What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus?
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
~ Acts 4:12 (NIV)
Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Hebrews 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Romans 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Romans 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Ephesians 2:8-9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Romans 1:24–32).
How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.
Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Hebrews 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Deuteronomy 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Devotion taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible. ©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation.