Men will be judged on the basis of the light they had, not on the basis of a light they never saw. The person in the remote jungle who never heard of Jesus is judged differently than the person who is only broadcast or open Bible away from the gospel. Jesus explains as much with his harsh criticism of the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida... Not everyone will be judged by the same standard. The greater our privilege, the greater our responsibilities. Chorazin and Bethsaida saw much, so much was expected of them. The gospel was clearly presented to them, yet they clearly rejected it... On the other hand, Tyre and Sidon saw less, so less was expected. They, to use the words of Christ, will "get off easier" than others. The principle? God's judgment is based upon humanity's response to the message received. He will never hold us accountable for what he doesn't tell us.
--Max Lucado (from the book Where Jesus Walked)
Matthew 11:21 says "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes."
Am I alone here in thinking that the meaning in this verse has been very wrongly interpreted by Mr. Lucado?
If God is going to hold those in the jungle, who have never heard the name Christ, less responsible than you and I....what does that mean to missions? Aren't they better off never hearing the Jesus Christ preached when there is still a chance they will go to heaven? After all, they won't be held responsible for not hearing the gospel.
What of Christ's death on the cross? Does this mean that you can be saved without Christ and a true regeneration of the heart? This cheapens His death.
I would love to hear more of your thoughts on this!