Obviously, the Mayans’ prediction of the world coming to an end on Dec. 21, 2012 has now proven to be NOT true (just like all the other “end of the world” rhetoric that’s been stated throughout history). The Bible makes it clear that no one will ever be able to predict when the end will come:
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”–Mathew 24 :36.
One thing the Bible is less clear about, however, is if the Mayans (a people who never heard about Jesus) could be saved.
Before I continue, I want to make it clear that I don’t have all the answers when it comes to this topic (or any topic for that matter) and openly admit my view could very easily be wrong. Many have different viewpoints that are just as understandable and viable as mine. I just want to share what I believe to be true concerning one of the most difficult/complex questions in Christianity today:
“If no one (such as the Mayans) ever hears the name of Jesus, can they be saved?”
Below are a few Scriptures I believe indicate they can be:
1) Romans 1, 2, 3 (phases of revelation)
In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul describes the three phases Christ can be revealed in peoples’ lives.
- Romans 1 talks about how Christ is revealed through all of creation and that men can find Him through what has been made (Romans 1: 21) .
- Romans 2 talks about how Christ is revealed through our conscience and how our knowledge of right and wrong can lead us to Him (Romans 2: 14-15).
- Romans 3 talks about how Christ is revealed through hearing and learning about the person Jesus (Romans 3: 22-26).
Most of us in American have had the opportunity to experience all three phases. People like the Mayans (or other unreached tribes), however, have only been able to experience the first two. I feel like Paul included all of these phases to demonstrate that Jesus can be revealed through all three outlets, meaning unreached peoples still have the opportunity to discover Him–even if they don’t necessarily recognize Him as “Jesus” during their earthly lives.
2) Mark 3: 1-6 (Jesus heals on the Sabbath)
According to Jewish tradition and interpretation of the Old Testament, performing any type of work on the Sabbath was considered sinful. Jesus ignored their “traditions” and performed countless good deeds on the Sabbath despite these interpretations. The big point this passage has on our topic, however, isn’t about the Sabbath. Rather, this passage shows that Jesus isn’t bound by our interpretations. Jesus is reasonable and understands doing good takes precedence over following a law that constricts God’s will, which is bringing people to Him.
3) “I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the father except through me.”–John 14: 6
This is the verse most often quoted by people who claim if people don’t hear the name “Jesus,” they can’t be saved. I’d argue this verse doesn’t imply that at all. Rather, this verse shows that because of Jesus’ work on the cross, all people can be saved through Him. Without the cross, nobody (including you and me) can be saved. This verse isn’t limiting who can be saved, but rather, emphasizing that because of Jesus, everyone can be saved.
As stated earlier, I by no means am for sure about this topic and don’t claim my viewpoint is 100% correct. For no one fully knows or understands God and how He works (Isaiah 55: 8-9). I do feel this topic, however, is important for us to discuss as Christians today, because this topic is often a reason many people refuse to believe in Christ:
For how can God allow people to go to hell if they had no chance of knowing Him?
I believe God does give everyone a legitimate chance of knowing Him–regardless of what humanity does to help with the process. That being said, one thing is for certain: if you hear the calling of Jesus and reject Him as your Lord and Savior, you will not be saved! Therefore, I highly recommend to all who read this to take a serious look at who Jesus is and how He could potentially become a part your own life.
May as well investigate it for yourself to be sure. What do you have to lose?
You have everything to gain…
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”–John 3: 17