17 Sections

Breakdown of View 1


Chapter: 13.17
(Section 13: What about those "Without the Gospel?")
Copyright Michael Bronson 1997, 1999, and 2000

There are 5 views that Christians hold to concerning the heathen. Each of these vies have many implications. Some of these views are not consistent with the Bible. It is important to understand the hidden implications of each of these views, especially your view.

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View 1 

Every person is accountable for his sins, and unless he has personally accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, he will go to Hell to be punished for those sins.

Implication A:    Implies that everyone needs to personally accept the gospel to enter heaven.

The Bible is clear and straightforward about the fact that all humans are sinners and responsible for their actions. Jesus, Himself, taught the doctrine of eternal damnation. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the only way a person can enter Heaven. Everyone must personally accept what Jesus did on the cross to receive forgiveness for their sins. Just being a good person, or even being a very "religious" person, will not get anyone into Heaven. Personally accepting the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only way sins are forgiven. If a person has never heard the gospel, he is unable to "accept it." Thus, he will die in his sins and go to Hell. Sin is what sends a person to Hell, not his "rejection of Christ." The human race was condemned and destined to go to Hell long before Christ died on the cross. We are not condemned for "rejecting" Christ, but for violating the law written on our hearts and transgressing our own moral standards (however high or low they may be). Romans says that we are "without excuse" even if we have never heard about God's standards.

Paul teaches in the book of Romans that a person who lives without the law will be judged without the law. He is not responsible for light he does not have, but will be held accountable for the moral standard that he does have. James states that if you know you should do something and you do not do it, you have sinned. Being without the law (the Bible) does not exclude a person from being judged; he must still give an account for his sins. The Bible states clearly the penalty for those sins is eternal damnation.

Acts 4:12 There is no salvation in any other.
1 John 2:2  Jesus is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
1 Pet. 1:23  Being born again of "incorruptible seed."
Jn. 14:6 Jesus is the way.
Jn. 3:36  He that does not have the Son has the wrath of God on him al- ready.
1 John 5:12  He who does not have the Son does not have eternal life.
Ez. 3:18, 33:8  If we do not warn the wicked, they will still die in their iniquity.
Rom. 3:23  All have sinned.
Rom. 6:23  The wages of sin are death.
Rom. 2:12  Those who live without the law will perish without the law.
Rom. 1:20  The heathens are "without excuse."
Jn. 3:1-3  Being good or religious will not get a person into heaven.
Implication B:    Implies God has chosen to use humans to deliver the gospel message, (as opposed to God using "supernatural" means such as angels, etc.).

We are not aware of any passages in the Bible that imply God will use any way other than humans to spread the salvation message. God uses His supernatural power to enable us to spread the Word. He does not use it to deliver the gospel message by giving visions, sending angels, or "dropping Bibles out of the sky."

There are many places in the Bible that talk about how it pleases God to use humans for spreading the gospel. 1 Corinthians states God has chosen to use the foolishness of preaching to save them that are lost. Throughout the Bible, God has used only humans to spread the salvation message. Revelation 14:6,7 refers to an angel flying around preaching the "gospel," but here the gospel (which means "good news") is the good news that the tribulation is almost over. It has nothing to do with eternal salvation.

In Numbers 22:28, an ass talked to Balaam, but this was not a salvation message. In Luke 19:40, the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke His disciples for giving Him praise and glory. Jesus responded that if His disciples held their peace, "the stones would immediately cry out." This passage has often been used to show God will even use rocks to give the salvation message. Yet, it is actually talking about giving God His due glory and praise. If we do not give Him the glory He deserves, it will come from elsewhere, even the stones. There is no doubt that God could use these means if He wanted, but, He has not given us any indication from the Bible this is His intention. In fact, even secular anthropological studies of remote tribes offer no evidence of God using these supernatural means.

The life of the Christian is more vital in spreading the gospel than the actual preaching of the gospel. The Bible says our bodies are vessels into which God will pour His power. The Spirit works through the Christian. Thus, when the Christian presents himself as a living sacrifice, dynamic power is channeled through him and lives are changed.

Rom. 10:17  Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
2 Cor. 5:18-20  God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
1 Cor. 1:21  It pleased God to save them through preaching.
1 Cor. 1:26-29  God has chosen the weak to do His work.
Acts 1:8  We are to preach to the uttermost parts of the world.
Mt. 28:19  Go into all nations.
Mk. 16:15  Go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Lk. 24:47  Preach to every nation.
Jn. 20:21  As the Father sent Me, so I send you.
Mt. 5:13-16  We are the salt and the light of the world.
2 Tim. 4:2  Preach the Word always.
Implication C:    Implies if we do not go and share the gospel with them, they will die in their sins and go to Hell.

In a study of the heathen, one of the most difficult questions to answer is what will happen to the person who never hears the gospel. The Bible seems to point in one direction though our feelings point in another. Of all the questions concerning the heathen, you probably will find the answer to this question hardest to understand and accept.

The Bible appears very dogmatic on the necessity for personal acceptance of Christ to go to Heaven. It also appears that God has chosen to use humans to deliver that gospel message. Yet, we know there are vast areas throughout the world that do not have any knowledge of the gospel. Billions have died without ever hearing the gospel. So, what is going to happen, or actually has already happened, to these people. Since they have not accepted the gospel, we must assume they have been condemned to Hell.

However, this leads us to a very disturbing question. Why have the unsaved not accepted the gospel? Obviously, the gospel was not available for them to accept. Yet, why was the gospel not available? Was it because they were not "seeking or sincere"?  In the Chapter "Breakdown of View 2," the implications C, D and H deal extensively with this subject. It appears that seeking and sincerity are not contributing factors. God has chosen us, Christians, to be His witnesses and to deliver His gospel message.

This brings up a sobering question: If we do not go, will people needlessly go to Hell? Hosea says "My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge." Also there is the familiar verse from Ezekiel about the "watchman" who was to warn the wicked. If the watchman does not warn the people, they will "die in their iniquities" and he will be responsible (their blood will be required at his hand).

Before Christ came and died on the cross, what happened to the Gentiles who were not exposed to the Jewish religion? Contrary to what some people think, the Hebrews did not go to Heaven because they kept the 10 commandments. The Jewish religion was based on the coming Supreme Sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Jesus) dying on the cross. It was an absolute requirement that everyone, Hebrews and non-Hebrews, adhere to the Jewish religion to go to Heaven..

Several times the Bible says Israel was to be a lighthouse for the rest of the world. It was their responsibility to show the world the power, glory and salvation of God Almighty. Israel failed in its mission. Ephesians says that before Christ came, the Gentiles, who had not been exposed to the Jewish salvation, were "without God, having no hope." In Matthew, Jesus said the Pharisees had "shut up Heaven." As a result, not only were they not going to Heaven themselves, but they were blocking others from going too. This shows that people do go to Hell because of us. In Luke, Jesus said, "the harvest is great and the laborers are few." There are not enough willing Christians to reach the world with the gospel.

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for a LACK of knowledge.
Ez. 3:16-21, 33:6-9  If you do not warn the wicked, they will die in their iniquities. It is up to us to warn them.
Eph. 2:12  The Gentiles, before Christ, were without God, "having no hope."
1 Cor. 15:34  Some have not the knowledge of God and this is to our shame.
Mt. 23:13  The Pharisees had "shut up Heaven." Therefore, not only were they not going to Heaven themselves, they were block ing others from entering.
Luke 10:2  The harvest is great but the laborers are few.
Jer. 8:20  Harvest is past, summer is ended and the world has not been saved.
Rom. 3:20  The "law" was given, not to save a person, but to show how sinful a person is compared to God.
Rom. 3:28  Man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Gal. 2:16  By the works of the law, no flesh will be justified.
Gal. 2:21  If righteousness came by the law, then Christ died in vain.
Gal. 3:21  The law does not give life.
Gal. 3:24  The law was our schoolmaster, bringing us to justification by Christ through faith.
Implication D:    Implies there will be degrees of punishment in Hell (based on how he lived up to the light he was given).

Just as there are degrees of rewards in Heaven, there seems to be degrees of punishment in Hell. It is possible that the severity of a person's punishment in Hell depends on how much "light" he had and what he did with it. Romans states that if a person does not have the "law" (the Bible) he will be "judged without the law." In other words, if a person has the Bible, he will be responsible for living up to the moral standards contained within it. If he does not have the "law," he will not be judged by it. Instead, he will be judged for not living up to the moral standards etched in his heart or shown him in nature.

There will be two judgments for the world: The "Judgment Seat of Christ" and the "White Throne Judgment." The "Judgment Seat of Christ" is for Christians. This judgment is not to determine whether they will go to Heaven, that was already determined by their acceptance of Christ, but to distribute their rewards. The White Throne Judgment is for non-believers only. After it they will be sent to Hell. This judgment will determine the degree of punishment.

Luke 20:47, Mt. 23:14, Mk. 12:40  Those who are religious under false pre- tenses will "receive greater condemnation."
Mt. 11:24  In the day of judgment, it will be more tolerable for Sodom than it will be for Capernaum.
Luke 12:47,48  Parable of those who were punished more severely because they knew the Lord's will and did not do it. To those who were given much, much is required.
Mk. 14:21  For the person who betrayed Jesus, it would have been better if he were never born.
Rom. 2:5  A hardened heart stockpiles wrath against the Day of Wrath.
Rev. 20:12,13  Non-Christians are judged according to their ungodly deeds.
Jude 1:15  Judgment will be executed upon the ungodly for their ungodly deeds.
Mt. 12:36  We will give account for every idle word in the day of judgment.
Rom. 2:12  Those who have sinned without the law will be judged without the law.
2 Cor. 5:10  Judgment Seat of Christ.
Rev. 20:11-15  White Throne Judgment.


Other Chapters in this Section

Who are the Heathen?
Open for Interpretation
The 5 Main Views
How we came Up With the 5 Views
Why Study the Heathen
Christianity is Losing Ground
Most of the World has not heard the Gospel
A Signal of Need
How Many People Die on an Average Day?
What About the Seeking and Sincere?
Parental Influence
The Value of the Soul
Questions and Answers
Quick Visual Aid for the 5 Views
Quick Visual Aid of View 1
Quick Visual Aid of View 2
Quick Visual Aid of View 3
Quick Visual Aid of View 4
Quick Visual Aid of View 5
Implications of the 5 Views
Breakdown of the 5 Main Views
Breakdown of View 1
Breakdown of View 2
Breakdown of View 3
Breakdown of View 4
Breakdown of View 5
The Christian's Mission to the World
How Convinced are You?
Putting it all Together

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