You may hear something like this: “If people who do not accept God are going to Hell, then What about people that live in such remote places that they have never heard of God?”
This is another example from a skeptic: “My question was what about people who were born without the knowledge or capability of learning about God and Jesus in the first place. Like isolated people of Africa who have no idea about reading material or even paper and pen for that fact.”
Often these will be much more personal, including questions about a mother, father, sister, or brother.
This is the type of question that can be a sincere question of someone who is actually seeking God’s will, or it may be a question from someone is totally closed-minded. When someone is closed-minded, there is no way that they will receive anything from the Lord. Even a double-minded person receives no wisdom. When the garden of the mind is not able to receive the Seed of the Utterance of God, the Utterance of God can find no place in them. They find it impossible, then, to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit doesn’t force Himself on anyone. If the person is unreceptive, this may be ground that is hardened by ungodly counsel: the philosophies, the politics, and the music of this present evil age. It may be ground that is so full of the weeds of desires for the pleasures of this world that nothing of value can grow. It may be stony ground that is hardened from sin. For these people, you may choose to question the question and the motivation for the question.
We don’t know as much about God’s judgments as some theologians think they know. We do know that He will be absolutely just. We know that all His judgments are remedial and are designed to reconcile all things to Himself, which He has revealed that He will do. We know that He would not allow anything to happen to anyone unless there was a better state for that person at the end. And we know that the sufferings we go through are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.
We know that hell is real and it’s burnings go until the Ages of the Ages (the Eons of the Eons). God is the one who makes the judgments as to who actually goes there, though. Actually, hell is an over-simplification. There is Sheol, Gehenna, and the Lake of Fire. Hell is thrown into The Lake of Fire at a certain point and then The Lake of Fire burns to the Ages of the Ages. It seems that there have been those who have been revived from death who have both gone to Heaven and others who have gone to Hell and come back to life. That may speak to any scare tactic that there is no chance once someone is in Hell–not that being in Hell for even a moment, let alone until The Ages of Ages, would be the most terrible thing imaginable. Is there a place for repentance and how does that work? God has not told us. Our understanding of Hell is that a nano-second in Hell would be worse than a lifetime of the very worst misery on Earth.
Salvation is not dependent on the Bible. We don’t worship the Bible but the God Who wrote the Bible. We have heard several testimonies of those who had no access to the Bible, yet Christ came to them and spoke to them, and they turned to Christ. Mostly, this seems to happen in India and Africa among Hindus and Muslims. We know many who have had experiences where Christ came to them in physical form and spoke to them. As a result, it is probable that this experience is not as uncommon as most people would believe.
That being said, when God reveals, the revelation is always in line with the Bible. Generally, He says, you see this part of the Bible here? It means what it says. It doesn’t mean what the scholars are saying that it means.
So, you don’t have to worry that God would be cruel or unfair. He designed the rules of kindness and fairness. Those rules are part of His very nature. He can tell when a heart is totally ignorant. He knows when a heart is actually in rebellion against Him and pretending not to know.
A child who dies in innocence will meet Jesus at death. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the utterance of God. Faith goes on into the eternities.
Luke 12:47 and 48 shed some light.
“The servant who know that master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving of punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”
It is also good to know that judgment is only God’s way of turning each person to Himself. Judgment starts with Him speaking to us and correcting us that way. If we ignore Him, we all know that it can be harder when we harden our hearts. He has no joy in punishment. It is a tool.
However, we also know from Scripture that everyone will eventually turn to Him. Every knee will bow. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. They will all be redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb–there is no other way. It is doubtful that any, except for some very hardened hearts, would go into the Lake of Fire that burns to the Eons of the Eons. However, we leave the judgment of such things to Him Who is far more just than we could ever be. We know that He will do what is right, and the outcome will be good.
God wants us to be comforted, encouraged, and built up as opposed to being plagued. He has no love for the make-believe of those who refuse to believe Him. He doesn’t want us to have the misery of the false hope that some people find in that which He has never said. It is absolutely necessary that we learn to yield to His love and allow His love to flow through us, which is only available through Jesus Christ. Have confidence in Him. He is good all the time and all the time He is good.