Godly lifestyle far preceded her ever learning about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Does anyone else feel this way? That many people can have Godly characteristics without being a Christian?
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  2. mozo41

    mozo41 Well-Known Member

    United Kingdom
    define Godly ...
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  3. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Ruth married one of Naomi's sons. So, to me it makes sense that then was when she had time and opportunity to learn scriptures and about God, with Naomi. Before then, it is possible that Ruth had lived a pagan lifestyle. But, even so, heathen people did hear of the LORD, and it seems that they were warned not to continue in their evil ways. So, she might have heard through conversations of other pagans. And God could have touched her heart and gotten her interested in Him and reverencing Him before she met Naomi.

    And she could have conversed with other Jews who taught her scripture.

    I do not remember reading any scripture which says Ruth was godly before she met Naomi and married her son. But it is possible that she already had heard of the LORD through other people. And so, I see it is possible :)

    having character of God's love

    "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

    "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment." (in 1 John 4:18)

    So, if we are godly, we are maturing in love with God's almighty power to cast out fear. And 1 Corinthians 13 shares about how God's love is, and therefore how we become of godly nature in this love.
  4. Living Soul

    Living Soul Member

    United States
    People can do all of the good works they want, but until someone accepts Christ as both their Lord and their Savior, they are just good deeds, done in a subjective light without any hope of salvation.

    Acts 17:30 - 31 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.
  5. LoricaLady

    LoricaLady YHWH's

    Can a glass without water be watery?
  6. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    Ruth embraced Naomi's God. And as such, she was no longer a Pagan. She left everything she knew to follow Ruth and to embrace Naomi's God. This was pivotal. Her heart was for the God of Naomi. She, in leaving all that she knew and believed as a Pagan, and rather embracing the living God, was counted to her as righteousness.

    It was the same for Rahab the harlot, when she hid the Israeli spies and protected them, it was counted to her as righteousness.

    Neither was any longer what they were. They were embraced into the family of God. That is why God used each mightily in the lineage of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

    Both were women of God.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  7. Gwen-is-new!

    Gwen-is-new! The Lord is my rock!

    Ruth is a great example - thanks for that! I wonder your question A LOT! My dad has this absolute amazing capacity to forgive others for some seriously vile things done to him .. yet, he says Jesus was just a good teacher, he has never (no exaggeration here) read his bible and says he never will. He loves without condition, but doesn't know God's love. Totally baffling.

    The best way I can understand this is that we are all created in God's image, which means we all have the capacity to do good. God extends "common grace" to all which I think means HE doesn't allow us to be as bad as we could be?

    We also are a product of our genes, upbringing, and our God-given personality (demeanor), so I guess all that has to be considered. But the bottom line is that none of us can be "good enough" and we must repent and put our trust in Jesus Christ to be saved.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  8. yeshuaslavejeff

    yeshuaslavejeff simple truth, martyr, disciple of Yahshua

    footnote: excerpt:
    (not a site that accepts Yeshua as Messiah sent from YHWH, btw)

    G‑d surely was with Ruth. The owner of the fields she happened to visit in search of food was none other than Boaz, or Ibtzan, the tenth of the judges of Israel who ruled after Joshua.

    Boaz was a wealthy and very good-natured man. He greeted the woman in a most friendly way. Recognizing that she was not a common beggar, he ordered his workers to treat her with respect. Ruth got her full share of the leket (gleanings from the cutting), pe’ah (the corner of the field left uncut for the poor), and shikchah (forgotten sheaves in the field).

    Ruth was overjoyed. Full of good cheer, she returned to Naomi and showed her the rich harvest she had brought. Ruth told her mother-in-law of the friendliness of the owner of the fields where she had searched for food. To her surprise, she learned that Boaz was a close relative of her late husband, and second in line as redeemer of Elimelech’s properties.

    The redeemer was also duty-bound to marry the widow of his deceased kinsman."
  9. JoeP222w

    JoeP222w Well-Known Member

    To the original question, no, unbelievers cannot be godly.

    Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
  10. JIMINZ

    JIMINZ Well-Known Member

    United States
    Rom 2:13
    13) (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
    14) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    15) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
    16) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
  11. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    Relatively good as far as humans go? Yes. Godly? At best it would be "having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5).
  12. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    Many atheists put many Christians to shame with their kindness, hospitality and interest in people.
    But no matter how good they are they are still enemies of God. There good deeds are not justifable by their world view and they are reflecting the remnant of Christian morality in todays society.

    Remember that without faith it is impossible to please God.
  13. discipler7

    discipler7 Active Member

    Heard Island And Mcdonald Islands
    ROMANS.2: =
    God’s Righteous Judgment
    1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

    12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Non-Christian believers who are good-doers and law-abiding will also be blessed by God with a good and long life on earth but they will not be saved from hell when they die of old age.(cf; LUKE.23:43, 1COR.5:5 & 11:30, HEB.10:26-31)
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017