What about the person who has never heard the gospel? What about the heathen, the person in Africa, South America, Asia, etc., who has never heard of Jesus Christ? What will happen to them? Will they be saved? Does a person need to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved? These questions are asked again and again. What does the Bible say? Does the Bible have an answer? Yes, indeed, the Bible does have an answer.
First we need to recognize that the Bible teaches that there is only one Savior and He is Jesus Christ. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Either Jesus Christ is the greatest liar that ever lived and an impostor, or He is who He claims to be. Peter the apostle says in Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Sometimes people say that if someone believes in God but just calls Him by another name that he will still be saved. Peter says, "there is none other name under heaven given among men". This would include the whole earth. No one can be saved apart from Jesus. No one can be saved apart from believing on His name. Acts 4:12.
John the apostle said, "He that hath the Son hath life; but he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (I John 5:12). Here in this passage everyone in the human race is divided into two groups: those that are saved and those that are lost; those that are going to heaven and those that are going to hell. The difference is whether or not they have believed the record that God gave of His Son. "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son." (I John 5:11).
Listen to the Word of God. "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father." (I John 2:23). So we have established the fact that if any are to be saved they must put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. There is simply no other way.
But what about those who have never heard? What about them? God says that they will have no excuse because God has revealed His existence to every person born into this world. They may not have heard of Jesus Christ but they do know that God exists, so they become accountable and are without excuse.
See Romans 1:18-20, "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 shown 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."
The key to understanding the issue is found in verses like Jeremiah 29:13,14 "And you shall seek me, and find me when you shall search for me with all your heart, and I will be found of you, saith the Lord." God didn't say that you might find Him, but that you would find Him.
So God implants the knowledge that He exists in every human that is born into this world (Romans 1:19-20). Therefore man becomes accountable and without excuse (Romans 1:20). If he seeks and wants to know the truth, God promises to get the truth to him (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
There is no such thing as a born atheist. You must teach someone there is no God (Romans 1:19-20). Some people will seek and find the gospel, and others will not. Psalms 9:10 tells us about a seeking person. "And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." The name of God in flesh is Jesus. Psalm 9:10 says that they learn His name and trust in Him because God did not forsake them that SEEK HIM. "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name (Jesus), whosoever believeth in Him shall receive the remission of sins (Acts 10:43)."
If this is true, why do some not seek God? The answer is found in Psalms 10:4, "The wicked (unbelievers) through the pride of his countenance will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts." Pride is the same sin that caused Satan to fall (I Timothy 3:6), and pride causes many not to seek after the Lord.
Remember that the gospel message must be heard and believed in order that someone might be saved. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)."
Sometimes the Lord will lead a witnessing Christian to a seeking lost person, as in the case of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts Chapter 8. Here Philip was led by the Lord (Acts 8:29) to this seeking man (Acts 8:31) and Philip led him to Christ as his Savior (Acts 8:37). This man was from Africa.
Sometimes the Lord will lead a seeking lost person to a witnessing Christian as in the case of the centurion called Cornelius in Acts chapter 10. Cornelius, a seeking lost man (Acts 10:2), was led to Peter, a witnessing Christian (Acts 10:5-6). The result was the same. Peter led the seeking lost man to Christ.
Many examples could be given, but the truth is the same. All men, to be saved, must trust in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. None will have an excuse (John 3:18).
"But if from thence thou shalt SEEK the Lord thy God, thou SHALT FIND HIM, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Deuteronomy 4:29)."
If you will become a witnessing Christian (Mark 16:15), God will use you to lead many seeking lost persons to Christ. BEGIN TODAY!
You too are a heathen under God's wrath and condemnation (Romans 1:18-20), if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior. Recognize your need of Him and "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31)."