Summary: Attempts to answer the querstion of what happens to people who have never heard the Gospel, and how a just God can judge them.
WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO’VE NEVER HEARD 3 12
This past week, I had the opportunity to talk to a man about salvation, and the importance of the Gospel, and a number of other things relating to the Bible. In the course of our conversation, he asked me a question that has often come up before, “What about people who have never heard the Gospel? What about them?”
My friends, that is a very important question. It is a question that many of us have been asked and one, which I believe we should be prepared to answer. What about people who have never heard? What happens to them?
As we attempt to address that question this morning, first I want you to understand several things that the Bible makes very clear.
I. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE BORN AGAIN
1. Because Jesus said so – John 3:3
2. Because everyone has sinned –
Sin, i.e. to come short, miss the mark.
- Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
3. Because there is a set punishment for sin –
- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death …
That has always been the case …
> Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
4. Because if salvation was unnecessary, Jesus would not have had to come. – John 3:16-17.
II. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO BE BORN AGAIN/SAVED
> Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
> John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
> Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
What about other religions, what about …
> Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
> Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
> Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it is the way of death.
OK, if we accept that everyone needs to be born again, and if we accept that Jesus is the only way to be saved/born again, what about people who haven’t heard? What about people who don’t have the Bible and people who haven’t heard about Jesus?
III. PEOPLE ARE JUDGED FOR THEIR ACTIONS
Not everyone has the 10 commandments … That may be true, but:
1. Everyone knows there is a God - > Romans 1:19-20
2. Everyone knows God has standards – Romans 2:14-15
3. Everyone chooses to disobey what they know -
> Romans 3:10-12 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, together they have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.
> James 4:17 So, for the person who knows to do good and doesn’t do it, it is a sin.
We are judged according to what we know, not what we don’t know.
Amos chapters 1-3, the prophet addresses 8 different city-states, or countries and says that God is going to judge each one of them. Now, they are judged for different sins and to different levels, but each is judged because each group of people did something that even according to their own consciences were wrong.
- Matthew 7:1-2 Do not judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 For with the judgment you use, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Have you ever done something you said people shouldn’t do?
Sure you have. Then you will be judged according to the standard you set.
God is just in judging us. He made us so He has the right to make the rules.
A police officer stops you for speeding. Did you break the law? Yes. Is he just in giving you a ticket? Yes. Now, if He chooses to give you a break, does that mean that everyone else he stops doesn’t deserve a ticket? No. It means he showed you grace and didn’t give you what you deserve. It doesn’t mean that no one else should get a ticket.