For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, Romans 1:18
Now and again, the Lord willing I get to share my faith with non-believers. Every time I get to witness it never goes according to plan as I get bombarded with unexpected questions I am not fully prepared to answer. In a way this is a good thing for me, because difficult questions always drive me to my bible. If I get stuck with a difficult question during witnessing, my desire to know more about God increases and God is so gracious to me because He always leads me to the knowledge of the truth through His Word. I learn more about the character and nature of God when I witness. When I share my faith with my fellow Africans, there is one question that pops up now and again," We never had the bible to begin with, our ancestors had their own beliefs, it is not their fault that they never heard the gospel. Why should they go to hell if they did not have the chance to hear the gospel and believe, is God not fair and just in sending them to hell?" To be honest I have wrestled with this question as a new believer, I never quite knew how to answer this one. But the more I think about this, the more I am taken back to my life as an unbeliever. I am one of those who actually never heard the gospel all my life prior to my conversion. Even though I was raised in a religious home and went to religious schools, the truth is I never heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ. All I knew was syncretic religion (false Christianity mixed with traditional cultural African beliefs), portrayed by the worst hypocrites. That is the religion I knew as a child which to be honest I hated then and still do today.
So when I think of those who say its not fair for God to send those who have not heard the gospel to hell, I look at my own life. Had I died 4 years ago, I would have gone straight to hell, even though I did not know that I could be forgiven through Christ. I did not know the glorious gospel yet I still would have gone straight to the pits of hell to be tortured for all eternity for my sins, and God would have been just in sending me to hell. I say this because the bible says so and I too can testify about this truth.
About eight years ago I lay in a hospital bed, tears rolled down my cheeks, I knew it would only be a matter of minutes before I would do something that would horrify and haunt me for the rest of my life. My heart was racing fast, I was in tears. Tears of confusion, tears of fear, tears of knowing that what was about to happen was evil. Before I knew it, still confused and in tears, I was whisked off to another room, and the next minute I woke up, guilt and pain filled my heart. I had just killed my first baby. My conscience condemned me, I was wrecked with guilt from that moment. I was not a believer, but suddenly all I could think of was that there could be a God who had seen all I had done. I was filled with shame. The fact that my baby had now died, I started thinking about death, to some degree I became convinced that there was an afterlife. If there was a good God I thought, then there must be a hell for people like me. The concept I had thought to be a myth all my life suddenly became a shocking and fearful reality. I developed a sudden fear of death. If there was a heaven, it became very obvious that I was not heading there, no way I could qualify. For the first time in my life I could not argue with the concept of Hell, it became apparent why I deserved Hell. To me this is clear evidence of what Paul described in Romans 2, my conscience bearing witness to the holiness of God, and the law written upon my heart accused me that I had violated the commandment not to kill, even though I had never heard the true gospel and was totally ignorant and without ability to comprehend the God of scripture. Romans 2:14 - 15 says- "For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them".
Most people who are not saved do not want to admit this truth, that they know in their hearts that they are condemned, because their consciences accuses them. Even those who have not heard the gospel know that they are wicked and vile, but many try to suppress that truth, especially hard hearted proud people like atheists, whom God has given up to their vile passions. Little do they realise they are storing up wrath for themselves in the day of judgement and it will be too late to repent. As for me I knew I was condemned years before God graciously saved me, even though I tried hard to suppress this truth by falsely comforting myself in that maybe I was wrong, there might not be a God after all. But this never got rid of my shame and guilt. Sadly I only knew part of the truth, that what I had done was wrong. I thought that was it for me. I did not know that there was a way in which I could be forgiven.I did not even realise how depraved or lost I was. The most shocking thing is I never sought God and did not even want to get saved, (John 6:44 )but God performed a supernatural work in my heart and raised dead bones to life, and behold 5 years later after I had an abortion, I was saved!
I am so grateful to God that he saved me. Now I know that no one goes to hell because they have never heard of Jesus, people go to hell because of their own wickedness against God.People love their sin and hate to be stopped, yes even people who are in the midst of pain and suffering still love their sin. And their conscience too bears witness, even when they have never read the bible. It breaks my heart when I see so called missionaries who go to Africa to feed the hungry first and then they say they will only preach the gospel when the people are well fed and happy, then the gospel will be relevant to them. People who think like this are not true Christians. The gospel of Jesus Christ is relevant to everyone on this planet regardless of circumstances, culture, race or religion. We are all sinners who deserve wrath, and God is just and fair, it is us who are unfair and wicked, Ezekiel 18:25-32.
Today when I look at the words of Jesus in Mathew 11:28 I am broken to tears. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Not only did Christ pay for my sin on the cross, but today He also embraces and comforts me. Now I know that when God looks at me, He sees the righteousness of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:21. And on Calvary God poured his wrath on His Son for the baby I killed, not only for the cold blooded murder of my baby, but for all things I have done wrong, all this so that today I can be declared not- guilty by God. Those of us who are truly saved can honestly say we do not deserve salvation. For by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God... lest anyone should boast, Ephesians 2:8-9.
We are no better off than those who perish without ever knowing of Christ. The only difference is that God who is rich in mercy chose to save us, even though we did nothing to contribute or impart to the grace we have received. Salvation is a gift no one deserves and those who perish without hearing the gospel deserve the wrath of God as much as we all do. No one is undeserving of hell. That is why as believers we have to be passionate about spreading the good news of forgiveness of sins to every creature, it is our only mission.
End of post.