As I read the Bible, there are always interesting things I find. I was reading today in Revelation 16, about the judgment bowls of God toward people on earth. God was punishing those who rejected Him and the angels were pouring bowls of wrath on these people. They were in so much pain. But their response was not to turn to God for help! Instead, they continued to blaspheme His name! The harder things got, the more angry they were at God. (I am not going to print this section of the Bible in order to not take up too much space. But you can read about this in Revelation 16).
But there is another group of people who are in hell. You can read about this group in Luke chapter 16. What happened was, a rich man was a king, and was very selfish. He had a beggar who was nearby in proximity to where he lived. This rich man would give the beggar crumbs from the table. The beggar was sick and couldn't provide for himself. Instead of the rich man helping the man get well in order to help him to get back onto his feet, he only gave him leftovers from the table. I'm sure that if the rich man himself, or some close family member were sick, they would be treated immediately by using the rich man's resources. Well, the rich man died and ended up in hell. He wondered why he was there. He wanted to escape. He asked Father Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers from their fate.
You might think that it is unfair that the rich man ended up in hell simply because he neglected the poor. But his sin went much deeper than that. His neglecting the poor was a symptom of his heart. The rich man's heart did not love God, and as a result, his heart did not love other people.
We have an American understanding of love. We think that love is gooey feelings toward someone or something, but love isn't that at all. Love is wanting the best for someone else (the object of our love) even at the cost of loving ourselves. 1 Corinthians 13 describes love very well.
The Bible commands us to love one another. The Bible also commands us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We can't do this though until we receive a new heart. We won't receive a new heart until we are born again. When we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ as the payment for our sins, and turn to God, we receive a new heart. The rich man in Luke 16 did not repent and turn to God. Perhaps no one told him that he was a sinful person that needed to be saved from his sins. Whatever happened, he seemed surprised to be in hell. I wonder if he would have considered repenting if someone would have shared the Gospel with him. At least if he had heard, he would not have been surprised that he were there.
Both groups were in torment. Both groups were under God's judgement. One group continued to hate God. The other group (the rich man) seemed more reasonable. My question is, are there people around us who will end up in hell because no one told them the Gospel. Will they be surprised and wonder why they weren't warned? I think we all know people who are so angry and hateful toward God, that when they end up in hell, it really won't be a surprise to them. They will be angry throughout eternity as if their anger will somehow be stronger than God's power of them and they are thinking that if they are angry enough, they will rise out of hell. But if the devil will be in torment forever and ever, with no chance of escape, certainly people will not have a chance to leave either.
So, my thought is simple. People need to hear the Gospel message. It is our responsibility to tell them. We are not responsible for their response to the Gospel. Proclaiming the Gospel should come from the overflow of God living in us. Jesus promises He will be with us and will give us the Holy Spirit to empower us to be His witnesses. Remember that 'You have never met a mere mortal' (C.S. Lewis). Every person has a soul which will live in one of two places throughout eternity. May God fill us with His love and send us out with the precious message of the Gospel.