Do you have to know and accept Jesus to go to heaven?

God will certainly judge those that didn’t know and accept Jesus fairly and justly (Psalm 98:8-9). After the fall of man, the Lord in His infinite mercy planned a way of salvation by offering His Son to redeem the human race. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”And, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life” (V. 36).

So, when a sinner accepts by faith the death of Christ on his behalf, he receives both forgiveness and grace to transform his life into God’s likeness (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). Thus, without faith in Jesus Christ, a person can’t receive the pardon and change that fit him for heaven.

And even if a person has not been introduced to the name of Jesus, the Bible says he intuitively knows about God from creation, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork…” (Psalm 19:1–4). God speaks to every human heart through different means but it is up to them to respond to His voice or reject it. So, judgement depends on the choices of men and their responses to whatever light they receive about God.

The Lord will certainly not judge a person for a truth he never had the chance to know and learn (Acts 17:30). But he who refuses to search for the truth, God will also judge “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Sadly, hearing the truth may not always guarantee that a person will obey it. The New Testament says that people may get to know God, yet choose to reject Him (Romans 1:18-20).

We can rest in the fact that if God was willing to offer His only begotten Son to suffer and die for those that did not know Him (John 3:16), then, He will surely judge all of His children fairly and “with righteousness” (Psalms 72:2).

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

 

 

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