What About Those Who Haven’t Heard the Gospel?

those who have never heard

What happens to those who die and have never heard the gospel message if faith comes from hearing?

If anyone has not heard, then they would, like others who have heard and rejected the gospel, experience God’s wrath of eternal damnation. This is because in order to be truly saved one must first come to know of God, hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and come to know who He is and what He has done. It is through Jesus thatwe are saved. John Piper says, “…the focus of faith has narrowed to one man, Jesus Christ, the fulfillment and guarantee of all redemption and all sacrifices and all prophecies. It is to his honor now that henceforth all saving faith shall be directed to him.”[1]God gives everyone an opportunity to know Him as their LORD and savior. It is appropriate to believe then, that everyone has indeed “heard.”

Psalms 19:4 and Romans 1:18-21, tells us that God has revealed Himself to everyone through creation. According to Dr. Harvey, there is a general revelation of God that everyone receives through His creation. However, Romans 1:21 also shows us that not everyone acknowledges the truth of God’s creation. The scripture says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God…their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Rom 1:21, NIV).  Because they were fallen, their wickedness caused them to surpess the truth “…they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks… ” (Rom 1:21, NLT). They participated in false religion and idolatry instead of worshipping the creator. Without the grace of God it would be impossible for the truth of creation to be revealed. All have received the knowledge and the truth of God but many have rejected it and therefore, “…God has [given] them over to a reprobate mind…” (Rom 1:28, KJV). Although all have the knowledge of God, they cannot be saved because they refuse to acknowledge Him and therefore cannot experience the grace of God that allows them to be shown a unique revelation of which creation cannot teach.

John Piper says, “God has set in motion a missionary movement (the “sending” of verse 15) that will reach to all the peoples of the earth on the analogy of the universal spread of God’s glory through natural revelation.”[2] In other words, there is hope for those who respond to the general revelation of God in faith by His grace so that He may send those who are willing, to share the revelation of Jesus Christ. Undoubtedly, everyone has heard but how they respond determines what will happen to them when they die



[1] John Piper, Jesus The Only Way To God Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved? (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2010), 113

[2] Ibid., 98.

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