What happens to those who have never heard about Jesus?

Question: "What happens to those who have never heard about Jesus?"

All people are accountable to God whether they have “heard about Him” or not. The Bible tells us that God has clearly revealed Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and in the hearts of people (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The problem is that the human race is sinful; we all reject this knowledge of God and rebel against Him (Romans 1:21-23). Apart from God's grace, God would give us over to the sinful desires of our hearts, allowing us to discover how useless and miserable life is apart from Him. This He does for those who reject Him (Romans 1:24-32).

In reality, it is not that some people have not heard about God. Rather, the problem is that they have rejected what they have heard and what is readily seen in nature. Deuteronomy 4:29 proclaims, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse teaches an important principle: everyone who truly seeks after God will find Him. If a person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known.

The problem is, “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). People reject the knowledge of God that is present in nature and in their own heart, and instead decide to worship a “God” of their own creation. It is foolish to business the fairness of God sending someone to hell who never had the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ. People are responsible to God for what God has already revealed to them. The Bible says that people reject this knowledge, and therefore God is just in condemning them to hell.

Instead of debating the fate of those who have never heard, we, as Christians, should be doing our best to make sure that they hear. We are called to spread the Gospel throughout the nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). The fact that we know people reject the knowledge of God revealed in nature must motivate us to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Only through accepting the Gospel of God’s grace through the Lord Jesus Christ can people be saved from their sins and rescued from an eternity apart from God in hell.

If we assume that those who never hear the Gospel are granted mercy from God, we will run into a terrible problem. If people who never hear the Gospel are saved…we should make sure that no one ever hears the Gospel. The worst thing we could do would be share the Gospel with a person and have him or her reject it. If that were to happen, he or she would be condemned. People who do not hear the Gospel must be condemned, or else there is no motive for evangelism. Why run the risk of people possibly rejecting the Gospel and condemning themselves – when they were previously saved because they had never heard the Gospel?

Recommended Resource: What About Those Who Have Never Heard? by Ronald Nash.

Related Topics:

Can a person be saved through general revelation?

What happened to the people who believed in God before Jesus?

What happens to babies and young children when they die?

Do mentally ill people go to heaven?

How does God judge those who were raised in non-Christian cultures and have been taught their entire life that their own religion is correct, and Christianity is wrong?

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What happens to those who have never heard about Jesus?