I saw a video clip where Oprah Winfrey asked one of the people in her audience about the Jungle man who has never heard the gospel. She could not believe that God would condemn someone to hell if they never heard the gospel. I will have to say, it was a good question.
I believe Romans 2:14 is the answer.
“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:”
They do by nature the things contained in the law. There is a moral law within all of us. We know that when we do something that is not right; our conscience will condemn us. God gives man a conscience to know the difference between good and evil, and the choice to choose what path we will follow (Exodus 20:6, Acts 10:35, Matthew 7:21, Romans 2:14-15, Psalm 50:23, 97:11, 103:17-18, Prov 28:18).
If a jungle person commits murder, he understands it is wrong whether he knows God or not. If a jungle person steals, he understands it is wrong whether he knows God or not. He will condemn these actions if he and his family were violated by such crimes. But a jungle person can also repent whether he knows God or not. If a jungle person is in godly sorrow and repents of his actions, I believe he is forgiven by God. When he repents, he shows he is living by his God-given conscience. So a person can obey God even though he does not know about Jesus. God is watching all mankind and considers what they do.
“From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth – He who forms the hearts of all, considers everything they do.” Psalm 33:13-15
Every jungle person out there knows there is some Being who made this universe. They may not know His name, but God’s creation is proof of His existence. (Rom. 1:18-21) Their conscience bears witness even if they have never read the Bible or heard the gospel. (Romans 2:14-15). The Bible says they are without excuse (Rom. 1:20) . I don’t believe they will go to hell because they never heard the gospel or about Jesus. God’s word never tells us this. Scripture says that God,
“…will render to EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: To them who by patient CONTINUANCE IN WELL DOING seek for glory and honour and immortality, ETERNAL LIFE:” (Rom. 2:6-8).
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
I believe Christ’ blood is sufficient to cover that jungle person who has never read a Bible nor heard about Jesus, nor the Gospel but lived according to Rom. 2:7.
It is equally clear that if the jungle person does not repent, he will die in his iniquities. (Prov. 5:21-21, Ezek. chapters 3 and 33).
Does anyone believe that a jungle person who was never given the opportunity to read a Bible or hear the Gospel, but lived according to his conscience, and should he sin, knew it, and repented of it, and continued to live according to the moral conscience God gave him, would end up in Hell because the missing element is that he never heard the Gospel? If your answer is yes, could you give Scriptural support for his condemnation?
I believe there is hope for the Jungle person who was never given the chance to hear the gospel.
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Acts 10:35)
“…God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” (Rom. 2:6-11)
As Jesus said,
“The hour is coming when all who are in the their graves will hear his voice and will come out – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”