Those who've never heard of Jesus ...

A theological Q&A

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Those who've never heard of Jesus ...

Postby Kait » Sat May 24, 2014 2:22 pm

Hey all!

So I have a few theological questions I'd like to pose to those interested. I have been unable to find satisfactory answers anywhere else online.

This question is for those people who believe anyone who hasn't heard about Jesus or the Gospel will go to Heaven regardless. You know ... all of those remote tribes in Africa and the Amazon that no missionary has ever gotten to.

So basically this: If you believe anyone who hasn't even heard the gospel (and thus had a chance to accept or reject Jesus as their savior) will go to heaven — What is the point of missions work?

Why even give people the option of condemning themselves and rejecting Jesus? Why not let them live their lives in ignorance and go to heaven regardless?

Please don't turn this into a debate about whether people who haven't heard about Jesus actually go to heaven or not after they die. That's not what I'm wanting out of this. I just want to hear some answers to my question because I'm curious of the reasoning.
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Re: Those who've never heard of Jesus ...

Postby Catspaw » Sat May 24, 2014 8:55 pm

Kait wrote:So basically this: If you believe anyone who hasn't even heard the gospel (and thus had a chance to accept or reject Jesus as their savior) will go to heaven — What is the point of missions work?

Why even give people the option of condemning themselves and rejecting Jesus? Why not let them live their lives in ignorance and go to heaven regardless?

Please don't turn this into a debate about whether people who haven't heard about Jesus actually go to heaven or not after they die. That's not what I'm wanting out of this. I just want to hear some answers to my question because I'm curious of the reasoning.

Being a Christian is a lot more than just knowing that you will go to heaven when you die - it's having a relationship with Him while you are still on earth, experiencing forgiveness for your sins, and finding healing and freedom from the sins and related issues that are weighing you down in life (without any implication that being a Christian makes your life perfect, because Jesus never promises that.) Living in ignorance means being stuck in your sin without having a relationship with Jesus. That should be one reason for missions work (of all types.)

If it was a very clear cut "If they don't hear they go to heaven and if they do hear a bunch of them will be condemned to hell," then the answer seems obvious, but I believe that people are accountable for whatever level of knowledge that they have. There are many wonderful testimonies about people who have had dreams or visions that led them to Jesus, or that led them to a person who told them about Jesus, and stories of missionaries arriving to find people that Jesus had already been preparing their hearts ahead of time. I don't say this to go against your request not to debate whether people who haven't heard go to heaven or not, but because I really don't think that the question addresses that sometimes God reveals himself in areas that missionaries have not gone to yet, or where there are many people who have not personally interacted with a Christian until Jesus sends them to the right place at the right time. I keep reading my post over to see if I should take this out, but I really can't properly answer without addressing this. I have no interest in debating about it, but I feel like this perspective is a necessary part of my answer. Maybe I don't quite fit the profile for the kind of answers you were looking for, Kait, since I do need to add this very long caveat to answer. ;) I hope I added to the discussion, if nothing else!
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Re: Those who've never heard of Jesus ...

Postby jelly » Sun May 25, 2014 3:48 pm

I like Catspaw's post. The world is far more complicated and nuanced than your question gives it credit for. And what is the point of the question if we're not supposed to discuss what it is that gets you into heaven, and what heaven even is in the first place?

Christianity is, bottom line, relational. The purpose of every "missionary," or Christian, or whatever they want to call themselves, should be to take the model of relationship as modeled by Christ and live it out for the sake of today. Call it "storing up treasures in heaven" if that motivates you, but just go out and love people. ;) The "point of missions work" is just that.
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Re: Those who've never heard of Jesus ...

Postby Simon Magus » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:30 pm

I don't think they will go to heaven. They need the knowledge necessary for salvation.
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