I was asked recently why I go to areas where people have worshiped idols for thousands of years and have never head about Jesus. This person said "I do not believe that God would send a person to hell simply because he has lived in a place where he never had the opportunity to hear the Name of Jesus. That just doesn't seem fair".
I could have given him my opinion or said "it's my job" or that's what I've always been taught, but that would not have carried much weight. My first response was "That's a good question and I can understand how you feel that way". I continued, "But what the Bible says is different. We like to talk about John 3:16 because it says if anyone believes in Jesus he has eternal life. But we don't mention John 3:18 too often. That verse says that a person who does not believe in the Name of the Son of God is condemned already. So the person who has not heard of Jesus is already condemned to hell. We're just trying to give him the Good News that this condemnation can be taken from him." I also referenced the Romans 10 passage which says how can they call on someone they have not believed in, how can they believe in someone they have not heard about and how can they hear about Him if someone doesn't go and tell them?
Did this change this person's mind? Probably not at the moment, but respectfully answering his question with the Truth of Scripture gives him something to think about. I was not trying to win a debate or argument, just answering a sincere question. It also gave me an opportunity to re-emphasize the Gospel as well as to remind me that most of the world, including some folks who live near me, are "condemned already".
As laws are being made that make sin legal, as the Gospel continues to be "watered down", and as questions concerning certain ministries arise, we must know how to answer these issues from Scripture. We will be asked. Yet we need not be afraid of questions because we are confident the Bible addresses all issues of life. These types of questions will help grow our faith as well as help grow the Kingdom when we with "gentleness and reverence"….."are always ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us".
May Grace and Peace be multiplied to you,