Universal Guilt

Have you ever wondered what will happen to people who never hear the gospel? Is it fair that they are condemned when they never had a chance to believe in Jesus? This is a serious problem; if God condemns someone unjustly then He is an unjust God and should not be worshipped. How do we resolve this dilemma? Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about the creation of man and woman. “Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7 ESV)

Here God breathes life into the man and “God [makes] man upright…” (Ecclesiastes 7:29 ESV) Romans 2:15 states that “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness” (Romans 2:15 ESV) All people all over the world show day after day they know God’s law. Every time someone tells the truth they are acknowledging that God has placed knowledge of His law in their hearts. And so what we see is that God shows day to day the sin of all people through their own actions. “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.” (Romans 2:14 ESV)

Now you are probably thinking, okay everyone knows what right and wrong is but we know we can’t keep the law that’s why Jesus came so how can God still condemn those people who have not heard of Jesus? What we need to realize is that along with placing knowledge of right and wrong in humans God has also placed knowledge of Himself. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:19-20 ESV) See every single human being knows that God exists and “although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21-23 ESV)

All of humanity is guilty before God, they know when they do right and they know when they do wrong, their conscience bears witness against them that they are sinful and under condemnation. Those people who never heard the gospel are just as guilty as the rest of humanity and deserve the just condemnation of God. If those people cannot be condemned because they’ve never heard the gospel then missions is the worst thing we can do for lost people in other countries. If they can’t be condemned then we should not do missions. However, we know that’s not the case, all of humanity is under God’s condemnation and needs to hear the good news of the gospel that is why God ordained His church to do mission work and preach the gospel. This is why you reading this article should be motivated to do missions! People need to hear the good news of the gospel so that they may be saved, as Paul said, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15 ESV)

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