What happens to those who have never heard of Christ?

Monday Musings for January 11, 2021

Good morning, Musers,

Most Christians understand that God has revealed himself in Scripture. Some also understand that he has revealed himself in the creation. But stopping at these two cardinal revelations (sometimes called his “special” and his “general” revelations) sells God short. He has revealed himself in many more ways than just these.

But if God is so generous with his output, why do people “miss” him… or should I say, why do people ignore him?

That’s a heart problem, not a revelation problem. God knows exactly how much revelation is required before a person crosses over the line and becomes one of those people who are “without excuse.” I have ideas about where this line might be, but I don’t know better than God.

That being said, we should still do our part to spread the good news. Part of what makes revelation work is us doing our part. Perhaps you feel God tugging on you. Maybe he wants you to “up your game” at church. Maybe he’s put a missionary family on your mind — and they plan to go to an unreached people group and share the good news of Jesus Christ with them.

If you are like me, born in a time and place where I could live comfortably while supporting missions, pulling the trigger on that is part of God’s plan for your life and his kingdom. So, if you delay in doing what you should on these fronts, you are retarding the work of God’s kingdom in a measurable way. You see, some jobs are uniquely yours to do... and if you don’t do them, they simply won’t get done!

You have probably guessed by now that today’s answer will rely heavily on Romans 1:18-20 which has a strong bearing on unreached people groups. God’s word says that the universe is sufficient testimony to God’s power and deity; this is why people are without excuse. But I’m turning that light back on us... because he has also given revelations that remove any excuses we may have for not living our Christian lives optimally.

Furthermore, we Christians are ourselves a revelation... for better or for worse. We all have unchurched people among our friends and acquaintances who know that we are earnest Christians. If we live like disciples are supposed to live, some of them will see and admire our faithfulness. In that case, we are the tool God is using to draw people to Christ. But if we are sour, uncharitable and arrogant people, that’s a revelation too... but in a bad way.

Here in the USA, we have a lot of high profile Christians. Some I admire — and some I aspire to be like! But some have proven not to be congruent Christians... and have fallen by the way. This too is a revelation… and the media can’t wait to beat us up when one of those people fall.

But no matter how he measures our faithfulness and how he works things out, God is just — and he is justified in how he handles us and those who have never heard of Christ. The difficulty comes when we have to support some of his “less popular” revelations to atheists… but that’s part of the job.

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