Know­ing Christ

The Covington News - - News -

One of the com­mon ar­gu­ments raised against the Chris­tian re­li­gion is the age old ques­tion, “What about the in­no­cent na­tive who has never heard of Christ? What hap­pens to them when they die?”

The ques­tion of course comes be­cause of the exclusive claims of Christ and the Bi­ble. There are two pas­sages of scrip­ture which give us a uni­ver­sal neg­a­tive. The first is Christ’s own claim, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Fa­ther ex­cept through me,” (John 14:6, NIV). (The uni­ver­sal neg­a­tive here be­ing the “no one” en­ters heaven apart from him.)

The sec­ond uni­ver­sal neg­a­tive is found in Acts 4:12, “Sal­va­tion is found in no one else, for there is no other name un­der heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” The uni­ver­sal neg­a­tive in this pas­sage is clear.

Now, if th­ese pas­sages aren’t enough, travel with me to the Gar­den of Geth­se­mane (See Matthew 26:36-46). Je­sus is fac­ing the cross. Three times he prays in ef­fect, “Fa­ther, if there is any other way men could pos­si­bly be saved, don’t let me go to the cross.” Does he go to the cross? Yes. What is the im­pli­ca­tion of that? John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 are true. And that is where the rub for so many en­ters.

What about the in­no­cent na­tive any­where who dies without hear­ing of Je­sus? What hap­pens to them? The an­swer is sim­ple. The in­no­cent na­tive who dies without ever hear­ing of Je­sus would be wel­comed into heaven with open arms. Now, be­fore you ei­ther re­joice at that state­ment or write me off as a heretic, let me ex­plain. Of course the in­no­cent per­son any­where would be granted en­trance into heaven. But the prob­lem is, there are no in­no­cents. The Bi­ble says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Ro­mans 3:23, NIV).

Now, if there are no in­no­cents and since we (that is those of us who are Chris­tian) be­lieve that Je­sus Christ is the only way of sal­va­tion, how do we deal with the prob­lem of those who have never heard about Christ?

In Jeremiah 29:13 God prom­ises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” A per­son who is sin­cerely seek­ing God will come face to face with Je­sus Christ. Why do I say that? If it is true that Je­sus

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