Question: “What happens to those who have never heard about
Answer: All people are accountable to God whether or not
they have “heard about Him.” The Bible tells us that God has clearly revealed
Himself in nature (Romans 1:20) and in the hearts of people (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
The problem is that the human race is sinful; we all reject this knowledge of
God and rebel against Him (Romans 1:21-23). If it were not for God’s grace, we would
be given over to the sinful desires of our hearts, allowing us to discover how
useless and miserable life is apart from Him. He does this for those who
continually reject Him (Romans 1:24-32).
In reality, it is not that some
people have not heard about God. Rather, the problem is that they have rejected
what they have heard and what is readily seen in nature. Deuteronomy 4:29
proclaims, “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if
you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” This verse teaches
an important principle—everyone who truly seeks after God will find Him. If a
person truly desires to know God, God will make Himself known.
problem is “there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11). People reject the knowledge of God that is
present in nature and in their own hearts, and instead decide to worship a “god”
of their own creation. It is foolish to debate the fairness of God sending
someone to hell who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ.
People are responsible to God for what God has already revealed to them. The
Bible says that people reject this knowledge, and therefore God is just in
condemning them to hell.
Instead of debating the fate of those who have
never heard, we, as Christians, should be doing our best to make sure they do
hear. We are called to spread the gospel throughout the nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). We know people reject the knowledge of God
revealed in nature, and that must motivate us to proclaim the good news of
salvation through Jesus Christ. Only by accepting God’s grace through the Lord
Jesus Christ can people be saved from their sins and rescued from an eternity
apart from God.
If we assume that those who never hear the gospel are
granted mercy from God, we will run into a terrible problem. If people who never
hear the gospel are saved, it is logical that we should make sure no one ever
hears the gospel. The worst thing we could do would be to share the gospel with
a person and have him or her reject it. If that were to happen, he or she would
be condemned. People who do not hear the gospel must be condemned, or else there
is no motivation for evangelism. Why run the risk of people possibly rejecting
the gospel and condemning themselves when they were previously saved because
they had never heard the gospel?
What About Those Who Have Never Heard? by Ronald Nash.