This past weekend my husband, John, and I were out to dinner with some friends. Afterwards, we were sitting by the fireplace in the lounge savoring the close of a wonderful evening, when a woman bumped into me as she took a seat nearby. She was carrying a unique and colorful purse that led to a conversation. I learned that she runs a company which partners with small producers to help them have a voice in the international fair trade community. She spends her time in impoverished communities in Asia, Africa, South and Central America and beyond, encouraging the production of goods using indigenous techniques and recycled materials. Her purse was an eye-catching example of the beautiful items being created by the peoples of these countries. When she asked me what I did, I told her a little about my book and my blogging. Then she asked me what led me to do what I do. That was easy, I told her that I was a follower of Christ and that I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to share the story of God in my life with as many people as I am able to reach. A much deeper discussion ensued.
She went on to tell me that she believed in God, but living in communities with amazing people from all around the world, she has a hard time understanding how the only way to get to heaven is by believing in one particular God. “What about the people from remote villages who never hear about God?” she asked. “We have a great, great God,” I replied, “He is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords, and He is faithful to us and will always care for the people He has created.”
Romans 1:20 tells us, “ For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Earliest history shows us that God is known instinctively and Romans 2:15 says, “…the requirements of the law are written on [our] hearts.” So yes, it is possible that some may not hear the Word, but God will make sure that every one made in His image has the opportunity to know Him. God does not need our understanding to spread the news of salvation “to the ends of the earth.” And on that last day, we can trust that He will be faithful, loving and just to all.
A glimpse of heaven in Revelation 5:9 shows us there are people “from every tribe and language and…nation.” Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, the “earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush is afire with God!” The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps. 19:1) and the Holy Spirit can work in anyone and everyone, everywhere.
So, I concluded my conversation with these words to my new friend, “If you are called to be a missionary in a foreign land, then praise God, you are lifted up to spread His word in those far away, remote places. But all Christians are called to seek out the Lord in our own life and then to witness to Him in our families and communities. We may never know the distance acts of love for the Lord travel to reach hearts. But, we can be confident and trust that the Lord will take care of those who may not hear the Word, in His own way.”
As C S Lewis says in his book, Mere Christianity, “…if you are worried about the people outside (the ones who have not heard of Christ), the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself.” Our God is the sovereign Lord over all creation. and may reveal Himself in any way He chooses. And often He chooses to do so through us! In Acts 1:8, Jesus says, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you shall be witnesses for me to the very ends of the earth.”
We are called to love the Lord and share the good news of His love with our family, friends and everyone around us. We need to listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit within and do what the Lord asks us to do, and we can be sure He will take care of the rest.