One of the most frequently asked questions Christians receive revolves around what happens to people who have never heard the gospel. Perhaps they live in remote areas, or simply have never been introduced to the story of Christ. Do they go to hell? O.S. Hawkins, in his book, The Jesus Code, points out that if people can get to heaven by simply being in a position to never hear the gospel, then we should burn all the Bibles, end all missions and do everything possible to ensure no one ever learns of Jesus. Therefore, all can be saved out of ignorance. Clearly, this is counter to Jesus’ great command to take the gospel to the ends of the earth (Mark 16:15). Thankfully, the days of God’s grace are still upon us – largely to allow believers more time to witness to those people who have not heard the gospel and to those who have yet to receive salvation. Therefore, may we rejoice in our opportunity to continue serving in Christ’s divine purposes:
To Share: If someone possessed the treatment to save the life of a snake bitten victim, but withheld it, we would think such a person to be beyond wicked. Yet, how many times do we do the same thing as Christians when we withhold the saving power of Jesus from those in need (Galatians 6:10)? Perhaps we keep the gift of salvation we have been entrusted to ourselves, because we don’t want to intrude, insult, or embarrass, but could it be, by holding back, we are actually delivering them a dire disservice?
To Strengthen: Struggles and challenges abound, which is why testimonies from other believers are so powerful. They serve to strengthen and encourage as others hear how Christ helped us persevere, overcome and grow through our own challenges (1 Thessalonians 5:11). To hold this back is like denying a helping hand to an eager toddler desiring to walk and stand.
To Save: Christians possess and have been entrusted with a powerful gift – Jesus. For He offers eternal life to all who believe in Him. May we never seek to hoard such a potent privilege, but eagerly pursue sharing Him with as many as possible – for it is truly a matter of life and death (John 11:25-26).
Application: “Fill To Fulfill” – Acts 4:1
Overcoming our reservations to lovingly share our faith despite the risks of opposition and obstinance can not be done in our strength. Only Christ can transform our hearts to love enough, care enough and persevere enough to willingly participate in such self-sacrifice. As we surrender our lives to Him, He is faithful to the sending and the saving, while empowering us to the serving.