2003-04-10 - Never Heard the Good News?
Rom 1:19-20 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. (NAS)
A question came via email a few weeks ago that shows up from time to time. It is a good question and worth investigating again.
"I have a question - where do all the souls from people that never have the opportunity to know Christ go? There have been and continue to be pockets of people who may never hear the Word - what happens to their souls?"
In some cases this has been asked as a proof that God does not exist. The thought is that since there are people who will never be able to hear the gospel, the Bible is in error and these people would be unable to be saved. Since it is the stated will of God is that nobody should die in sin, then salvation must be offered to everyone or it is judged to be unfair.
Paul has an answer in his letter to the Roman Christians. The power of God is evident in the creation. The order of the seasons, the organization of the plants and animals great and small, and the planets and stars all indicate a creative guiding hand. Many scientists will agree that the order in the universe argues against random events culminating in what we are and all that is around us today even allowing for eons of time. There is a great deal of truth to the old saying that, "left unto themselves things will go from bad to worse." The law of entropy says that all things eventually lose their energy and wind down to a stop. The magnificence of the mountains and the stark beauty of the deserts, the flowers and the order of all things points to an intelligence rather than a chain of random events. The evidence is on the table for all to see.
So now our little village of people who have never heard the good news of salvation have an awareness of God. I have to believe that God will honor their understanding Himself. Some would argue to the contrary. We also have a desire to worship that seems to be built in to humanity. If someone does not have access to the good news, how can they be held accountable to that standard? But if they will ignore the witness of creation and the witness within themselves, they are in as much danger as the one who hears the Word of God spoken truly and is drawn by the Holy Spirit and refuses the offer of eternal life.
The final thought is that we, the Body of Christ, are told to go into all nations and make disciples of all men. The call does not go out to everyone to go and speak to the little village in the middle of nowhere that has not heard. But some will be called to do just that. We eliminate the need for the question as we obey God and spread the wondrous news that mankind has been set free from the power of sin and death. We can all honor God with our lives, words and deeds. And when the Spirit leads to speak to someone in need, or who is hurting or seeking. Your life will pave the way for the truth of your words to ring home. And the Spirit will prepare the heart and ears of the hearer to be open.
Matt 28:17-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; (NAS)
Lord Jesus - in this day of technology and science, help us to reach out to the hurting world that technology can not help, and to the seekers who's questions science can not answer. Amen.
Grace & Peace,