All of us are on a Spiritual Journey
All of us are on a Journey

FAQ's on Christianity

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FAQ#9: According to Christianity, what happens to a person after death? Do all non-Christians automatically go to hell?

Human beings tend to have a highly developed sense of justice. When we hear about some heinous crime or some innocent person who got ripped off, we want punishment to be meted out swiftly. Given that fact, it is probably not the actual existence of hell or divine punishment that bothers us. Instead, it is the Christian concept that belief in Christ determines whether or not one goes to hell--that doesn't seem fair to those who have never heard of Christ, and our sense of justice is again violated.

So what does the Bible really say about all this? Well, let's start with what Scripture says about the character of God. The God of the Bible is one of complete justice and impartiality. Indeed, our own sense of fair play is but a dim reflection of God's. So the first point to make is that no one will be in hell because they got a "raw deal." No one will be there through unavoidable ignorance or "no fault of their own." Such a state of affairs would be incompatible with God's nature.

Second, the Bible is equally clear that Jesus Christ alone is God's provision for the salvation of humanity. All of us have fallen short of God's standard--we have done things that have hurt ourselves and others. And we can never make up for those things--they can only be atoned for by appealing to Christ for forgiveness and a new life. He is God's solution, and Scripture is unequivocal on this point:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Having said that, however, it must also be noted that the Bible seems to indicate that some people will be saved through Christ without ever personally hearing about Christ or embracing him. Old Testament heroes like Abraham and Moses are in heaven even though they lived prior to Jesus. Their acceptance seems to be based on the fact that they responded in faith to the revelation of God which they had available to them.

Now, what does all that mean for people today? What will happen to the person in a remote village who has never heard of Christ? We can't say for sure, but it is clear that God will judge them fairly. This judgment will, perhaps, be based on the "light" which they did possess and their response to it. Also, it is certain that any person reading this has heard of Christ. For you the question now becomes, "What will I do with Jesus?" Reflect deeply on your own response to Christ and trust that God will do right by those who have not had your opportunities.

Are you ready to go to heaven instead of hell?