Q. Re: The time Before The Law. In view of the Romans 2:14-16 passage will those who did not know the Law but had the Law instinctively in their hearts be saved from the second death? If so, this is a new insight for me because what I’m now seeing is that those “who show the work of the Law written in their hearts” will enter eternity with all those who were of the first resurrection. This would answer the question “what about the people in deepest, darkest Africa who never heard the gospel?” Answer: Jesus will judge them at the Great White Throne and those who kept the Law even though they did not know the Law will be saved. Do you see what I see and do you agree?
A. In Romans 2 Paul was saying it’s not people who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight but those who obey it (Romans 2:13). Gentiles who intuitively do things required by the Law show that it’s written on all of our hearts. This doesn’t mean they’re saved, it just means that claims of ignorance where the Law is concerned are not valid.
But the fact is, no one can obey the Law to God’s satisfaction. We know this because in Romans 3:20-22 Paul said no one will be declared righteous by observing the Law, but God sent a righteousness apart from the Law that comes through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe. And speaking of Jesus Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And finally, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father but through me” (John 14:6).