Often people ask the question, “What about the person who has never heard of Jesus Christ?” This is one instance that God has not fully revealed His plan, because there are certain things that are know to God alone (Deuteronomy 29:29) However, God’s Word does offer some very clear principles to help us understand His attitude toward those who have never heard about Him.
1. The Bible tells us that God is just. Whatever He does with those who have never heard of Jesus Christ will be fair.
2. No one will be condemned for rejecting Jesus Christ if he has never heard of Him. However, he will be condemned for violating his own moral standard, no matter high or low it has been. Romans 2 clearly tells us that every person has a standard of some kind, and that in every culture, people knowingly violate the standard they have (Romans 2:12-16).
3. The book of Romans also explains that every person has enough information from the evidence of creation to know that God exists (Romans 1:20, “So that they are without excuse”). This idea is confirmed in Psalm 19. However, in Matthew 7:7-11 and Jeremiah 29:13 God goes on to say that if anyone responds to the light he has and seeks God, God will give him a chance to hear the truth about Jesus Christ.
4. There is nowhere in the Bible that the Scriptures indicate that a person can be saved apart from Jesus Christ (John 14:6). We, who call ourselves Christians, must see to it that those who have not heard will hear the Gospel.
It is reasonable to believe that a God whose love is so great that He would give His own Son is even more concerned about people than we could ever be (2 Peter 3:9) He desires that all people come into a personal relationship with Him.(1 Timothy 2:4) The Bible teaches that all individuals have some knowledge of God, and that He has put the consciousness of eternity in every person’s mind.(Romans 1:19,20) Therefore, each person is accountable for his or her response to this inward information.
If a person truly desires to know God, God will provide the information needed to know Him. This was true, for example, with Cornelius, the Roman centurion who sincerely desired to know God. The book of Acts in the New Testament recalls how Peter was sent to tell him how he could receive salvation. (Acts 10:17-35)
Many ask, “How can a loving God send someone to hell?” With equal fairness, the better question that should be asked is, “How can a holy and righteous God allow a sinful person into heaven?” Ultimately, the issue becomes the following: each individual must deal with the fact that they have their own choice of where they want to go.
God by nature is holy and just. If He dealt with us only in love, a love without standards, we would think Him weak and unworthy or our respect. He, in fact, would not be truly God. If, on the other hand, He dealt with us only in His holiness and justice, we would all be sent to hell, because His nature is incompatible with sin. By Christ’s [God the Son’s] death on the cross for our sin, God fully satisfied the requirements of His moral character, while at the same time providing the way by which an individual could come into a personal relationship with Him.
What is your decision regarding Christ’s offer to forgive your sins, enter your life, begin a personal relationship with you, and begin changing your thoughts, attitudes, actions, desires, and habits?
In addition, once your have received His forgiveness for all of your sins, what will you do personally to tell others who have not heard about Jesus? He asked us to be His witnesses, “… in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest parts of the earth.”(Act. 1:8). Will you become part of the positive answer to the question?