Can people who have never heard of Jesus be saved? What about somebody born on a desert island? Or a baby who dies?
Here are a few points to consider:
- The Bible tells us that in the Old Testament, believers were saved by trusting in God’s mercy, even though they lived before Jesus and thus could not trust him, see Romans 4:1-7, Hebrews 11:4-32.
- The Bible tells us that the unborn, infants, young children, and the mentally impaired are not capable of discerning good from evil or making moral choices, see Isaiah 7:15-16, Romans 9:11
We may presume that God does not condemn these souls even though they do not consciously choose to follow Jesus.
Apart from these exceptions, the Great Commission makes it clear that we must take the Gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 24:47). We should assume that those who do not know Christ are in spiritual darkness and need to hear and embrace the gospel (Acts 26:18, Ephesians 2:12.) Every Christian should have a sense of urgency that all people everywhere need Jesus as their Savior.