Gospel – What About Those Who Do Not Hear?
Acts 17:16-34; Romans 1:16-32; Acts 17:26-34; Psalm 86:15; 139:1-18; Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 30:15-19; Isaiah 1:18-20; Ezekiel 18:23,32; 2 Peter 3:9; John 7:17; Psalm 19; Romans 1:18-20; John 1:14-18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 16:8-11; 1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10; 1 John 1:1-2; Matthew 28:19-20.
Summary. God wants all people to believe his gospel message and gain everlasting life. All people can know that God exists, his power, and his nature through seeing his creation and through the conscience he has placed in each person. Many distort and reject this knowledge and to these he is not bound to give more information, though he often does. God will give further knowledge about himself and his message to those who desire it. He has arranged the world so that people who will believe the gospel will hear it (times and places). Those who reject general revelation and conscience and do not hear the gospel would not have believed it had they heard. Furthermore, God has instructed believers to be his messengers of the gospel and to carry it to all the world so that those who want to know God personally may do so
Three possible interpretations
- God selects specific individuals to be saved and specific individuals to be lost.
- God does not know who will be saved and who will be lost (open theism).
- God knows all things, possible and actual, and ensures that those who respond to general revelation and conscience and will believe the gospel will hear the gospel.
- God’s nature (Psalm 86:15; 139:1-18).
- God’s image—free will & individual responsibility (Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 30:15-19; Isaiah 1:18-20).
- God’s will—desires none go to hell (Ezekiel 18:23,32; 2 Peter 3:9).
- God’s revelation—general and special (Psalm 19; Romans 1:18-20; John 1:14-18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- Holy Spirit convicts (John 16:8-11).
- Christ paid for sins of everyone (1 Timothy 2:4; 4:10; 1 John 2:1-2).
- Believers are to witness (Matthew 28:19-20).