by Eugene Wilson
The idea that people can be saved without an encounter with Jesus is contrary to the Word of God. Everyone comes into this world condemned by Adam’s sin. (See Romans 5:18.) We have all sinned and the result is spiritual death. (See Romans 3:23; 6:23.) The only way we can receive salvation is through Jesus. Jesus
said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Recently while reading several books and magazine articles 1 came across the following information that centered on the idea of what the world would
be like if it were a village of one hundred people.
If the world were a village of 100 people, there would be 56 Asians, 21 Europeans, 9 Africans, 8 South Americans, and 6 North Americans. There would be
30 Christians, 18 Muslims, 13 Hindus, 6 Buddhists, 5 animists, and 21 without any religion. Of these 100 people, 6 would control half the total income, 50
would be hungry, 60 would live in shanty towns, and 70 would be illiterate.
These statistics stir me. The real world is much larger than my world. My world consists primarily of the United States, just a small portion of a much larger part. Unlike the majority of the population of the real world, 1 am able to read and write, have a nice home, and have more than enough food. 1 am blessed.
If you have been born and raised in the United States of America you are blessed. We are among the wealthiest people in the world. We are charged in Scripture to be faithful with what we have been given. Paul said, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Timothy 6:17-18).
We Apostolics also are blessed with the truth. Most of the real world does not know Jesus as we do. Many who are lost have never even heard the message of Jesus Christ. Do we really believe this? Do we understand the magnitude of responsibility we have in sharing the gospel with the real world? If so, how can we not “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”?
A theological drift is occurring-even among evangelicals-toward believing that those who haven’t heard the gospel will not go to Hell. According to Stan Guthrie in Missions in the Third Millennium, more than half of evangelical leaders of denominations and missions professors at evangelical colleges and seminaries believe people can be saved by Christ without specifically turning to Him for forgiveness of their sins. Shockingly, based upon some of my conversations with a few Apostolics, this type of thinking may also be taking root within some of us.
The idea that people can be saved without an encounter with Jesus is contrary to the Word of God. Everyone comes into this world condemned by Adam’s sin.
(See Romans 5:18.) We have all sinned and the result is spiritual death. (See Romans 3:23; 6:23.) The only way we can receive salvation is through Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Some ask, ”Are those who don’t hear of Jesus really lost? Consider the response to this question by the late D. James Kennedy, founder and pastor of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church: “If all are saved who don’t hear of Christ, the best strategy is to immediately withdraw all missionaries, so that all will be saved.” To which I would add, ”And we should close the doors of all our churches.”
The real world needs Jesus. We must rid ourselves of apathy and indifference. The real world is much bigger than our world. The real world is lost. We have been
charged with the responsibility to freely share with others what we have been freely given.