I was recently asked a very good question concerning salvation. It went like this, “If a kid is born today in a 3rd world tribe in the middle of nowhere and lives to be 20 years old but never had access to the internet, Bible, etc.. and his family were non believers and never told him about Jesus, then how would this kid get to Heaven”????
The first thing that probably comes to our mind is “Surely they get to go to heaven. It wouldn’t be fair if hey went to hell.” We need to understand and accept that access to heaven or hell is not decided by fairness or deserves. In fact, we all deserve hell. The Bible is very clear on this matter:
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;
When we accept the fact of what we all deserve, only then do we begin to understand what a true gift His grace really is. The natural mind will only understand things according to the flesh. The natural mind will tell you that it only makes sense that if you never had a chance or didn’t know about something, how could you possibly be held accountable for it?
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.
There is one way and only one way to heaven and that is through and by Jesus Christ: “For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). When a child is born, it is born in the correct relationship with God. It is not until God speaks (Calls) to that person that they are held accountable for their sin. Until the Lord calls them, they have not transgressed His law.
To understand this better, we only need to look at Adam in the garden. Adam was free to eat from every tree until the Lord gave him the commandment (Law). If Adam would have eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil before the commandment was given to him, it would not have been sin, or at least he would not have been held accountable for it. It wasn’t until the Lord spoke to him that it became a law. Then, when Adam did eat, he knowingly and willingly committed sin and was held accountable for it.
John 12:32 If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me
I believe that Christ died for everyone. That means those small and great, rich and poor, known and not known. However, this does not mean He will call, visit or give the commandment to everyone. It simply means He died and paid the price for sin on behalf of all people. In turn, this means that all children are born spiritually alive because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice for our sin.
Matthew 22:14 Many are called, but few are chosen
Though Christ died and paid the penalty of sin for everyone, Christ does not call everyone to service, He calls many to service. Those that are never called, never reached the Age of Accountability (No matter what their natural age may be). According to scripture, out of the many that are called, only a few will answer the call positively. Only a few will be saved.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of this world, but I have chosen you out of this world, therefore the world hateth you.
It is important to understand that we do not know when someone is called or even if someone is called. That is between that person and the Lord. Some people take the attitude that it would be better if we did not spread the message, thinking that if people never hear the message from us that they will be spared automatically. We must accept that this is completely false for a couple of reasons. First, the message of the Savior is so good, it can’t be hid. Those that have been born again have an urgency about themselves to tell people what the Lord has done for them. To not spread the word goes against our Spiritual nature. Another reason is Christ commanded us to “Teach all Nations“ (Mat 28:19-20). It is a commandment of Christ.
It is not man that does the calling or the saving. It is our job to be obedient to Christ. We should always be willing to do what He desires. The more often we spread His gospel and the more people we spread it to, the more people will come to Christ and be saved.
That child from a third world tribe with unbelieving parents was born spiritually alive and in the right relationship with God the Father just like all children across the world. If that child reaches the Age of Accountability and is called to service by the Holy Spirit, that person will answer that call for themselves and for no other. We must accept the realization that God is in control. We may not understand everything but we can trust that He will work things out to betterment of His Kingdom and for His glory. He gave His Son so that we may have life. That child will make it to heaven the same way everyone else will. By the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ.