A good Christian friend, who I will call Terry, asked me a question about what happens to all of the unsaved people who have never heard the name of Jesus. Following is her question, and my own personal response. What would your Response have been?
Terry wrote ---------- >
Hello! I was wondering if you could answer a question that has always been with me. I have never to this day heard an answer to - that I could back up with scripture. So if you could answer the question, and back it up with God's Word for me, I would so appreciate.
(1) I too believe, that you "must be born again". But what about the huge population of people who live where there is no Christianity, where the words of Jesus were never brought to their ears? So, they go straight to hell? What about those that are brought up in completely (and sometimes isolated) different cultures and are raised on a different belief or religion? Do they go to hell too? Since the majority of the earth's population is NOT Christian, does that mean they all go to hell?
Joe wrote -------------- >
Here is wisdom for the child of the Father, reality is that there is no one else in the whole world except ourselves and the Father. Understanding this, where are our "but's " and " whys"?
As you well know being born again is more than just words which we speak with others, it is an existence in which the spirit is freed from the physical, and all things are seen through the loving eyes of Christ. We are no longer satisfied with the things of this world because we know this world is no longer our home, as it only tries to pull us from our heavenly Father. The temporary nature of our present world was created just for us, as a well-planned garden is prepared for the good fruit to be planted there. There may be weeds in the garden, but the Master is well aware of them and sends His workers into the fields to keep the weeds from overcoming the good fruit planted there. All things of this world are for good, for those who love the Lord, for others there is endless sorrow.
It may also help if we remember that the born again are only found in the Christian faith because the born again life requires no special meditation, is not restricted only to the holy, nor are previous lives or cast required, no special chanting or repetition is needed, and death has no sting. Not even a Christian organization, rituals, or title is required to attain the born again life since it is a personal spiritual relationship between our heavenly Father and ourselves alone. The born again are one with Christ, loving all, but needing none other than our Lord Jesus, the only Christ.
(3) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(9) And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
It is the born again spirit which puts fire in the above words. In the very next verse the scriptures tell us that Jesus alone is to be called Master, and there is only one Master for the born again child of the Father.
(10) Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
If God is the Father, and Jesus is the Master or Shepherd, then we must be the children or the sheep of the Master, but a stranger will not see this nor fully understand. To the stranger these are just clever words having no power.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
But not all are Christ's sheep, they come from different flocks, they may wear the clothes of a lamp, but they come to destroy, they come to separate us from our true Father. They may seem good, they may even call themselves Christian, "but" they do not hear the one Master, and they follow deceiving voices in the darkness.
I John 2:18-19
(18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
A good example of the above is found in the Muslim faith, they followed Jesus, and then when the false prophet Mohammed spoke, they followed him. If I am truly in love with someone, am I happy with a stranger, or will I seek only the one I love from all the others? Perhaps my love is a lie, and it is my own greed, fear, and desires which drive my soul. There is evil all around us pulling us from our Father, but even evil has it's purpose, because if there was no evil in the world, how would we know what good is? The Father allows many voices, but which do we hear, and which do we follow? The sheep will hear his Master's voice above all the others, but if there were no others, would we love our Master the same? If we had not heard about the great sacrifice that our Master gave in trying to save us, would we love Him the same? It is all a matter of love, who do we really love above all else. We are His sheep, and we hear our Master calling, but we should not be surprised that there are many who hear, but will not follow.
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep,
We come into this material world alone, and we will pass through to the other side alone, and all that is around us is to help mold and make us into the image of our Father. All that we whole dear in this material world is as vapor, and will soon melt away. It is our pure and loving heart alone that sets our course for eternity, it is the pure and loving heart that will hear the Master calling to the massive flocks.
"My sheep will hear my voice".
Now let us look a little closer at the specifics of your question, "But what about the huge population of people who live where there is no Christianity, where the words of Jesus were never brought to their ears? So, they go straight to hell?" Terry, it is because of such people that Christ came down to this world of the lost, and it is now because of our born again sight that we feel the same great sorrow as our Master for the many lost which fill the world around us. We too see the massive lost souls upon the earth and our hearts cry out for them, "Father have mercy upon them, Father forgive them because they can't hear your voice and they don't know what they are doing. Father let me go unto them and tell them the good knew, that you love them and You have a place prepared for them if they will only come and accept it." It is our love for them that makes us go into the darkness of the garden to show them the way out. The Father loved the children of the world so much that He gave us His only begotten Son, so we would see with our own eyes the way out of the darkness. It is why we tell the world the "Good News" about Jesus, that the very light of the Father has come into the world to show the children of darkness the way out, the way to eternal life. However we must accept the gift of the Father's love in order to receive the light which will transform us from the image of Adam, back into the image of the Father. If we do not accept the wonderful gift of the Father then He will sadly leave us where we are. Note, I did not say we would be cast into hell, just that we will be left where we are. Let us look a little closer to see just where we are.
(6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (18) He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. (21) But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Note that the word hell is not mentions in any of the above passages, but the verses above which are often overlooked are John 3:20-21. It is not that we will be cast into hell; it is that we refuse to enter the light of the Father's kingdom ourselves. It is our own action, which seals our future, the Father forces no one to love Him. He has been pleading with mankind from the beginning to reject the evil darkness, and to come into His eternal loving light. Through Christ, the Father has removed the darkness from this evil world so that we might see Him and reject the darkness. The Father has sent us many messengers of light over the centuries pleading for us to turn from our evil ways, but His final offer comes from His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in Him should not die, but have everlasting light. What more could a loving Father do?
We should not forget that death is not an end, it is only a separation, and we can never return to where we were before the death. Adam had eternal life in the garden, but love and peace were not enough, he wanted to have the full power of God, he chose his on knowledge over the knowledge of his Father, and after this Adam was no longer in the image and goodness of his loving Father. After that none were in the image of the loving Father, except Jesus Himself, the only one, the only begotten Son.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Adam's entire race falls short of the glory of the Father, as their hearts are evil in the sight of the Father. They surely know good from evil, but their hearts cannot reject the evil which rules in the corners of their souls. It is the born again who see their error, and reject evil for the goodness of the Father and His only begotten Son..
(12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
We suffer Adams fate because we are in his image, we are his children, his likeness, and we are sinful beings.
(17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
As we ask our "why" questions, we need to remember that the earth is presently outside of the walls of heaven as is shown in the following verse where Satan is cast down from heaven into the earth with all of his angles.
(9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
However the light of the Lord presently walks among us here on earth, otherwise there would be no goodness in the world at all, there would be no light for our souls to cling to. It also helps if we remember that death is truly not an end, it is just a separation from our present form of life. The only question is where will this new life abide, in the presence of the Father, or left in the eternal darkness outside of heaven when the light of the Father is taken away from this earth of clay.
(12) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For me there can be no greater hell, than to be cast out of my Father's wonderful light, never again to see His loving face, or to feel His love for me. If we can imagine a place where there is no good thought or deed, then we begin to get a glimpse of what the outer darkness is really like. If we have lost a child or other loved one in this life, then we can begin to feel the pain and tortures of the outer darkness, when the loving light of the Father is removed from our souls, when all love is removed from our souls. The evil spirits presently around us would rather live in a pig in the Father's light, than to be returned to the endless darkness.
(29) And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (30) And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. (31) So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. (32) And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
When the evil spirits are separated from the Father's light, there will surely be gnashing of teeth.
Now for those who have never heard the human word Jesus, we need to understand that Jesus was here long before the world began, He is here now, and not one minute has passed in any human life that Christ has not shared.
2 Timothy 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Christ has always been here working in the hearts of His sheep, but mankind needed more than Christ's voice to survive, and that is why the Father sent His most wonderful light into the world so that we might have sight, and believe. It is the gospel, the Good News, that Jesus Christ has finally come in person so we might see face to face the Son of the Father, and follow Him, so that we might understand what love really is.
2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
So before Jesus walked upon this land as a man, He was always here speaking to the hearts of His sheep, just as He is doing today. The only difference is that some of us now are lucky enough to have seen the record of His own example, and He has shown us a way to save ourselves from ourselves. It is a pure and loving heart that justified Noah before the Father, but in all of the earth, Noah was the only one who possessed such a heart. I'm sure there where many in Noah's days who we might think were nice people, but the Father looked into the nature of their hearts, not at their beautiful human words or works. I don't think the Father has ever been interested in our churches, rituals, or titles, He is only interested in the inner temple, the one where we stand before Him alone with the goodness and evilness of our own souls.
After Noah mankind fell back into their own evil ways, and as Adam they let evil rule their hearts, rejecting the light for the darkness. But the Father loved us so much that He offered His only begotten Son, but will the world of Adam listen, will they now follow the human voice of the Master, or will they still be like those in the days of Noah and listen to their own desires? We don't know the hearts of others, only the Father knows that, and only the Father will accept them or reject them when their journey here in the garden is complete. But we today have heard the human words of Jesus, and to whom much is given, much is required. There are many good and evil souls walking upon this earth today just as there were in Noah's day, but they will all soon bow down before the one Father, the creator of good and evil. Are all those around us going to hell, I cannot say because I do not know their hearts and Jesus alone will be their judge, because He alone knows the pureness of their hearts. I do know that no one will pass into heaven without Jesus Christ's approval. As we try to share the good news of Jesus, only His sheep will hear and follow. The words of Jesus are now heard around the world, and many hear their Master and follow Him, but many hear other voices and they go astray. We cannot make them come into the light, just as no one else can bring us into the light, we must want to come ourselves, that is the only way the Father will accept us. Nothing else is required because He loves us anyway, He loves us just as He found us and He knows a repenting heart.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Let me finish with a few scriptures, which I think cover this situation, but it depends upon which view we take, the heavenly, or human logic.
But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
(22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (24) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
So many who judge others, and say they alone understand, and they alone have the law may be sadly surprised when they come before the Master, because Christ alone knows the goodness of our souls. There is another scripture which simplifies the entire thing for me, and that is when Jesus said the following words;
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, (36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39)And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Note that all of the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments. Do these two with a pure heart and you have done all that is required. I personally believe that if an Eskimo living on the top of the world alone can do these two things, then I believe our Lord Jesus will hold true to His word. But the question is, will the Eskimo be able to do these two things without someone telling him what is required? Perhaps the goodness of his soul will tell Him as He listen to the inner voice of his Master calling, just as the Master called all of those before He appeared in flesh upon this human garden, just as He is calling His sheep today. The born again will see the Eskimo, and say in their hearts, the Eskimo does not hear the Master's voice, so I must go tell him the good news that Jesus Christ lives. I believe those are the very same words that Jesus must have said to the Father when He came down to this dark world to save you, the Eskimo, and me. The born again are no longer in the image of Adam, but they are in the very image of Christ.
Here is wisdom for the child of the Father, reality is that there is no one else in the whole world except ourselves and the Father. Understanding this, where are our "but's " and " whys"?
Terry wrote ---------- >
(2) Also, my little nephews had a friend (9 years old) that lived across the street from them. This little boy was killed in a horrible accident last spring. My sister-n-law said that her oldest boy (11) said that he felt bad that this little boy that died must be in hell now because his parents were Jewish so he was not saved and is in hell. I was horrified. I asked her what did she say to him, and she said what could she say. You must be born again. If not, you go to hell. I am not a believer that Jesus casts little Jewish children into hell.
joe wrote ------ >
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus rejects no one, it is we who must reject Him. The battle for our souls is not fought in streets, in buildings, in rituals, in words, in certain human organization, or in a certain length of time, the battle for our souls is fought in the heart of every human, and only the Father knows the depths of the heart. Only the Father knows His sheep, whether they are small unborn babies, or old men like me. The children are not cast away, they were only on loan to us for a short time to help teach us, and to mold us into the image the Father had planned for us from the beginning. Look at the impact that your neighbor child has had on your life alone, could it be that it has changed you? All things work for good, for those who love the Lord. But who is the lord that we love? No, the children are not guilty, they have not rejected the love of the Father, but only the Father knows that for sure. If I am a child of the Father, and die at the age of five, then I will be immediately in my Father hands. If I am not a child of the Father, then I will remain with my master. No human knows for sure, only Christ has that knowledge, and He alone will be the judge. If we can love a neighbor child, just think how much more Christ loves them. Christ is in the saving business, not in the rejecting business.
Here is wisdom for the child of the Father, reality is that there is no one else in the whole world except ourselves and the Father. Understanding this, where are the "but's " and the" whys"?
Terry, I hope all of this has helped, if it does not the fault is within me, and not within the Father who I wish to serve.
Father forgive this humble servant and take these inadequate words and add your loving light as you desired. Forgive me where my words fail You, and erase the errors in the hearts of those who read them.
Terry may the loving light of the Father never stop filling your soul!