Pastor Greg Laurie Answers: Will People Who've Never Heard the Gospel Go to Hell?
Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship church in Riverside, California, assures believers that God will not send someone to Hell if they have never heard the Gospel, adding that people will only be held accountable for what they know.
"What about the person who has never heard the Gospel? Will God Send them to Hell?" Laurie asked in a Facebook video posted on Wednesday, repeating the question of a reader.
"You're going to be held accountable for what you know, not what you don't know," the megachurch pastor answered.
"But to the point: the testimony of God is everywhere. It's in nature, it's all around us, the handiwork of God. Then there's the human conscience that tells us what right and wrong really are. God will judge you accordingly," Laurie continued.
He said that this information should make Christians "redouble our efforts to get the Gospel out [to people] so they can respond to the essential Gospel message."
He noted that he will elaborate more during an upcoming sermon at Harvest Orange County.
The question of what happens to people who have never heard the Bible has prompted various responses from evangelical leaders.
J.D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, said in a sermon back in 2014 that he believes all people have heard about God. Quoting Romans 1:19, where Paul says that what can be known about God has been made plain to all people, he added that all have been made aware of God in two ways: creation and conscience.
According to Romans 1:21–25, all of us have rejected the glory of God. We don't seek God's glory above all things; we seek our own glory and our own pleasure. And even those who believe in God don't pay as much attention to Him as they do their jobs or what others think of them, Greear said.
"Our hearts naturally hate God and reject His rule, a rejection that culminated in the murder of God's Son. We hate God so badly that we put Him on a cross and say, 'Go to hell, God.' Because of this, is it any surprise that we deserve His wrath?" he added.
Laurie has spoken out on the questions of Hell and unforgivable sins on a number of occasions. Back in April, he explained that the "worst conceivable sin ever" was to kill God's only Son, Jesus, yet Christ asked God to forgive even those who crucified Him.
"I don't care what you've done. God can and will forgive it. All sin is forgivable — lying, cheating, stealing, drunkenness, immorality it doesn't matter," Laurie said at the time.
"The only sin God will not forgive is the sin we will not confess. … But there is one exception. There is one sin that God will not forgive, and that's called the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit," he told his congregation.