devotional

16FEB
2013

A Question about Those Who Have Not Heard

On 14 Feb, Chris H. asked: 

“The people who die in the jungle who’ve never heard of Jesus can still live a good life. What about them? Will they go to hell?”

 

Response:

Adam and Eve were good people (Genesis 1:31) before they sinned. Nowhere in the Bible are their kids called good. I’ve never met a good man, and neither have you. Not by the standard of the Ten Commandments.

     Noah was called a righteous man in Genesis 7:1. Peter says Lot was righteous in 2 Peter 2:7. Many others were surely favored and behaved honorably in their time, but any pronounced nobility was a relative comparison. They were good relative to other men only. Scripture says that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23. This includes Noah, Lot, Enoch, Melchizedek and the rest of us. Sinners are not “good.” Jesus was. He said, “…No one is good but One, that is, God,” in Mark 10:18. The only “good” Man who ever lived was the Messiah. He never sinned and alone had no sin from Adam in His virgin-born veins.

     The problem with all of humanity is our sin. This is true whether or not we’ve even seen a Bible. Every man on earth is not that distant from one another. There never were cavemen or Neanderthals. We were created from one blood and just a few thousand years ago God scattered our languages at Babel (Genesis 11) and we dispersed on foot throughout the ancient world.

     Our universal internal problem is sin. Psalm 130:3. Our only solution is external—The Gospel of Jesus Christ. One sin from Adam was enough to separate us all from God forever. SIN is our problem and it's that big of a problem. It’s original SIN inside of us all that produces the sins in each of our lives. The Baptist Faith and Message of 2000 (paragraph three) reads:

Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.

 

     This applies to every living soul. Man’s problem, whether in a concrete or dirt jungle, is his innumerable transgressions of God’s moral law. His hearing or not hearing about Jesus is completely irrelevant to his crimes. He is a guilty criminal. God will deal righteously with all, and it is never wrong for Him to hold anyone accountable for sinning.

     In the final analysis then it’s as Jesus said, that He is the only way to heaven. Ignorance is not another way! Yes, all unpardoned sinners will be in hell forever. We all need Chris’s righteousness. Our job is to proclaim the gospel to this lost and dying world.

 

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