Will Those Who Have Never Heard the Gospel Go to Hell?

kids_from_ethiopia

This is a commonly asked question:

Will those who have never heard the Gospel go to hell?

To help understand the issue, let’s explore a hypothetical scenario and then examine what Scripture has to say.

A Cure

Suppose there is a cure for cancer. An afflicted person can just take a pill and be cured for good. Now suppose there are people in some remote tribe in the Amazon who have cancer. Will those people die from their disease if they don’t know about the cure? Of course they would. And this precarious situation ought to motivate humanitarians everywhere to share the cure with everyone possible because they would know that people would die without the cure.

The Bible says that all of humanity is hopeless in our sin. Romans 3:23 declares that “all have sinned.” Romans 1:20 says that humanity is “without excuse” for sin. Finally, Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death.” The Bible is clear that the indictment is against all of humanity, whether it’s the wealthy stock-broker on Wall Street or the aborigine from Australia. The natives who lived in the Americas thousands of years ago were just as guilty as the Puritans from the 17th century. What humanity needs is a cure. Without the cure, there is no hope.

Jesus Is Our Only Hope

People will not be saved from their sins by being moral people. Sin will not go unpunished. Either Jesus bears the punishment for a person’s sin, or that person bears the punishment alone.

He was pierced for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities.

[Isaiah 53:5]

We have the cure (the Gospel) and we must take it to the afflicted.

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

[Romans 10:14-17]

Please visit this page for more information on how to be saved.

Image courtesy of Flickr user: Dietmar Temps.

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