Summary: Is God fair to let a person die and go to Hell who has never even once heard the name of Jesus? A Biblically [not politically] correct answer. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
Four Fearsome Factors
Is God a righteous God? Is God a just God? Is God fair to let a person die and go to Hell who has never even once heard the name of Jesus? You’ll have to admit that’s a good question, isn’t it?
God is righteous, and God is just. And there is no other way to Heaven apart from Jesus Christ. Don’t get the sentimental idea that all the world religions are somehow connected. Oh, no. Jesus Christ said, in John chapter 14, verse 6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life”—now listen to this—and “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Now, if somebody can come some other way, then what does that make Jesus? That makes Jesus a liar. And, if Jesus Christ is a liar, not only is He not their Savior, He’s not my Savior, because a liar is nobody’s Savior. And, what did the apostles say in Acts chapter 4, verse 12, when they said this: “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved?” (Acts 4:12).
This puts us on the horns of a major dilemma. Can a righteous, a good, a loving, a holy God let a man die and go to Hell who never once heard the name of Jesus? How are we going to answer that question? Well, the Apostle Paul is going to answer it for us in Romans chapter 1. So, I pray that you will listen and listen carefully, because we don’t have to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Notice how Paul begins in verse 16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16). And, look up here, and let me give you a good look at a man who also is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I’ve been preaching it now for 20 years. The more I preach it, the more I marvel at it, the more I thank God for it, the more I stand by it, the more I believe in it. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it”—the gospel—“is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth;"
Read vv. 17–20
Now, what about those who’ve never heard the gospel, those who are lost, who’ve never heard the gospel? Is God just? Is God righteous? Is God good?
Is God loving if He could let such an one go to hell? I want to write four things upon your heart, this morning. I want to give you four factors that will help you to understand this, and put it all together.
I. The Revelation Factor
Factor number one is the revelation factor. All men have some light.
I want you to imagine that the end of time has come, that time we know as the final judgment, and I want you to see out there what we would call the heathen—those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. The accusation is made, the indictment is given: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness … of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). The heathen, the pagans, they say, “Your Honor, not guilty, not guilty! We never heard the gospel, we never knew how to be saved; we are innocent by reason of ignorance. We never heard, we never knew.” And, the Apostle Paul becomes the prosecuting attorney. And, the Apostle Paul says to the Father, “Your Honor, I will prove that they are guilty; I will prove that they are not innocent because of ignorance. I will show that they cannot say they’ve never had a fair and an equal chance. And, I call two witnesses to testify against these who say they never knew, they never heard.