We Are Radical

Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)

Are They Really Lost?

World evangelism is being hindered because we have untold numbers in the Church who believe that a man who has not heard is not lost. Why did Jesus give the apostles a commission to preach the Gospel to every creature? If the man who has not heard is saved because he has not heard, it would be best if the Lord had not given the commission found in Matt. 28:18-20, Mk 16:15-16, Acts 1:8. If the apostles went and preached, and the men who formerly had not heard, listened, but then rejected Jesus, they would be lost. How sad! They were saved before hearing because they had not heard, and now because they have heard, and rejected, they are lost. Brethren, if this the case, the Lord made a mistake giving the commission, but dare we make such an accusation? Saints who carry the Gospel to distant lands are doing the people of those lands a grave injustice if they are already saved. Cannot we see the fallacy of such reasoning?

When will some stop accusing God (and also preachers who preach the truth of God on this subject) of being unfair? Men should be careful about so readily saying that God is being unfair to punish the man in Africa for his sins even though the man has not heard. God has the divine prerogative and responsibility to deal with sinners as justice and righteousness demands. You see, sinners deserve to go to Hell because of their sins. But, man doesn’t view sin like that. Mankind imagines that sin is not so bad that one should lose his soul in a lake of fire and brimstone over a little adultery, a little drinking, a little dishonesty, a little bad language, or a little white lie. Man views sin through human eyes and not as God, through divine or purely holy eyes. God is a righteous God (Ps. 145:17). God is a God of justice and judgment (Ps. 89:14, Jer.23:5-6). Righteousness and justice demands that sinners be punished. God, because of his being divine and not human, cannot overlook one unrequited sin. The cure for man’s sinful state is the gift of his only begotten Son on the cruel cross of Calvary. That cure has been provided by a loving and merciful God. Let us try to illustrate the condition of the man who has not heard in this way. Suppose a man has a terrible disease and a cure has been provided for this disease, BUT the man does not have access to the cure. He dies! Did he die because he did not have access to the cure or because he had the disease? To draw a parallel, those who say the man who has not heard the Gospel is saved would say that he died because he did not have access to the cure, but that isn’t the case at all. He died because of the disease he had. If the man in Africa goes to Hell, it will not be because he has not heard of the cure (the Gospel), but because of the disease (sin) that he has.

If someone must be blamed for this situation, it is not God. Firstly, the sinner must shoulder the responsibility, for it is he that has sinned unto death, not God. Secondly, if anyone else is to be blamed it must be the saints who sit back and fail to go and teach the man in distant lands who has not heard, thinking that he is saved anyway. Ezk. 3:18-19 says “When I say unto the wicked, thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou have delivered thy soul.” Please notice the wicked man shall die in his iniquity if he is not warned, and also that God’s representative is held accountable for seeing that the wicked man is warned. Two things are obvious from this passage: Firstly men in wickedness are lost and must be warned of their wickedness, or they will die in that wickedness; Secondly, God’s representative is to deliver his soul by warning wicked men of their wickedness, or else their blood will be upon his hands.

In closing I want to include a couple of verses from Luke. “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” (Luke 12: 47-48) Surely we can see from a careful study of God’s word that the idea that “if a man has not heard the Gospel, he isn’t lost” is completely false! Brethren, the belief of this idea greatly hinders World Evangelism.

Demar Elam, Enduring Words, Vol. 1, Issue 4, April 1982

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We are the Lord's church that meets in Porirua, New Zealand. Visit poriruachurch.com.

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This entry was posted on 01/04/1982 by in Evangelism.