What about those who have not heard of Jesus?

I was surveying a man named Gil the other day who was a former member of the same church where I had attended for 10 years. My survey question is, “In your opinion, is there one way to heaven or many?” He pointed clearly that the Bible states the need to trust in Jesus for salvation, although as typically is the case, could not explain why the Bible says that. But before I could explain why, he added, “But for those who have never heard of Christ, God will have mercy on them and save them.”

What’s wrong with this?

Is that what the Bible says?

Luke 13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

Does the Bible address the issue of those who have never heard of Christ?

Romans 1:18-20 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.

If God saves all those who have not heard of Christ, then Jesus’ Great Commission is counter-productive. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…” (Matthew 28:19). More people could be saved by not spreading the Gospel then by doing so. This means the Good News would not be as good as ignorance.

Does God have mercy on those who have not repented and trusted in Christ? I believe so: young children and mentally challenged adults who cannot reason out what Romans 1:18-20 is talking about. But for all others, Jesus is necessary for salvation. This is because all have broken God’s Laws (Romans 3:23) and have earned a death sentence (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid our penalty (1 Cor. 15:3) and those who repent (Luke 13:3) and trust in Him (Romans 10:9) will be forgiven of their sins.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

1 Cor. 15:3 “…Christ died for our sins…”

Luke 13:3 “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Romans 10:9 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Aren’t Christians and their views intolerant?

The common claim made today is that Christians are intolerant for not accepting other people’s views of salvation. The question for those making this claim is this:  “they are not accepting the Christian view and by their own view of tolerance, are being intolerant. The statement is self-refuting and hypocritical. 
Intolerance has been redefined to mean “not accepting other people’s views.  A traditional and non-refuting definition of tolerance is to put up with something that one disagrees with. If I accept it, I something means I have to put up with something I disagree with.   Do you accept the Christian view that Jesus is the only way to heaven?”  If not, Im no longer tolerating it, because to tolerate something means I have to put up with something I disagree with. 



That’s just your opinion/interpretation

You cannot absolutely prove your claims about Christianity.  Therefore, it’s all just your opinion/interpretation.
  1. Everything is an interpretation, including the view that “it’s just your interpretation.”
  2. No one as absolute proof about anything.  We do the best we can.  That’s life.
  3. Christians don’t claim absolute proof.  We claim trust rooted in evidence.
  4. It’s not just one persons interpretation but over one billion.  A billion people can be wrong but a careful thinker should  examine the claims before dismissing them.
  5. ‘Truth’ does not require ‘proof.’  For example, “I have a winning lottery ticket.”  Just because the person has no proof does not mean they do not have a winning ticket.
  6. Is all truth realative?  Are you absolutely sure?  If so, this would be an absolute truth and the statement is therefore false.
  7. People who say, “That’s just your opinion/interpretation” mean that their statement is true for everyone.  But if they were consistant they’d just have to say that it’s their opinion/interpretation and they could be wrong.
  8. If all claims are just an interpretation, there is no truth to search for, just opinions.
  9. Some consider absolute truth claims to be close-minded.  Therefore, these people are close-minded to the idea of finding truth: it’s contradictory.
  10. The claim that all truth is just opinion/interpretation is a truth claim and therefore contradictory and hypocritical.

Explaining Christianity with Simplicity