Great Expectations

My name is Mark Smith. I'm a guy who loves Jesus, His Word, and His Church. I am filled with Great Expectations for what the future will ultimately bring - Matthew 24:14.

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Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

My favourite verse is Psalm 16:11, my other favourite verse is Acts 20:24, my other favourite verse is Habakkuk 3:17-19, and my other favourite verse is Matthew 24:14.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Those Who Have Not Heard

The issue of what happens to those who have never heard about Jesus Christ is a question many people ask. The question is often phrased this way: "What happens to the innocent person in the middle of Africa or the middle of a Muslim or Communist country who has never heard about Jesus Christ and had a chance to believe?" The answer is that the innocent person has nothing to fear. The problem is that there are no innocent people anywhere.

God is not unjust. No one will be condemned for not believing a message they have never heard. Those who have never heard the gospel will be judged by their failure to live up to the light of God's grace and power in nature and in their own conscience.

The Bible says that God will show his anger towards people because they suppress the truth that they have by their wickedness. They know basic truth about God because God has made it obvious to them through creation so they have no excuse for not knowing Him. (see Romans 1:18-20.)

There is no non-Christian person in the whole word who is a broken hearted, repentant person who trusts in God’s grace and lives up to the light that they have. People are not innocent. They suppress the truth that they have and will be judged for that.

The Bible says that if a person seeks God with all their heart, they will find him (see Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13) and that He is actually not far off from any person (see Acts 17:27).

So if a person sincerely sought after God because of intuitively knowing about Him through creation and their conscience, God would surely send a dream, a vision, or a missionary their way to share the Gospel, which they would accept and thereby be saved. This concept of a person being given a dream or vision, or a missionary coming to someone who is right ready to accept Christ because they have been sincerely seeking God has happened and been documented. However, it is rare because people naturally suppress the truth and do not sincerely seek God with their hearts. Rather, most people are proud and far from innocent. God resists proud people (see James 4:6) and will judge them someday. (Those who actually do seek God do so because God has sovereignly caused them to because of choosing/predestining them to be saved. See 1 Thess. 1:4-5.)

If we had God’s perspective on the enormous difference between His awesome holiness and our pitiful sinfulness we would probably be less like to ask the question, “Why would God send people to hell when they appear at first to be innocent?” and more likely to ask, “How is it the almighty God would send anyone to Heaven?”


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