Missions Launch

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What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

by Carol Grace |

Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues, Theology

Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer

For those of us interested in missions, the answer to this question is of utmost importance.  After all, missionaries are usually motivated by 2 main factors, obeying the commands of Christ and concern for the lost.  So, if the lost are just fine never hearing about Jesus, then 1 of our top motivating factors would be removed. Of course, since Jesus commands it, some would still go, but it would definitely be less motivating if the lost can get to heaven while we stay home.  

On the other hand, as Christians we certainly can wish that there was some other way for people to be saved besides someone telling them. After all, there are 2 billion people still who haven’t heard, and it sure doesn’t seem like there are enough missionaries right now to reach them all. It is horrifying to think of all those people who don’t have the same chance that we have, who don’t have the good news.

Also, there are some interesting stories out there of God reaching out to the unreached Himself. In many unreached countries and Muslim areas there are many many documented cases of people seeing or hearing of Jesus first in a dream. It does seem like those people are then led to find Christians to speak with or literature and films about Jesus that help them understand, but it also seems like there are some who come to faith only through their dream.

But still, the question remains…

What happens to those who have never heard?

There are some great articles out there that shed insight and give biblical foundations on this question.  

There is one point, however, that several authors, including John Piper and David Platt, point out – no one is innocent. People aren’t going to hell for rejecting Jesus. People are going to hell for their sins. Jesus is the only way to save them from their sins.

Also, it is important to remember that God desires for none to perish.

With these 2 points in mind, here are some interesting articles on the topic that include some slightly differing viewpoints.



This article lays out a very simple biblical foundation of verses on the topic.


Desiring God

This is a John Piper article that comes to this conclusion: “Missions is what the truth demands.”


Small Town Pastor


This blog lists 5 different views on the subject with a list of famous Christians who adhere to each view.


Shoreline Church


This article by Steven Binos addresses people coming to faith without missionaries.


What do you think?

Please tell us what you think. What motivates you to go? What do you think happens to those who have never heard? Please send us a comment, and we will post it to the article.

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