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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

Sep 17, 2016

This is a brief answer to the question, "What about the people who have never the gospel?" If you have ever asked this question, you should listen to this one.

Here are the notes for this question:

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What about the people who have never heard the gospel?

 

  1. Intro
    1. It’s funny how much this question comes up. “What about that old man on a mountain somewhere who doesn’t have a radio, TV, internet, or anything like that?” It’s very common for people who don’t want to be accountable to God to think of an extreme scenario like this; and for some reason they think that they are excused from that accountability because of it. When in fact, only those who have heard the gospel ever ask this question, and they usually ask it right when they are being witnessed to.
  2. Irrelevant to your situation
    1. What you need to realize is that whatever the answer to this question is: it’s irrelevant to your situation. You are not accountable for that rare person out there. You are accountable to God for yourself. You may say, “Well, I can’t believe in a God who would condemn someone like that to hell!” Again I tell you, what you believe is irrelevant to your problem. God exists, He has a law for man to obey, man has broken that law, and therefore he is accountable to God who made him. How God runs things is irrelevant to His existence and authority over you. But I tell you as someone who knows Him personally, as all true Christians do, I believe with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength that whatsoever He does is good and perfect in wisdom and righteousness. I’ve learned that from experience.
    2. So here’s some things for you to consider:
  3. Man is accountable for his sin.
    1. God is the judge and soul lawgiver over the universe. He created all things and governs all things directly or indirectly. Therefore He is the only one with the authority to say what is right and what is wrong. The Lord said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Mat. 5:28) And no one has the authority to contradict Him.
    2. The universe is the jurisdiction of God’s kingdom. You have broken the laws of His kingdom and therefore must be punished for Him to be a righteous King. This isn’t a democracy: God is the Lawgiver (Isa. 33:22). God is good; therefore, He must punish that which is wicked. He has declared certain things to be wicked by His own counsel:
    3. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1Cor. 6:9-10)
    4. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:8)
    5. So you see man is a criminal in the court of a benevolent, Holy, Just, and Righteous King who has never done a single thing to cause man to rebel against Him. He is not innocent.
    6. It is not because he hasn’t believed something that he is condemned: it is because of his actions. “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23) All who have sinned against God shall be brought to judgment. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecc. 12:14)
  4. There are two witnesses against man.
    1. The first witness against man, that he should have known better, is Creation itself. Paul the Apostle says it this way, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Rom. 1:18-20)
    2. Just because of this one thing God has declared that man is without excuse before Him. Man may try to convince himself of many things to give himself license but God has not bought them. The order of all existence is self-evident that creation has an intelligent mind far higher and more powerful than himself to give an account to. Ray Comfort illustrated this well in his movie The Atheist Delusion. The average man wouldn’t be convinced that a simple child’s book made itself from nothing, but he has convinced himself that the universe, the atom, the periodic table of elements, and DNA itself has created itself from nothing. Men choose to believe this because it gives them an excuse to break God’s laws. They are willfully ignorant of the truth. Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton both confessed that a Spirit of vast intellect far higher than man is manifested in the universe itself. Where there is order, there is an intelligent mind that has ordered it. Therefore, God has said that man is without excuse for his actions. If man had simply considered things honestly, he would have realized there is one far more powerful than him to whom he should ask, “What do you require of me?”
    3. The second witness against man is his own conscience. Paul the Apostle explains it this way, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;” (Rom. 2:14-15)
    4. When men, though they may not have the written Word of God, do by their own nature those things that God has said is unlawful (such as lying, stealing, adultery) they show themselves that God has written it on their hearts. Primitive cultures from around the world that were never exposed to western (or middle eastern) culture have laws that mirror the basic moral law of God. Why? Because they have been given a certain knowledge of law and morality by their Creator.
    5. Every time a man steals he does it with the knowledge that it is wrong. Otherwise, he wouldn’t seek to hide it. If I was to punch a man in the face and pull a single dollar from his wallet he would automatically know that he has been wronged. He doesn’t need an outside written law to tell him. God has written it on his heart.
    6. This is the main obvious problem with subjective moral relativity. (The idea that all truth is relative to the person and that there are no absolute morals to which all men are accountable) If there are no moral absolutes then man has no authority to tell another man to not punch him in the face and take his money. Where there is no absolute, there can be no wrong doing. But that is what man wants. He only wants to allow himself to do what he wants, and not to allow every other man to do what he wants to him.
  5. Without Excuse
    1. So you see: man is a fugitive running from a righteous King. As opposed to seeking mercy from the King he chooses to seek his own end. In the book of Jonah we read, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” (Jonah 2:8)
    2. Even in the Law of Moses if a man did something contrary to law ignorantly he was still considered guilty and needed to bring a sacrifice to atone for his sin. Now, to whom much is given much will be required. Paul was given mercy for what he did in ignorance (his opposition to Christians) because he had a zeal for the God of heaven, but not according to truth. Paul desired to please God, and God only corrected him. Most men do not care at all what God has said, and they just want to live life their way. They usurp the authority that is God’s alone. So as long as they continue in this state God cannot have mercy on them.
  6. God is Righteous
    1. In the end, the consolation we have is that the Judge of all the earth will do right. He is not a man that He should do that which is evil.
    2. He has made provision for man to receive mercy and pardon through His Son Jesus Christ. All men need to do is come to Him humbly, acknowledge and repent of their sins against Him, and commit themselves to Jesus Christ.
    3. I encourage you to listen to our episode “What is the Gospel?” for a more lengthy explanation of the gospel. Thanks for listening.