Q. My friend calls himself a Historical Realist. He believes that the world is now left in man’s control (God has faith in US), since the bible was completely fulfilled and is just a history book. So when ALL die, we ALL go to heaven.. there is no hell, for a loving God wouldn’t send anyone to hell (it was only made for Satan and his demons & that was the reason Christ died).
He asked me how does a loving God send a Buddhist to hell b/c he never heard the word of Jesus. My response was we have a conscience. But my answer wasn’t sufficient, even for myself. I know God is fair and just, and if someone sincerely was seeking him with no contact with a christian, he would bring that person the truth. But how do I answer this question correctly?
A. Your friend is right. A loving God could not send someone who has never heard about Him to hell. Neither could a just God, or a righteous God, and our God is all of these. Everyone has to have a legitimate opportunity to know Him during their lifetime.
Here’s how it works. According to Romans 1:18-20, any rational person should be able to look at the Creation and realize that someone had to have created it. In other words everyone should know there’s a God. Therefore everyone is without excuse. Of course the very young and the mentally incompetent are exempted from this minimum standard. They belong to God already. But God has made Himself so obvious in His Creation that everyone else is responsible.
Once a person concludes there must be a God, I think He moves heaven and Earth to get someone to him or her to explain the Gospel story. I truly believe that at the final judgment we’ll see that everyone who’s ever lived has been given at least one bonafide chance to accept or reject Him. Just because we don’t see it happen, or see how it could happen, doesn’t mean that it didn’t.
But even if I’m wrong, a righteous God can and will hold us responsible for that which we all should know. And that is God created us and everything around us. Therefore we’re accountable to HIm.