There is a great error being taught these days and it is presented as though it is some higher plane of spiritual thought. We hear more and more often that men are not condemned to hell because of their sin, but because of their unbelief. We read more and more articles promoting this confusing idea, also.
The first thing that should come to the mind of anyone who knows the Bible is the Scripture where Jesus said:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. – John 3:17
God sent his Son into this world to save sinners, who were ALREADY
condemned because of their SIN. The teaching that only the sin of
unbelief sends people to hell is false. It conveys the idea that men are
OK until they hear about Jesus and reject Him, THEN they are lost.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. We were all condemned, because
“all have sinned” and God gave us hope by sending his Son to be the
propitiation for our sins. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He
is life – not death. Sin entered the world through Adam and “DEATH
passed upon all men, FOR THAT ALL HAVE SINNED.” Men go to hell because
they are sinners. Jesus came so that we might believe on Him and have
John 3:18 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
The savage in the jungle who dies without hearing and believing the Gospel goes to hell. Very few believe that truth anymore. He goes to hell because he is a sinner and he never finds the door to heaven, which is Christ. He is condemned for his sin – and he is unfit for heaven, being a sinner. However, he is without excuse:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: – Romans 1:20
When sinners hear that the ONLY sin that will send them to hell is
unbelief the real message they hear is that their present sin doesn’t
really matter to God. Their sinful habits and wicked heart are not what
really bothers God and since God isn’t upset about their sin, why should
they be? In their mind, it isn’t that they don’t believe. They think
they DO believe, and that they WILL accept Jesus someday, but not today.
They feel that they aren’t really rejecting Jesus – they are just
procrastinating, and it is their SIN, which they love, that is causing
them to procrastinate. Every sinner knows in his heart that he must give
up his sin in order to obtain Christ. The Holy Spirit of God NEVER tells
a sinner he can keep his sin and be saved – only mislead and wicked
people do that.
The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. Matt. 4:16
Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79