Salvation

 

 

Those who have not heard the Gospel in this life will have the opportunity to hear it and to turn to the Lord in the afterlife

 

 

 

There are some Protestants who believe that those who have not heard the Gospel in this life will have the opportunity to hear it and to turn to the Lord in the afterlife. In La Religione Cristiana. Manuale d’istruzione religiosa ad uso delle Chiese Evangeliche [The Christian Religion. Manual of religious education used by the Evangelical Churches], it is written: ‘As for the possibility for the wicked to be converted during the life which follows immediately the earthly death, no one is allowed to deny it categorically, setting limits to the omnipotence and love of God; furthermore, the New Testament does not forbid us to have a generous hope with regard to this [1]. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the greater is the hardening of the heart the more difficult is the conversion’ (La Religione Cristiana. Manuale d’istruzione religiosa ad uso delle Chiese Evangeliche, Torre Pellice, Torino, 1920, page 184. Translated by myself [1] The footnote says: ‘The passage of Matthew 12/32 says that only those who consciously and wilfully reject the Gospel will be condemned; is it not lawful to infer that those who did not hear the call of the Christ during their earthly existence will hear it in another life? That’s why the forgiveness ‘in this world and in the world to come’ is mentioned’)

 

Confutation

 

The Holy Scripture teaches that when the wicked die they go to hell, as it is written: “The wicked shall be turned into hell” (Psalm 9:17 – NKJV). No matter if they have heard the Gospel or not, they are wicked in the sight of God and so they deserve to go to hell and thus they will be brought down to hell, which is a place of torment where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth and where no one can hear the Gospel. They died in their sins, and consequently they will be lost forever.

Jesus said: “He who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 – NKJV), and John the Baptist said: “He who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36 – NKJV). Is it not clear that unbelievers – whether they have heard the Gospel or not – after death will have no opportunity to turn to the Lord?

The author of the epistle to the Hebrews wrote: “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement” (Hebrews 9:27 – NKJV). That means that those who have died in their sins, that is, both those who heard the Gospel and rejected it an those who did not hear it, will be judged according to their works (not immediately after death but on the day of judgement), and thus, since they did not obtain remission of sins they will be condemned and cast into the lake of fire. While those who have died in the Lord will appear before the judgement seat of Christ (when Jesus returns) so that they may receive the things done in the body, according to what they have done, whether good or bad. There will be no condemnation to them because while they were on the earth they were forgiven and reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

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