Do people who have never heard about Jesus go to hell?

Do people who have never heard about Jesus go to hell?

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. –Acts 4:12

Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”156 Peter preached, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”157 The conclusion is simple: there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ. All other religious roads lead to false gods and a real hell.

But there are many ways to Jesus. While the norm is responding to the preached Word of God,158 there are biblical examples as well as life experiences where God gives special revelation of the Messiah to unsaved people in other forms, including direct speech, dreams, and visions. God called Abraham directly.159 He gave Pharaoh dreams.160 He spoke to the treacherous prophet Balaam in a vision so that he prophesied about the Messiah.161 He appeared to Cornelius in a vision,162 which resulted in his being saved.

In talking with friends who are doing ministry in closed Muslim countries, they report that many devout Muslims are getting converted through intense dreams where they experience Jesus as the only God and Savior. There are many such stories. The reality is that anyone who is searching and willing to respond to the goodness of God as Cornelius did will receive special revelation. God is perfectly able to bypass the “normal” channels to accomplish His purposes.

No one who comes to the Lord will be cast out.163 As Paul says:

The Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”164

Therefore, while there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ, there is also no reason to overlook the creativity of God to get the gospel out. His creativity includes using us to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth as pioneering missionaries to unreached people groups and generous givers to ministries that translate the Bible into new languages.

How much creativity did God use to get the message of Jesus Christ to you?

156 John 14:6.
157 Acts 4:12.
158 Rom. 10:13–15.
159 Gen. 12:1–3.
160 Genesis 40–41.
161 Num. 24:4, 16–19.
162 Acts 10:3–6.
163 John 6:37.
164 Rom. 10:11–13.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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