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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only another religion?

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Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California

 What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only another religion?

How would you answer the follow question scripturaly and apologetically?

"What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only another religion? It's not fair or logical that a loving God would send these people to hell for eternity and never give them a chance to be saved"

Patrick Ersig

 2011/2/25 0:21Profile

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only ano

Psalm 19:1-4 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun." (KJV)

God has designed the very universe with a message of his glory and majesty encoded into the very fibers of its fabric. In an unconverted state we may not consciously be aware, but Creation is constantly screaming the message of an almighty Creator to us at any given moment.

I would also read Romans Chapter one and seek the Lord and ask Him for wisdom and insight as to how that may speak to your question. We have no right to question God. He has made himself abundantly clear.

May God forgive me for ever being callous and not broken by this question. These are just a few things for your consideration. Apologetics, as we use the term today, is not my strong suit.

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2011/2/25 2:27Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3433
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only ano

I do not believe they will be "judged" like us who KNEW the Gospel. I think there is a Scripture (I'm getting ready for work this morning), that says, "If they know not the law, they are not ...." something.

Also, in the book of Matthew 34, Jesus said, "Mt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." I don't believe the TRUE gospel has been preached (we're still here!!); there has been a, "repeat-this-prayer-after me-gospel" that's been preached seemingly everywhere but not the True gospel of the Kingdom!! One day it will! People are set free with the true Gospel!

Just my two cents!


 2011/2/25 6:24Profile


Ro 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

From The Evidence Bible- Ray Comfort

"No one will go to hell because they haven’t heard of Jesus Christ. The heathen will go to hell for murder, rape, adultery, lust, theft, lying, etc. Sin is not failing to hear the gospel. Rather, "sin is the transgression of the Law" (1 John 3:4). If we really care about the lost, we will become missionaries and take the good news of God’s forgiveness in Christ to them. See John 16:9 footnote."

 2011/2/25 6:52

Joined: 2010/2/7
Posts: 47

 Re: What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only ano

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at;

but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

I think the first of the verse is for those who never heard the gospel and the second part for those who have heard it. This is my opinion.

 2011/2/25 7:15Profile

Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860


For some reason I have a feeling this is going to be of those drawn out threads :) Very good question.

Matthew Guldner

 2011/2/25 7:27Profile

Joined: 2005/7/20
Posts: 671
Los Angeles, California


Thanks for the responses. I have been getting this question a lot recently and fell it needs to be addressed from the pulpit as I feel it may be a big objection MANY have in regards to Christianity.

I want to address it more then a standard "That's just the way it is" approach. I have done some research online and found the apologetics site give some pretty weak answers.

Thanks again for your help!


Patrick Ersig

 2011/2/25 12:03Profile

 Re: What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or grew up knowing only ano

Our Brother 'Areadymind' answered correctly.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

*Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

He reveals Himself to every human that's ever lived or ever will, but they shove those witnesses to their hearts or minds away.
They may not know that Jesus died for them - But, when we all stand before GOD on judgment day, he will show each individual 'when' He revealed Himself to their hearts - when they were children, young adults, older adults and so forth.

GOD is Good and no one will stand before Him and say that they "didn't know there was a GOD."

Those who did or do begin to search for this GOD that He quickens to Every man, He will show the way to.

The story of the native Chief who would go up to a mountain to pray looking up into the sky, to where he figured any God would be, prayed that he would be able to lead his people in a right way, and he was shown a vision with a word that, a man will come to your village, carrying this sign (it was the Cross) and not long after, a missionary came with a Bible with a cross on it.

Those who seek Him will find Him and He gives ALL that opportunity, just by what He's created and His Spirit of Truth's witnessing to their heart/mind at one time or another. Or several times through-out their lives. But the choice of what to believe, lies with each individual.

That's why we have to pray for the whole world - as they say - that Muslims are having dreams of Jesus and no one had witnessed to them. Jewish people have had Him manifest Himself to them as well, and they too were converted without being witnessed to. Natives in jungles, etc. etc..
It's just a question of what they'll choose.

What He will do for anyone who is truly seeking GOD - just two example - Acts 8:26-39 - Acts 10.

 2011/2/25 12:57

Joined: 2008/10/24
Posts: 146


You can also add the various Psalms that say that God deals with us in equity. And creation has already been mentioned as a judgement against all right off the bat. russ

 2011/2/25 16:11Profile

Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453


I understand why you raise the question, because it is a real stumblingblock to a lot of people. A man who has never heard of Jesus spends his life in a Tibetan monastery pursuing holiness - and does he meet the same eternal fate as Genghis Kahn? because he is a non-christian?

Acts 17:26-28 seems to say that everyone has the chance to be saved. Only Jesus can save, since no one else can redeem a sinner. But there are countless instances in history in which people earnestly pursued the truth, and discovered things that sound a lot like the Christian revelation. The most famous example is Plato, who didn't have the Law or the Prophets but whose philosophy paved the way for the Gospel. So he must have had *some* truth. (In fact, it was Plato's Socrates who first said, "The flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh.")

Well, it's a private heresy of mine, but I believe everyone has a chance to be saved, and Jesus can redeem even those who have never heard of Him.

Wayne Kraus

 2011/2/25 18:58Profile

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