Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What about those who have never heard the Gospel? #2

We’ve fallen short.  We deserve eternal death.  God has paved a way for salvation for mankind through the person of Jesus Christ.  For us to have that salvation, we have to hear the good news of that salvation and believe it!  But not everyone hears, yet they’re still guilty because of general revelation.  Everyone is left in a guilty state before God with no excuse and in need of Jesus for salvation.  Isn't this unfair to those who never heard the Gospel?  Does God judge them differently.  

A Christian Response

We ought to be thankful for a second chance at all!

Because God is not at fault in our sin, and because God suffered dearly in the process of bringing about salvation for mankind, who are we to question him?  God didn’t need to give anyone a second chance, but he did and he still does. If God chose to damn everyone, he would still be holy and just. 

Who are the people who still need to hear the Gospel?

These questions seem to imply that the people who have not heard the Gospel are going to perish and suffer hell, not because of their fault, but because of God’s fault or the fault of the church for not sharing the Gospel with them.  This is totally, and utterly, not true.   Those who have not heard the Gospel are sinners!  They still deserve eternal punishment for their sins, and general revelation leaves them without excuse. 

Check the numbers

For people who question and complain about the people who have not heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is a “numbers” response.  Essentially, the numbers tell us that there are more people living now than ever before.  There are more Christians in this world than ever before.  We can travel to far off lands and communicate with more people all over the globe without even leaving our house because of the Internet.  This means that in this period of time, more Christians can reach more people than ever before in history.  This means it is time for Christians to quit asking why and what if about the unevangelized from the past, present, or future, and simply get to work sharing the Gospel.  

Clean-up questions

There are numerous other questions that can be asked similar to the initial question of “what about the unevangelized?”  

 “What about the Gentiles during the Old Testament period?  They weren’t God’s people and couldn’t be a part of the covenant?”  

The response to this, I feel, is pretty simple.  They could be engrafted into the nation of Israel.  Rahab, the prostitute (Joshua 2), and Ruth, the Moabite (The Book of Ruth), are both prime examples of how Gentiles were included in the nation of Israel.  

“What about the Israelites before Christ?  How could they be saved if salvation is exclusively through faith in Christ?  If they were saved apart from faith in Christ, couldn’t people today still be saved apart from Christ?”  

The Israelites before Christ still had faith in Christ.  The ones who received salvation had faith in the promises about Christ’s coming.  They recognized that they had broken God’s law and they trusted that he would show them mercy.  These promises date all the way back to the beginning of time, right after the Fall, when God promised that the offspring of Eve would crush the serpent’s head.  (Genesis 3)  Or the Abrahamic Covenant.  (Genesis 12, 15, and 17) Or the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49).  Or the promise given to David. (2 Samuel 7)  Since Jesus has been revealed, faith now is placed in him and not the prophecies of his coming for salvation. 

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