Hi Sam,

Thanks for the question.  Its one that a lot of people struggle with.  So what’s God’s perspective on this?

Firstly, he says that he has lovingly revealed himself in the natural world so that everyone can know him to some degree.  The Bible says:

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. (Romans 1:20)

Yet he also tells us that every single human has suppressed this truth.  Pushed it to the back of our minds.  Instead we make up our own ideas of what God is like.  We (that is, Australians, Hindus, Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists etc) decide his character and we decide what sort of worship we should give.

This is nothing less than rebellion against the ruler of the world.  Justice demands then that we should all be punished.  That means we should be asking; ‘how can God provide a way to eternal life while still being loving and just; that is, without giving us what we deserve?’

Because God is loving he’s opened up the only way possible that on the one had doesn’t give us what we deserve and on the other still satisfies his justice.  God loved us so much that he sent his only son to die in our place.  To take what we deserve.  Jesus willingly accepted our punishment.  That means the only way anyone can possibly have eternal life is to trust in him because just punishment can only be given without us feeling it in him.

Now back to the question. God is a just judge. He will not judge people by what they could not possibly know. If a person had no chance of finding out about Jesus then God will not judge them for not following him. But everyone knows something about God and what they do with that knowledge will determine how they are judged.

The question though for you is this - you do know about God and Jesus. What are you doing about it?