Answer by John Mackay
In the end you find that you can’t blame God for any group who complains about not having heard the gospel till recently. What do I mean? Let’s start with a Biblical basis in Genesis and work forward rather than working backwards from the present day.
What is the real history of Aborigines, or any race for that matter, and where does blame really lie concerning racial dilemmas? The Bible states Noah’s three sons gave rise to all nations. Noah, was a godly man, and his sons lived on the Ark through the flood, safe from God’s judgement on man’s sin, so they knew about God’s willingness to save people since their father Noah is described as a righteous preacher in the New Testament (2 Peter 2:5). The Bible also records that within one generation Noah’s sons, Ham and Japheth and their descendants had turned their backs on the God of father Noah. While Noah was still alive, most of his offspring were pursuing their own agenda.
Noah lived for 350 years after the flood and endured seeing his sons and grandsons build the Tower of Babel as the first public example of mankind’s post flood rebellion against God. (Genesis 11:1-9). No one at the tower of Babel could complain they didn’t know about God! But in the individual families which came from Ham and Japheth in particular, their fathers had not only NOT told them the truth about God, the same fathers had begun to invent their own myths and legends about little gods, and myths about where human beings came from.
Babel represented the beginning of all present day humanist non-God or anti-God religions that have plagued the planet since. If you want to blame anybody for any tribal or cultural groups in a state of ignorance about the true God then blame all fathers who did not, and still do not, teach their children God’s truth, even though their fathers taught them. Shem, the believing son, was also alive at that time. But by New Testament times what had happened to his progeny- the Jews?
There is no denying Jesus Christ came as Jew, and he came to the Jews first of all, and the scripture records that his own people largely rejected Him as Messiah. Therefore, there isn’t a Jew alive who could blame God for not caring for them and trying to tell them of his way and his love. The first disciples were mostly converted Jews who did listen and did accept Christ as Saviour, and were thrilled with the revelation of God’s love to them in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. But they did have some trouble with his final instruction, to “go into all the non-Jewish world and tell people the good news the Messiah has come.” (Matthew 28:18-20) The book of Acts records their Jewish struggles about wanting to stay in Israel and do it their way instead of God’s way.
Does this mean we can blame God for anybody who died without hearing the good news, while those Jewish disciples were struggling to come to grips with Gods instruction to go and tell the non-Jews, aka the Gentiles, who needed the good news because their fathers back to Ham and Japeth had not told them God’s truth in the first place. If the first disciples also failed in this task then God is off the hook in both cases! Jesus’ instruction was definitely to go into all the world and preach the gospel, which included everyone from Australian Aborigines to Zulus. The A to Z of humanity.
If we ask: can God be blamed for not sending people to preach the gospel? Again, the answer is no. If you want to blame someone, then blame firstly the racial groups ancestors whose rebellion against God produced such tragically ignorant descendants, then blame the lazy or disobedient Christians who haven’t done what they were ordered 2,000 yrs ago.
But you can go further – the situation is not just one of ignorance. People need the gospel because their fathers had willingly and wilfully disobeyed this God and also positively taught their children to believe anything but the truth from the time of Babel onwards. Think of the fathers, professors and even Pastors who teach their children myths like evolution today!
This brings us down to you in the 21st century. Do you remember what the gospel is? The Creator God became the man Jesus Christ, who wilfully lived a perfect life that he might die as a sinless sacrifice at Calvary, and after three days rise from the dead to prove he had conquered sin and death. If you are willing to accept that, then Christ gives you eternal life here and now and promises such eternal life in a brand new body in a new heavens and earth, but it comes with an instruction – go into all the world and preach the gospel. So if you are very concerned about the Pygmies, The Zulus, the North American Indians, the Australian aborigines, or the white pagan Europeans living in Australia, then your job is to go and tell them about this Saviour. If you won’t do that, then don’t you dare blame God for not letting people know about Himself. On judgement day God will blame you, and He will accept no excuse!
One final hard bit. How will God judge any who haven’t heard? When you stand in awe and watch God make that judgement – you will observe that it will be just, and you will both understand and agree He did the right thing, even if He sends such a person to eternal condemnation. So go out and tell them before it’s too late!
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