The Lost

Recently there’s been controversy in the Christian community about hell.

One of the issues is this: Some people are raised in pagan cultures where the Gospel is never preached. They will never have the opportunity to trust Christ, so how could a good God send them to hell? 

My question is this...Does this ever happen? 

God is, after all, in the business of miracles. Do we really think someone raised in a Muslim or Hindu country is beyond His reach?

I have a case in point—Rahab (Joshua, chapters 2 and 6).

Rahab was raised in a thoroughly evil city surrounded by the worship of false gods.There were no people of God in her city. Nor was she a rich woman who could study religion and history. She was a working woman, a prostitute, constantly surrounded by immorality.

What hope did she have?

She had this hope: 
  1. God loves mankind and wants everyone to be saved from hell (1 Timothy 2:3,4).
  2. Therefore, he puts clues to His existence everywhere:
  • He puts a sense of right and wrong in everyone's heart. (Romans 2:14,15)
  • He reveals His divine character in creation. Every human being who looks at the beauty and design of nature knows there is a God. (Romans 1:20).
  • He reveals His power in other ways. In Rahab’s case, God made sure the people of Jericho heard about His power in the Red Sea miracle (Joshua 2:10).
Despite these loving messages sent to each man and woman on earth, most people refuse God’s invitation. But Scripture says those who refuse are "without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20).

No one in Jericho listened to God's voice except Rahab. But God refused to destroy the city until He rescued this one true seeker. He guided two Israelite spies to her door, and she made an incredible statement of faith (Joshua 2:10,11). This shouldn’t surprise us—God assures us that true seekers will find Him (Matthew 7:7-11), and Rahab was obviously a true seeker.

The Israelite spies thought they were on a fact-finding mission, but they were on a soul-finding mission when they sneaked into Jericho. What information did they need in Jericho anyway? They destroyed it miraculously by marching around the city walls shouting (Joshua 6)!

God is interested in every individual--so interested that He will change the course of history to save a single prostitute. So why do we think thousands of people are dying without a chance to know Him?

Perhaps we have too high an opinion of man, assuming that everyone who hears God’s voice will answer. But we have a Bible full of proof and world history to confirm that man is more likely to reject the wonderful love of God than receive it.

Instead of challenging the concept of hell, perhaps we need to challenge our high view of man and our small view of God!
I’d love to know what you think…please leave a comment.

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