You are not good.
You can’t do good.
Everything in your heart is evil.
You do not seek God.
The Gospel, the good news, begins with this truth. And it sinks its ugly teeth into our pride. “Who are you to tell me I’m not good?” “Who are you to say that I don’t want God?”
But truth is truth. So, in reaction to this, the world has come up with solutions to skirt the topic. Questions to bewilder the evangelist in an attempt to shut their mouth.
And one of those famous questions is, “If hell truly is the destination for all who don’t believe in your Jesus, what about that one guy in Africa who will never hear? How is that fair?”
You may be thinking, “Good question.” But let me blunt. It’s not a fair question at all. My first sarcastic gut reaction is to ask, “What guy?”
Because I can guarantee that this person doesn’t have a specific African in mind. They don’t know who they are referring to. As I said, it’s a rabbit trail. A sly way of throwing the conversation off topic.
There is an answer to their question. I would strongly recommend, if at all possible, to avoid the question and get back on subject. But if it can’t be avoided, here’s the answer.
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways,for why will you die, O house of Israel?
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
First we must understand this truth. God truly does love everybody. There is nobody, from the cruelest villain to the saintliest monk, that God ever desires to punish. Jesus died the sinner’s death so that all sinners could live fully in forgiveness and joy.
And that is God’s ultimate joy as well. To see a sinner repent, and become a child of God.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
1 Peter 3:18-20
God commanded Noah to build the ark to give the rest of the world time to repent. He could have provided the boat or saved them by another means, but He allowed much time to go by in the building of the ark to give everybody one more chance.
We as Christians long for Jesus to return and are commanded to pray for it, but God’s patience is holding out so all will know that he is God. Countless stories have circulated about God revealing himself to people in China with dreams and visions. About unreached tribes believing in a God very similar to Jesus Christ without a word of Scripture.
So what about that guy in Africa? I’ll just say that he needs to decide for himself. God will make sure he hears. Your only concern is you. Don’t skirt the Gospel with trivial diversions. You must decide for yourself whether you believe in Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. That only through his goodness can we be holy and enter into a relationship with our Creator and God.
Romans 1:20 clearly states that all people are without excuse for not believing in God. Every person who has breathed on this earth will face God and be accountable only to Him. And yes, hell is real for those who reject him. But eternal life, everlasting joy, incomprehensible peace, and so much more are available to those who surrender to Him. To God be the glory.