Never heard of Christ?

Question: If you have to accept Jesus to be saved and to go to heaven, what about people in some remote part of the world who have never heard of Jesus?

This post is in response to a question from the Got Questions? page of this site.  The answer was a bit too long to publish on that page so I’ve responded here.  Please feel free to submit additional questions to

Does this person want to know God? This question only becomes tragic if the person in question has a desire to know God and spend eternity in Heaven with his Maker. The Christian claim is that the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

But don’t fret. There is hope. The Bible also tells us this;

“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” – Acts 17:26-27

And God made it possible for all of us to know Him.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20

More than that God desires that we all come to faith and take hold of the promise of Heaven.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

So knowing our hearts the way He does;

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” – Jeremiah 17:10

He won’t let any who desire Him to be lost.

In practical terms, this means that this person who has never heard the message of Christ will not escape that message. God will move a missionary to his village, cause a drought that will force her to move to a town with a church, or knock a crate of Bibles off a truck that will float down the river and come to rest right outside their home. I have even heard a number of stories of people coming to faith because they had a dream about Jesus. Consider this story from the Bible;

“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.

“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” – Acts 8:26-35

So don’t worry about the seeker living in the deepest jungle or the darkest cave. Christians are commanded by the Lord Jesus to find these people and share the good news about the Christ. And by the grace of God they will, for no one is beyond the reach of The Lord. Worry instead about the person who has heard but still doesn’t believe. If you are a Christian, pray for these people. If you are not, pray for yourself. Ask God, “If You are Who You say You are, reveal Yourself to me.”


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