The Gospel: Can what you don’t know hurt you?

Christians believe that a person must place their trust in Jesus, in order to be saved. This supernatural new life is referred to by many different terms; including “being born again”, spiritual adoption into God’s family, “getting saved”, etc. No matter what the term we may use, all of them speak to a need to get rescued from our sinfulness. Christians from all times and places believe that Jesus paid the price for our sins, and we can trust him to forgive. This forgiveness of sins allows us to be with God, in Heaven, when we die. It also transforms us as new believers into the Temple of the Holy Spirit. On earth, while we are physically alive, God lives in, and helps direct us to his truth. After death, we get to live with God in Heaven. You have to hear God’s message, the Gospel of Jesus, believe it, and live according to it’s moral directives.

People always ask, “What does God do with the people who never get a chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus. It would be evil for God, to judge them according to a standard they cannot possibly comply with. Does God judge people for not doing what is, in fact, impossible for them to do? If they do not hear about Jesus, then it is impossible for them to believe. So, how can God judge them for not believing, if they never hear?” Usually at this point, those people lean back on their heels, smugly. They think they’ve backed Christians into a corner. They think the absurdity of this dilemma is more than obvious. They think that only by admitting God is capable of moral wickedness, can a christian claim that God judges those who have never heard the Gospel. They couldn’t be more wrong!

Continue reading