Q. Many people think of Christians as being arrogant because we believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. In discussions with non believers; even those who are not hostile but curious and seeking, the question comes up about all the people throughout history who died never hearing about Jesus. I don’t know how to answer them.
A. The answer is deceptively simple and that’s why hardly anyone has ever thought of it. God is Just. Providing a single remedy for man’s fallen state and then condemning those who fail to accept the remedy is one thing. But to condemn them simply because they weren’t made aware of the remedy is manifestly unfair and would violate God’s need for justice.
This is the same need, by the way, that made it necessary for Him to die for us so we can live with Him. His love for us made Him want to save us, but His need for justice required that our sins be atoned for. Otherwise, He could have just over looked our sin and saved us anyway.
On the other hand, The Lord’s statement that “No one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6) is unequivocal. There’s no way around that.
And finally there’s God’s promise that “Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing with out revealing His plan through His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) This means there can’t be some undisclosed loop hole for the uninformed.
There’s only one solution. During his or her lifetime every person ever born has to have received at least one bona fide offer of salvation after reaching the age of accountability. Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
Consider this. Paul said that the creation itself is evidence of the existence of God so that man is without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20) No one can say He never knew there is a God. He also said that the requirements of the Law are written on our hearts, so that we intuitively know right from wrong. (Romans 2:14-15) Jesus said that everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks will find, and to all who knock the door will be opened. (Matt. 7:7-8)
To me that means at some level everyone knows there’s a God, what He requires of us, and whether we meet the requirement. We have the choice to act on that information or not, but we can’t plead ignorance.