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I know the phrase is not popular but even in my lifetime, the word "lame" was used for those who were mentally or physically disabled or otherwise unable to take care of themselves. (I bring this up because I do not read Hebrew or Greek but the word "lame" is used in ESV and several other popular translations in the same way.) "In that day, declares the Lord, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom I have afflicted; and the lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore." (Micah 4:6-7, ESV) also "On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. I will gather those of you who mourn for the festival, so that you will no longer suffer reproach. Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth." (Zephaniah 3:16-19, ESV) These verses are fairly self explanatory. The Lord is prophesying the coming age when He restores all things to Himself. Additionally Jesus healed the lame as further example of His coming and fully realized kingdom. Basically His healings were a preview of what He will do fully when He returns. (not getting into timeline here, but the work of Jesus has already & not yet fully...) The only caveat is that we do not truly know the mind of anyone considered "lame". I assume in asking this, you have someone in mind that you care about. Encourage them with these verses and others to hope and trust in Jesus for salvation and His coming day when the above will be tangibly complete in front of us!
As far as someone never hearing about God, there is a verse that refutes this. In Romans 1:20 it says "20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." Also Romans 2:15 says, "They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them." Basically it says God has planted an awareness of His existence into every heart. It is our choice to accept or reject the gift, the Truth. This means that God has shown all- remote tribes, suburbanites, city dwellers, wilderness dwellers, country folks- He has shown all of us His eternal power and divine nature....He has written it on our hearts, so there is no excuse. In other words, everyone has heard of God. As far as how God will deal with those who have never been told of the gospel, I believe God will deal as fairly with them as He will with those who have. Some people, like the Old Testament patriarchs, have gotten into heaven without knowing Jesus personally. Only God can judge us because He's the only One who truly knows our hearts. For those who have not heard but have not rejected God, such as the misinformed-- the mentally ill, children, etc.) -- we hold out hope that these may be pardoned by a just and fair God.
So, it seems at least 4 ways exist to obtain salvation: 1. Submitting to Christ, repentance and baptism 2. Babies and young children who know nothing of Christ but who are considered innocent of moral sin. 3. The mentally ill who are not capable of moral sin 4. The hypothetical people in remote tribes or locations who have never heard of Christ, and thus never rejected him. : "IF a person who has never heard the Gospel truly and fully believed what can be known about God through general revelation, would that person be saved? IF such a person did exist, it would seem consistent with the love, mercy, and grace of God that such a person would be saved. Again, please understand, this is a hypothetical that Scripture does not support." http://ebible.com/questions/3469
Intellect plays a very limited role in a relationship with the Lord Jesus. The relationship with the Father through His Son Jesus is way bigger than waiting to die and be sentenced. My eternal life began years ago, it isn't a prize I'll get to start enjoying when my earthly life is over. I have full access to all that is available to me on this side of glory. Paul told the Ephesian church and us by extension, that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. We were chosen and predestined, we have redemption, have obtained an inheritance, and have been made to know the mystery of God's will. (Ephesians 1) (That's a lot) These aren't kept in a storeroom somewhere reserved for us after we draw our last earthly breath. We have access to them now. All the talk about "when we get to heaven" makes me think there are many of us who don't know what we've already come into. It's like we're on a deserted island with a few matches, saving them for a signal fire, in case we get rescued. Mentally challenged people can be in relationship with the Lord and not be able to understand a word written in the Bible. HOW? The same way all other relationships with the Lord are waged. He starts and maintains the liason, not us. He is the author (initiator) and finisher (maintainer and perfecter) of our faith (our association with Him (Heb 12:2). Not us! We are washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of God (1 Cor 6:11). (Not because we understand anything). He (Jesus) stands at the door and knocks... (Rev 3:20) All we do is answer the door. If we're unable to answer He knew it before He knocked. He comes in for His own sake). Neither the rich, poor, well connected, lame, strong, deaf, dumb, blind, educated, athletic, or the executive director, have a fast track to a seat at the Lord's table. We are chosen by Him so that no one can boast (Eph 2:9). I think there are many who don't understand these things. Salvation is of God alone. "My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation" (Psalm 62:1). "On God my salvation and my glory rest; the rock of my strength, my refuge is in God" (vs 7). Mental health has nothing to do with it.
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