What About Those Who Have Not Heard? (Part Two)

Scripture offers the following reasons why those individuals who have not heard the Word of God will be lost.
First, ignorance will be a second plan of salvation. In Acts 17:30 we read, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30, NKJV).
If people can be saved without hearing or reading the gospel, then they are being saved because of their ignorance. As a result, we must ignore the Great Commission and withdraw all missionaries, printed materials, radio, short wave and television broadcasts. We must stop preaching, writing, teaching and evangelizing worldwide. People will be better off not hearing the gospel. Under this scenario, only those who have heard the Word of God can sin or be lost.
In Judges 2:10 we read, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel” (NKJV). Is this passage presented as a positive or negative lesson? All of us, I presume, would see it as negative. Tears arise as we read such a sobering reminder of the sinfulness of men.
However, if it is true that those who have never heard will be saved, then Judges 2:10 becomes a positive passage. We should be rejoicing that a generation arose that did not know God because then they would all be saved. Today, if this theory were true, it would be incumbent upon us to ensure that another generation arose who did not know God so that everyone could be saved.
Second, we must realize that we are not lost because we are ignorant of God?s laws, we are lost because we have sinned against God. Our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23). God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
In Numbers 15:28 and Leviticus 4:1-4, we find God demanding that those who have sinned unintentionally must offer sacrifices for their sins.
First John 1:5-10 teaches that God is good (light) and has no evil (darkness) in Him at all. And if we will be in him, we must also walk in the light. Simply put, God cannot be where sin is and cannot overlook or excuse sin. His hatred for sin is too deep.
As C. S. Lewis said, “If you are worried about the people outside (of Christ), the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself.” / 1
The only thing we can do is to ensure that we are saved. We must hear the word of God (Romans 10:17). Having heard and believed it as true, we confess Jesus as the new Lord of our lives (John 3:16; Romans 10:10). We must repent of our sins and then be immersed for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4). Finally, Romans 8:1 tells us that “therefore there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the Spirit.” Those outside of Christ will find only condemnation.
/1. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 65.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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