Q: How Can a Just God Condemn the Millions Who Have Not Heard the Gospel?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program
A: This question assumes that the difficulty is that these people have not heard. You and I are not living in a race that is waiting on its tiptoes to hear the gospel; we are living in a race that's already condemned. God would still be a just God if He should absolutely obliterate this earth and bring it to nothing, because we are in rebellion against Him. It's only by His grace and His love that any are saved, friends. That is the way to approach the problem. Sometimes in our zeal missions programs are presented that unless you and I give and give in a hurry millions are going into a lost eternity. I do not personally believe that the salvation of anyone is dependent upon the generosity or selfishness of any Christian. I believe that those who will hear the gospel and believe are going to get it, and God permits those of us who are His children to have part in that enterprise. There's an argument that if we all gave everything and got down to business, the whole world still wouldn't hear the gospel. Yes it would! We read in Colossians that at that time the whole world had heard (see Colossians 1:6). What does Paul mean? The word "world" there is cosmos, meaning the civilized world. So in a period of about thirty-five years after the death and resurrection of Christ, the gospel had penetrated throughout the Roman world. And we have every reason to believe it went beyond the confines of the Roman Empire in the first century. If we meant business today, certainly we could see the world evangelized. But don't believe that men are going into a lost eternity because the church is selfish today and has lost its vision. That's not the reason. We're already lost — all of us are. But what a privilege it would be to take this gospel to lost men and have part in seeing some turn to Christ. Many are being reached with the gospel. Right now a great penetration is being made of the tribes of the earth. Missionaries are doing a most excellent job of reaching in and touching tribes that have never been reached before.