I contribute to a site for tween girls called Samie Sisters. In addition to dealing with girl drama, family issues, and just learning to be a better Christian, we field questions the girls have about God and life. It dawned on me that others out there might be interested in answers to these questions as well. Here’s the first one:
If you lived in some jungle and believed in God but had never heard of Jesus, would you go to hell when you die?
A while back in my church, the pastor showed us a video of people living in a remote area in Siberia (or someplace like that) that were saved. I tried to find the video because it’s an amazing story, but I couldn’t locate it. From what I remember, there was a missionary who happened to be traveling and stopped at this hut in the frozen north middle of nowhere. The man who owned the hut just happened to have a visitor there who spoke the missionary’s language. Because this man lived so remotely, he hardly ever had visitors, much less two in one day! Because the visitor was able to translate for the missionary, both men were saved. That is one way God works – through coincidence.
I read a memoir last year called I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter with God. And it was amazing. Jesus spoke to her in a dream, although she didn’t realize it was him at first, and it prompted her to go and speak with missionaries in her village. She eventually became a Christian even though it put her life in danger.
There was another book I read about a shaman (medicine man) for a tribe in a very remote part of the Amazon. These people communed with (evil) spirits, although the people didn’t realize they were evil. There was a great white spirit who stronger than all of their spirits combined (guess who that is?), but their spirits warned them away from Him. Eventually, missionaries came and one by one the people gave up their warring ways and accepted the Holy Spirit. A thought provoking read for someone in our culture who doesn’t really believe in the supernatural realm.
From these examples, you can see that God can reach people, and he often uses missionaries to do so. But none of this really answers the question – what if there are no missionaries?
The answer can be found in two passages in the Bible, these are both from the NLT version:
Psalm 19: 1-4
The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word;
their voice is never heard.
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.
18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
Yes, Jesus is the only name by which we are saved (Acts 4:12), but James 4:7-8a also tells us “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.”
If you were living alone in the jungle and you recognized that there was an amazing Creator God that had made the heavens and the earth and all that is in it, and you desired to know that Creator, He would make Himself know to you.
AGREE? DISAGREE? CARE TO ADD ANYTHING?