Thursday, December 16, 2021

Can a person that has never heard the Gospel be saved?

This is proposed as an answer to the question of “What about persons with no access to the preaching of the Gospel?”

While the “normative” process of salvation requires the hearing of the gospel (Rom 10:14), confession, and faith (Rom 10:8-10), Christ has enabled the salvation of the elect and the Holy Spirit works as He wills in that process just as He does with all spiritual gifts (John 3:81 Cor 12:11Heb 2:4). It seems entirely feasible that, lacking ordinary means, a person can be saved without the explicit preaching of the Gospel, just as the OT elect were. The promise of the Gospel (Rom 5:8) was present at the Fall (Gen 3:15) as a component of the eternal covenant (Heb 13:20) and covers the entirety of the elect retroactively without the explicit preaching of the Gospel. If that is so, why can the effectivity of the Gospel not also be graciously applied proactively (again, lacking ordinary means)?

This in no way invalidates the command to share the gospel with all people and nations (Mark 16:15Matt 28:19-20) which is a component of our good works that coincides with our true faith (James 2:26).

WCF 10.3 - "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word."

WCF = Westminster Confession of Faith