What Happens to People who have Never Heard the Gospel?
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What happens to people who have never heard of Jesus Christ?
In order to answer this question I want to separate humanity into 3 groups. The first is the largest group and that is…
1. Those who HAVE heard of Christ – (Heb. 4:12; John 14:6); Jn. 12:48; Mt. 10:33 – Concerning this group Jesus said, “There is a judge for those who reject me and do not accept my words. My very words will condemn them at the last day.” Also elsewhere He says, “If you deny me before men I will deny you before my Father in heaven.” (Mt. 10:33; Jn. 12:48). These are going to be the group of people that are going to be punished the most. The emphasis here seems to be on the conscious choice to REJECT Christ and persist in disbelief. And so from these verses and others it is very clear here from these verses that people who make the conscious choice to reject Christ will spend eternity apart from Christ.
2. Those who have NOT heard of Christ
a. Creation – Rom. 1:20
b. Conscience – Rom. 2:15
c. In other words, because God is fair He judges humanity according to the light they have been given which explains why there are different degrees of punishment in hell.
d. Paul is saying that within every human being lies a conscience. We are created with it. And only God knows how much or how little a person violates their conscience.
e. Because of this God is going to judge mankind based on how they responded to the light they have been given and the sins they’ve committed (Rev. 20:12).
f. For this reason the Bible teaches that there are different levels of punishment in hell (Luke 12:47)
3. Those UNABLE to hear of Christ
a. Babies, mentally ill, etc. – It seems logical to believe that God would be compassionate towards a group of people who were not exposed to creation, did not violate their conscience and were not introduced to Christ because this group is unable to make the decision to reject Christ.
No one deserves to go to heaven and if God so chooses to allow some to enter that’s His decision. ILLUSTRATION: Dollar bill: For example if I choose to give this $10 bill to one person and not the other I’m not wrong for doing so because it belongs to me AND I don’t have to give it to anyone in the first place.
CONCLUSION: I encourage you not to be too dogmatic on this issue or any issue for that matter that the Bible does not CLEARLY speak about. Instead do your part to make sure as many people as possible have heard about Christ.
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