The Scriptures are clear that those who believe in Jesus will be saved (see John 1:12). But what about those who live in unreached people groups?

First Timothy 2:4 clearly states that God “wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Acts 17:26-27 asserts that God has determined the times and places for everyone to live “so that men would seek him and reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”

Scripture and contemporary missionary evidence support the claim that those who seek God based on the light they have received will be able to respond, even if part or all of the process happens supernaturally. This conclusion has been held by Christian thinkers throughout the centuries. It satisfies the claim that a loving God makes salvation universally available (by revealing Himself to all people), and avoids the problematic claim of inclusivism, meaning people can be saved without knowledge of the gospel.

Regarding those who are incapable of responding to God’s light, we believe God’s mercy is magnified. (Read: Do Babies Go to Heaven if They Die? The Mentally Impaired, Young Children, the Unborn?)

The bottom line is: We can trust that God loves the whole world, and He will act justly in all situations. Our job as Christians is simply to bring the gospel to a world that desperately needs it.