What happens to people who never hear about Jesus?

Unfortunately, they will be forever cut off from the presence of God. Christ himself make this abundantly clear when he says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John. 14:6]

The Apostle, Peter, clearly explained this to the religious leaders in Jerusalem after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

But, you may ask, what about the people who are never told of Jesus? How about those who have no access to the Bible and have never read John or Acts, or letters written by Paul to churches in various cities? Fortuntely, the Bible is clear:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1:18-20

Paul also explains that God has instilled His law within people’s consciences so there is no excuse.

They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them. This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Romans 2:15,16

Since no one can live up to God’s standards, we all stand condemned to an eternity in what the New Testament describes as hell. What exactly that place is may not be fully understood by men, but it is a place where no one wants to end up. If God is absent, there will be no restraints on evil. It will be never-ending punishment in what John in Revelation describes as a lake of fire.

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Rev. 20:14-15

In Mark 9:43 we read about an eternity of ‘unquenchable fire’. As with eternity with God for those who know Jesus and have accepted his substitutionary death for our sins, hell is an eternity in a never-ending misery, unlike anything one knows on earth.

Bible scholars like R. S. Sproul explain that people are not sentenced to Hell for rejecting Jesus but for rejecting the light they do have. Because people everywhere reject that light, Jesus, before leaving this earth, commanded his followers to go into all the world and tell them the Good News of God’s plan of redemption–the sacrifice of his own son so that the penalty for sin is paid for.

If you are not yet sure of where your future lies, we encourage you to read our post,  How does one become a Christian?