What About Those Who Never Heard?

Q. To be saved, it is not sufficient just to believe in God Whose existence can be inferred from nature. “Simple belief” in the existence of God does not meet the criteria for salvation according to Christian doctrine.

We must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, his substitutionary and propitiating death, and his resurrection, as payment for our personal and individual sins. How, then, does a person who “absolutely, positively never heard of Jesus” (title given to the article) have a choice to be saved?

A. Consider the character of God. How could He go to such great lengths to provide a way to salvation, state unequivocally that it’s the only way, and then condemn someone who never got a chance to hear about it. Could a God who personifies love do that? How about a just God, a righteous one, a trustworthy one? No.

So here’s how I think it goes. In Romans 1:20 Paul wrote that simply observing the Creation should lead us to the conclusion that there’s a God. Failing in that, man is without excuse. But once we do that God will “move heaven and earth” to reveal Himself to us. Everyone who seeks Him will find Him, He promised. (Matt. 7:8) Whether He sends a person, a Bible, or appears in a dream He will be found. I believe that the character of God requires that He provide at least one bona fide offer of pardon during the lifetime of everyone who seeks Him. Otherwise His claims about Himself aren’t true.

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