Who are the Heathen?
The morning steam rises from the dense foliage of the Brazilian rain forest as Yoma, a young brave, steals through this Amazon jungle in hopes of securing a meal. Yoma spots his target. Carefully he inserts a poison dart into his blowgun and fires. Moments later a monkey falls from a tree. As Yoma pulls the dart from the monkey, he thanks his god for supplying his needs.
Yoma’s belief in a supernatural being differs greatly from that of fundamental Christianity. The only religion he knows is what has been taught to him by his tribe. Yoma has no knowledge of Jesus Christ or what He has done on the cross.
When the subject of the heathen is brought up, a picture of a half-naked native running through the jungle usually comes to mind. While it is true a person such as Yoma is without the gospel, these primitive natives are not the only ones.
This section is designed to stimulate your thinking on the destiny of the heathen. We have defined a heathen as someone who has never heard the gospel. Who are these people, though, who have not heard the gospel? You may be surprised!
There are many ways to define the phrase "having not heard the gospel." The ultimate guideline, however, is: Is the person’s knowledge of the gospel sufficient for him to accept Christ and go to heaven? If a person is unable to accept Christ because his knowledge of the gospel is either incomplete or inaccurate, he has not "heard the gospel." Thus, this definition now includes billions of people. Since so many people have not heard the gospel, maybe even your neighbor, it is important for you to understand how God will deal with these unsaved people. We pray that our research will help you in your studies.
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