If they do not, and truly then have no reason to believe God's word is true, how can those that live a moral but non-Christian life be sent to eternal damnation? Is there nothing we can do without receiving salvation through Christ to be a 'good' person?
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
This question is actually several questions in one. So here's a quick summary. Q: Does every person receive the Holy Spirit? No. Only those that repent and accept Jesus Christ and be baptized in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5, Mark 1:8, Acts 2:38) Q: Does every person decide of their own free will? In general, yes. But this is somewhat nuanced. Some believe God chooses us first in order for us to choose Him. Some believe the invitation is for all, but we each must accept the invitation (gift). See What is predestination? But this is an advance topic and does not change the fact that salvation must come through Christ. Q: How can moral non-Christians be damned? Because salvation is not based on works (being "good" people). No matter how good we are, Christian or otherwise, we are still not good enough (Romans 3, Isaiah 64:6). Therefor God has to intervene. Since atonement must be made, someone must stand in place for our punishment. God Himself, through Jesus Christ, stood in our place. Therefor, by accepting Jesus, we accept that he has taken our place. It truly is a gift, accepted through faith (believe and repent), by God's grace (unmerited favor). Q: Is there any other way except salvation through Jesus Christ? There is none (John 14:6). Otherwise Jesus Christ (God Himself) would not need to be tortured, humiliated, and put to death on our behalf. It's the ultimate expression of love, of a father (God) to his children (mankind).
Since I am a 'simple person at heart' and lean towards simplistic methods of analysis in just about any form of task that needs me to grasp and understand fully, I will put forth my simple answer. God, has and will reveal Himself to all. He then offers His totally free gift of either me(us) believing and trusting in Him by asking for His forgiveness of all our sins or we reject His call. (Mathew 7:7-8) In many people's lives, He has prodded them many times in many different situations, and with others His gift is received quickly without hesitation. God knows all, sees all and knows whom will either receive Him or reject Him. He gives us our free will to either accept His FREE gift of eternal salvation OR reject Him. But, in all of these circumstances, He has and always has been in control! Simply put, the utter complexities of His Omnipotence and Omnipresence is just too magnanimous for our simple intellect to understand fully! "For God's ways are NOT our ways and His thoughts are Not our thoughts, for no one can truly know the mind of God"! ~~Andy~~
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.