Are People Who Never Heard of Jesus Guilty?

Will a person who never heard the gospel, or knew that Jesus is the only way to heaven, go to hell? Sadly to say, the answer is yes, they will. But please listen and understand why.

First, we are all born in sin (Psalms 51:1-5).

  • Romans 3:23 also says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
  • Romans 5: 12 says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
  • Romans 3:10, 12, “for there is none that doeth good, no not one.”

There is not one person on the entire earth who is good by God’s standard. We all have a corrupt fallen nature that is not compatible with God’s holy nature. We have to receive a new nature and new spirit that is alive to God (Ezekiel 18).

Revelation 21:27 says, “But there shall by no means enter it (Heaven) anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Because we are born in sin, we are already condemned to hell (John 3:18).

  • 1 John 5:19 says, “the whole world lies in wickedness.”
  • Psalms 9:17, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

God cannot allow a person into heaven who is still in their old fallen nature.

  • In addition, Acts 17:30 states, “God commands all men every where to repent.”
  • In Luke 13:3 Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”

How can one repent unless they are told? Romans 10:13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” 

Christians are told to go and share the Gospel so that people can be saved. If they don’t hear, they cannot be saved. John 8:24 Jesus said, “you shall die in your sins, for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.”

Then He said in John 8:21, “you shall die in your sins, and where I go, you cannot come. He told us if we don’t believe in him, we shall die in our sins, and where he is, we cannot come.”

Another reason we are held accountable is Romans 1. It states that God holds all men accountable to know Him because of Creation. The evidence of design is all around us. Look at the human body how remarkable it is. All organs and parts are dependent on each other, so the body couldn’t have evolved over time. It had to be created in one moment. Look at a baby developing and forming in the womb, and then being born at just the right time. Look at the animal kingdom and how they are equipped to survive, and how certain birds and animals can navigate thousands of miles and find their destination.

Look at the variety of plants that grow and foods available in order to sustain man and give him pleasure in eating. Look at the beautiful plant life and colorful flowers that provide us with beauty and fragrance. Look at the remarkable oceans and underwater kingdom providing food and beauty for humans. How is it that the vast oceans do not move each day and stay in their place? Look at the turning of the earth, so precise each day; what’s making it turn? Look at the perfect distance the earth is from the sun in order to sustain life. And I could go on.

All this design points to a designer. People are without excuse because of creation.

If the person in a remote jungle looks up to heaven and has just an ounce of humility and asks, “Who made all of this?” God will find a way to get the gospel message to him. Whether by the Bible, or a sending a missionary, or through some form of media, He will reach them.

In addition, Job 33 says, “For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night…Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction”  

In order to turn man from his deed, and conceal pride from man, he keeps back his soul from the Pit, and his life from perishing. God will give that person a dream or vision to keep them from hell. So merciful is God!

Romans 2:15 and John 8:9 state that He has given man a conscience to know right from wrong, and that the law of God is written in their hearts. God has also placed eternity in man’s heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Man knows he will live forever and give an account to His Creator. The question is, “Where will it be? Heaven or hell?”

1 John 4:3, “And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.”

A person is not exempt from escaping hell just because they never heard the message of salvation. We are corrupt by nature and all need a Savior. God is merciful and will reach that person if they humble themselves, ask who He is, and admit there is an Almighty God who created them and all things.

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Copyright 2007-2023 Soul Choice Ministries – All Rights Reserved
By Bill Wiese, author of 23 Minutes in Hell