Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Monday, September 1, 2014

What About Those Who Have Never Heard The Gospel?

   What about those who have never heard the Gospel? Is it fair that they end up in hell? This question is probably the main question that Skeptics will bring up in a conversation about the Gospel.

   Not only Skeptics though, are troubled by this. It seems like most everybody has been troubled by this question, and many let it form their understanding of who God is.

   The goal of the devil is to get people, really all of us, to not trust God, or to think that God is not trustworthy. So, along with our human and limited reasoning, with the coaxing of the devil, many of us find it hard to trust in the God who created us.

   But let's look a little further into this. What does the Bible say about it? Do you think this question takes God by surprise? He already has answers for this if we just know where to look, and if we are really searching for the truth.

   "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
  because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;  and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,  foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them." Romans 1:18-32 ESV
  These verses make it clear that people really do know God exists. What should we do if we know God exists? If we are wise, we would look for a way to know Him. We would understand that God is the creator and we are subject to Him. But in reality, no one wants to be subject to Him. So, we suppress the truth. We try to believe that God really doesn't exist, or at least in our minds, He doesn't exist. 
  The problem with humankind is called, 'autonomy' which simply is another word for independence. We don't want to depend upon God because we want to call the shots. We want to control our world. We want to be our own boss. If God really does exist, then we can't stay in that adulterous relationship we are in. That pornography business will have to go. That division between my siblings and me will have to be resolved, which means I won't get my part of the share of the inheritance (or what I think should be my share). Using elderly parents or handicapped children to collect a check from the government will have to be used on the parents or children instead of on ourselves. There will be no more stealing towels from Holiday Inn, or downloading music illegally from the internet. We won't be able to do those selfish activities anymore, if God is truly who He says He is. Plus, we will give account of all our evil actions on That Day and it won't be a pretty sight. 
   Yes, we enjoy being selfish and sinful, yet, when something goes wrong, we wonder where God is. We cannot live selfishly and expect God to take care of us. 
  In the above verses, it tells us that God turns us over to our unrighteousness. There was a time when each person knows God (not in the sense of having a relationship, but knowing that He exists), yet people do not see fit to acknowledge Him. They want to do away with Him. They will not be able to see Him after this unless they change their minds and truly want to see Him. 
   In the Old Testament, we can see where God tirelessly reaches out to people, but they don't respond to Him. Time and time again God patiently took the initiative to lead and care for His people, but most of the time they complained and rebelled. They wanted to be like the other nations, but God did not want them to be like the other nations. They were to follow and obey God, but their rebellion caused God to have to punish them many times. 
  In Genesis 6, it says that God's Spirit will not always strive with man. If a person persists on rejecting the authority of God, God's Spirit will not strive with him anymore. The person will become like the description in Romans 1, as seen in the verses above. 
   So, God does reveal Himself through His creation, and His creation can be observed anywhere on earth. If someone were to respond to God as being Creator, God would respond to that person. God would never turn away a person who is truly searching to know Him, and who will be willing to forsake all to know Him. But does that ever happen?
   We have accounts of people who have come to know the Lord, even though they have never heard the Gospel message, nor were they raised in a 'Christian home' or environment. 
   One lady, and I can't remember her name, spoke at a church about 35 years ago. She was from India, I believe. She had never heard the Gospel at all during her life time. God revealed Himself to her through dreams. Through the dreams, she learned the Gospel and came to know Christ. Another person in another Third World country was seeking God. There were no missionaries or churches in her land at that time. She actually saw part of a Bible verse in the sky, which helped answer her questions about God! God is doing amazing works in the deepest parts of the darkest places in the world!  Another group of people in a remote country, somehow knew that the answer to what they needed to hear would come in the form of a red color, which was the same color of a beetle in their forests. From the other angle, a man who had just bought a red jeep and brought it over to this country, reluctantly went through this area, and was overwhelmingly welcomed by the group looking for the red color like the beetle. 

In Revelation 5:9, we read these words:   
"And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation..." ESV

And in Revelation 7:9, we read these words:
"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands..." ESV

  As you can see, the people who will be with the Lord will be from every tribe, people, and languages. We are not God, and we cannot see all the different people groups that are on earth. God's ways are so much higher than our ways. He does things we cannot even imagine. He has a 'ways and means' committee that we know nothing about.

   Remember, none of us desires to follow God. When given the choice, we turn the other way. Unless God is preparing the heart, and the person responds to God, salvation will not take place. Salvation is not just making a decision for Christ. It is turning wholeheartedly to God, and leaving our sins behind. 

   America has been known as the 'land of the free' and so it is, yet, with all the freedom we have here, no one chooses to follow God. Although I don't believe America is a Christian nation anymore, there are many pockets in our country that still hold onto the true Gospel, yet, no one really goes looking for these pockets. That's because our hearts want to turn away from God, instead of turning to Him. 

   We could be a nation which has the Gospel message in front of us 24/7, yet still miss the Gospel. So, if we are living in a Third World country, and God pulls on our hearts to know Him, we will come to know Him. He may use dreams. He may use missionaries. He might even use angels. Only God knows how people will be reached with the Gospel message. They will be reached, even if we can't do it ourselves. 

   The bottom line is this; if a person believes in God because of the evidence of creation, and that person wants to know God, God will find a way to reach this person. People generally turn away from God even with all the evidence of His creation. Ultimately, God will give these people up to a debased mind if they don't repent. All are accountable to God and are responsible themselves for responding to God. There is no excuse acceptable for rejecting God. 

  One final thought; when people say that there is not evidence that God created the world, that is evidence that they themselves have suppressed the truth. People who suppress the truth will not see the truth anymore. That is the nature of how it works. 

   For more information on the Gospel message, please go to: http://thegospelconversation.blogspot.com

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