I remember it like it was yesterday. I was laying down for bed when my mind started racing and a terrifying thought occurred to me, "Jesus died for all men, but not all men have heard the gospel or even have a Bible? What good does His death do for them?"
This bothered me for a fairly long time. I couldn't reconcile my belief in a universal atonement and the reality that everyday people die without every hearing the gospel.
Sure, there were many theologians who have posited supposed answers to these questions but none of them really got to the heart of the issue for me. I recall reading someone say something along the lines that Jesus judges people based on the light that they had, but why didn't God give them the same light since he died for everyone? What did his death accomplish if it doesn't even give them light?
Needless to say, I lost some sleep over this issue.
The more I looked at the answers to my question the more I started to doubt Christianity. I thought no one was really taking this question seriously. The responses were so empty, like a canned response to something without any real experience or wisdom.
Every single time I saw the general response to "What about those who've never heard the gospel?" type questions, I thought of the Apostle Paul who exclaimed in Romans 10:9
"because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (NET)There are people who've never heard someone preach this to them. There are people who've never read these words in their own language.
Eventually and thankfully, I found my answer. My real issue was my low view of God's justice. I mistakenly had a high view of man, that God had to be fair and give everyone the same chance. That isn't justice when a perfect judge is looking upon guilty sinners. If I really wanted fair, I'd be cast into hell with all the others who break his law daily.
Once you have a biblical view of man, you realize that our human understanding of fairness is usually self-centered nonsense.
Grace to truly be grace has to be unmerited. That truth opened a whole new world to me. It led me to tear up just thinking about Matthew 1:21, where Matthew writes:
"She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." (NET)
He indeed will save, not try to save, but actually save his people.
Jesus says in John 6:44
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.:
Which led him to say an even harder truth, which you don't see much on inspirational bible quote pages or posters.