Question:What about those people who have never heard? Are they going to go to hell because they never believed in a Jesus? How is that fair?
Answer: Remember in part 6 I wrote in some detail that a person goes to hell for sins committed against God and not his lack of belief in Jesus. Jesus is the solution and not the problem. However, a person does have to believe in Jesus to be cured and thus forgiven. This doesn’t seem fair to the person who has never heard of Him.
First we need to deal with the issue of moral wrongs committed against God. Sometimes a good tactic to use is to make it personal. The individual you are talking to needs to realize he is in trouble for breaking God’s laws. I will quote Greg Koukl from his article entitled “Am I Going to Hell?”
I asked him this question. Do you think that people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished? He said, “Yes.” I said, “Good, so do I.” Second question, “Have you ever committed any moral crimes?” Pause. Then he said, “Yes, I guess I have.” You know what I said to him? “So have I.”
This just took 30 seconds, right? Then I reflected back to him, “Look where we've come so far. We both believe that people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished. And we both believe we've committed moral crimes. You know what I call that? Bad news.” And it is bad news.
As you can see in just a few seconds you can establish the fact that everyone commits moral wrongs and therefore, everyone deserves punishment. All who have never heard about Jesus have the same problem as those who have heard. We have all committed moral wrongs against the creator and justice demands punishment. Jesus taught this punishment is hell and separation from God for all eternity.
All religions have to deal with this moral wrong problem. Christianity’s solution is Jesus. All the other belief systems try to solve it with ‘good works’ to appease God. The Bible clearly teaches this solution will not work. Doing good or following God’s laws are what is expected and doesn’t pay the penalty for breaking the laws. Good works saves no one from punishment. Even in our own justice system following the laws is expected. There is a penalty every time we break the law and get caught. From God’s perspective, only Jesus can pay the penalty for all our moral wrongs. We have to place our trust in Him to receive forgiveness. Some will ask is this fair to those who have never heard of Jesus?
In Romans 1:18-31 the Apostle Paul writes that God has clearly revealed Himself in nature. Then in Romans 2:16-22 he writes that God has also written His moral law on our hearts. Paul says in verse 18 that men suppress the truth in unrighteousness; they don’t want to believe in the one true God. God revealing Himself through creation and the moral law leads to the conclusion in Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” Those who have never heard about God suppress the truth and therefore God’s punishment is justified.
Aren’t there some who have never heard of Jesus truly seeking God? Are they going to hell? I believe God will reach those individuals with the truth about Jesus through a variety of means. Throughout the Bible we have examples of people responding to many different experiences such as direct speech, dreams, and visions. God called Abraham directly; He gave Pharaoh dreams; He appeared to Cornelius in a vision which resulted in his being saved.
I have heard stories from missionaries to the Middle East who speak about Muslims who have come to Christ because of visions they’ve had involving Jesus. God is working throughout the world and will reveal Himself and His Son to anyone truly seeking to know Him.
Those who have never heard about Jesus have to pay for their moral wrongs. If they truly seek after God, if they seek Him with a sincere heart, I believe He will make Himself known to them. The person then has to place his or her trust in Jesus to receive a pardon for all personal moral wrongs.