There was a recent post on the MissionsLaunch.com blog about the question of what happens to those who have never heard the Gospel. I actually did a research paper in college on this topic, but felt that I would weigh in a little differently to the question this time.
Here is the question that was asked…
What motivates you to go? What do you think happens to those who have never heard?
Here is the response I gave “off the cuff” and from my heart. It represents what I think is the right way to approach this question.
-I am motivated to go because God has commanded us to go. This is the last will of Jesus before he ascended. (Matt 28:18-20)
-I also go because I love Jesus. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me more than these”? To which Peter answered “yes.” Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep, take care of my lambs.” (John 21:15-17)
-Jesus said he had “sheep”, or other people/followers, that were not yet a part of the fold. His desire was to gather them too. (John 10:16)
Jesus is called the “Lamb of God” because he was a sacrifice for our sins. Like the Moravian missionary pioneers who have gone before us, we have the motivation to “win for the lamb, (Jesus), the rewards of his sufferings.” Jesus has purchased people he has not yet received. (Rev 5:9). He has suffered for them and paid the price, but they are not yet in the house, so to speak.
-Our passion drives us to join His Holy Spirit in the harvest field and fulfill the end times vision of Matthew 24:14. We have been called to be “ambassadors” for Christ and God “implores” through us to other people. (2 Cor 5:20) God’s desire and passion is projected to His world through His yielded sons and daughters.
-The Apostle Paul’s desire was to preach Christ where he was not yet named (Rom 15:20) and he reasoned that people could not believe unless one was sent to preach to them (Rom 10:13-15).
-I believe the revelation of God through nature is enough revelation to sufficiently condemn man’s unbelief but not enough to save. I believe we need to have explicit faith in Christ. (At the least, as we have the ability and use of our will.) So, our motivation should drive us to those yet without access to the Gospel, those who are not yet engaged, as the Spirit of God leads us.
-As Oswald J. Smith once said, “Why should there be those who hear the Gospel more than once when there are still those who have never heard it”? And William Borden reflected, “If there are ten people lifting on a log, 9 on the light end and one on the heavy end, which end will you lift up on”? This is why we should focus on those who have not heard yet.
-In regards to the questions of what happens to those who have never heard…I try not to meditate on things that are too high for me, of which there are no revealed and plain answers. (Psalm 131:1-2) The things that have been revealed belong to us. (Deu 29:29)
-We are told to Go and keep Going! We are called to “Preach”, proclaim, and persuade. (2 Tim 4:2; Acts 17:2-4 etc) We have been comissioned to turn all people from “darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the power of God.” (Acts 26:18).
-The rest we leave to the wisdom and mercy of God, who is good. When we see God face to face, we will not be able to say, “I didn’t believe or follow your Word because I never had the question of “what happens to those who have never heard” answered to my satisfaction!
-There is still no other way to be happy in God than to “trust and obey.” In the end, what is “right” in God’s sight will plain to see our our sight as well.
Lots of Bible scripture references here. If you chose to look them up, it would give you a much broader understanding of each statement.
Really the Scriptures are the only thing that truly matter anyway, not our opinions. So, what do you think? What would you add? & Why?