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How Could God Have Allowed Entire Civilizations to Exist for Centuries Without Any Gospel?

By Chris McCann
December 16, 2016

A good number of people today, confidently say that the Lord would not permit time to continue on if there was no salvation available.

What about the native people of north and south America? From the division of the continents in the days of Peleg (likely 3114 BC), until missionaries finally reached them at various points of the Church Age (roughly, over the last few hundred years)---they had no gospel message, and as a result no salvation. That's a period of over 4,000 years (at least). That's a long time for men, women, and children of many generations to go through without any hearing of the Word of God.

But the native people of north and south America are not alone. The same could be said of many people groups scattered on lands across the Pacific ocean. These people existed century after century with no gospel message. Generations came, and generations went, yet they heard not a word from the Bible. And since the Bible declares that without hearing it there cannot be salvation---this means that no one became saved in any of those island lands, again, for thousands of years:

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

And what of the Aboriginal people of Australia? History records that it was between the 1600's and the 1700's that the Europeans discovered the continent of Australia which was inhabited by the native Aborigines. The Aborigines would have also been separated to live on a continent by themselves dating back to the time of Peleg. From that time (likely 3114 BC) until around 1600 BC was a period of about 4500 years.

How many Aborigines lived and died over the course of those 4500 years? We do not know the answer to that, except to say that it was many hundreds of thousands of people.

Allow me to ask a question of people today, people that insist God would not let time continue for even a single day without the possibility of salvation--what about these Aborigines? Weren't they people just like people today? Weren't their souls just as important as any soul alive in our modern times?

Perhaps you should start asking the question, How is it possible that God allowed entire civilizations of people, generations of people, to live and die without any contact with His Word, and therefore without any possible way for them to become saved?

Some one might say, "Well, you're referring to people on the Old Testament side of the cross. Jesus had not yet gone to the cross. Once He went to the cross God's program changed, and the gospel was sent out into the world."

You're forgetting, however, that the Aborigines, Pacific Islanders, natives of south and north America, and many others, were NOT REACHED for centuries---ON THE NEW TESTAMENT SIDE OF THE CROSS as well.

How do you explain that?

Isn't He the same God, yesterday, today, and forever?

The same God that held back His Word from people living on an entire continent (Australia) for thousands of years, is the God that the Bible indicates today, in our present time, is holding back salvation for a period of years, perhaps twenty two or so.

Is it really impossible for this God to NOT save people for twenty two years? Is it really out of character for Him to do something like that?

It's only been over the last few hundred years that major areas of the continent of Asia were reached by missionaries with the gospel. For many centuries this was not the case.

We can understand why people groups in south and north America, and in Australia, and other far away places were not reached. For much of the time they lie undiscovered and sea voyages to such distant lands were nearly impossible for much of that time.

But why wasn't Asia more widely reached? It had enormous population centers. The nation of China alone, had millions and millions of people within it. Surely God would want His Word to reach such a large mass of people? Surely the Lord would send forth His Word to them, after all, if His Word did not reach them, they would perish in their sins.

We can be sure of one thing, that if God wanted the Chinese of the 1st century AD, and the 2nd century, and the 3rd century, etc, etc, to hear His Word and become saved, He would have worked it out to happen that way.

Not only was it God's plan to not save them, but He also determined to not even bring His Word into their hearing until many generations had passed. In other words, it was God's plan to allow generation, after generation of people, men, women, and children, people just like us, to live their lives without POSSIBILITY OF SALVATION.

So you think that God, perhaps I should say "your God", will not allow time to continue for a period of a few years in our day---but why is that?

Do you think that you are better, more important maybe, than generations of Mayans that lived without the hope of salvation for many centuries? Or are you more important than generations of native American Indians that did the same? Or are you more important than the millions of Chinese people in the early centuries of the New Testament age?

What makes you so important?

This question is especially relevant considering that those people in past generations lived their lives in a far more moral way than do the people presently alive upon their earth in our time.

The Holy Spirit of God has actively been restraining sin by the natural people of the world throughout the world's history. Therefore, the Holy Spirit caused people in past generations to live, for the most part, in accord with the law of God written upon the hearts of men to a far greater degree than is evident in our modern day.

In our day, however, the Holy Spirit's hand of restraint has been greatly lifted. As a result, sin abounds in mankind all over the face of the earth.

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

It is sin that brings about the wrath of God. This means, that our present evil generation that inhabits the earth is doing more on a daily basis to shake their fist at God than any other past generation in the entire history of the world.

So, if God held back His salvation from past generations (as He plainly has done in many cases) and those past generations were not as exceedingly sinful as we are in our generation ---what would make anyone alive today think that God would not hold back His grace, and mercy, and salvation from them?

It is nothing but arrogance, pure arrogance, for any person living in this most wicked of generations, to say that "God would not stop saving people!" Since the Bible indicates that the Lord has not always performed the work of salvation in past times, with whole multitudes, and generations of people, the individual saying God must save people---because this is what he/she considers to be morally right---is basically insisting that God must conduct Himself according to their own understanding of how a "good God" ought to behave.

The sorrowful question must be asked, "but what about the children?"

Again, let's think of past history in order to get a proper perspective on our present time.

Is it just our children that are precious? Or is it all children?

To put it another way, were children of the past equally precious to our children today?

Yes, of course. Children are children. We, alive today, are not more important than people groups of the past. Nor are our children more precious than their children were.

When God destroyed the world with a flood, how many children were on board the ark?

A person might answer, “Three,” because Noah had three sons.

But don't forget, that Noah's three sons each had wives. Which is a good indicator to us that they were not five, or eight, or ten years old. These were grown men. Each one old enough to marry.

Also, we read of Shem, that he was one hundred years old two years after the flood.

Noah's three sons were not only grown men, but they were men that were decades past their childhood.

Noah, his wife. His three sons, and their wives.

No mention of children. Where were the children?

These eight souls were the only survivors of a world wide catastrophic flood that wiped out every other human being living on the earth. And yet, not a single child was saved.

How could that be? How could God bring death and destruction to all the world's children? This is the type of pondering of God's Word that needs to be done at this time. We need to ask these hard questions, because it is the same answer as to how could allow whole generations of people to live and die and never once hear His Word.

Your God---may not shut the door of heaven and end salvation to the entire world. That's true. But the God of the Bible is NOT your God, not in the sense that He must act according to your understanding of right and wrong and what He can and cannot do. He is not a God that does things based on man's ideas, and what people think or expect of Him.

The God of the Bible is God. The One True God. And we can be sure that whatever He does, and however He does it, will always be right and just. He cannot do wrong. And since God has held back salvation from millions and millions of people, according to His will, we can be sure that the holding back of salvation (by God) is NOT wrong. It is NOT unjust in any way.

The obvious questions facing us is: is this right? Is it just? And what about Christ's command to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations"?

The answers to our questions actually are found in the command of Jesus, long termed the 'great commission' by theologians:

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Again, the great commission has long been thought, by theologians, to be a command to go into all nations, and teach and baptize them (the people found in these nations). But we have a big problem with that kind of understanding.

First, if the meaning of the command was to go into all nations, and teach and baptize them, then why did God command His people in Acts 16 to NOT GO into Asia? Surely it would be contradictory of God, to command to go and teach, and baptize ALL NATIONS, and then forbid the carrying out of that command by refusing to allow missionaries to travel into cerrtain parts of Asia.

Secondly, if the great commission were truly as theologians declared it to be, to go into all nations and teach and baptize them, then it must be said that it (the great commission) was an enormous failure.

We can look into the history of the last 2000 years and see numerous nations not taught and not baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And even today, many nations remain untaught, and unbaptized.

"Oh yes," someone might say, "but there has been some success."

Yes, some. But some is not all. Let's read the command again:

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

Very specifically, Jesus commanded to "teach ALL nations, BAPTIZING them". All nations were to be taught. And all nations were to be baptized. Not a few. Not some. But all.

The way to correctly understand Christ's command in Matthew 28:19, is to realize that the nations He is referring to, are not the people that populate the nations of the world. But instead are the nations of God's elect.

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it:

The Bible does speak of the nations of the world (Luke 12:30). But as we see in the verse above, it also speaks of the "nations of them which are saved."

Two nations, exactly what God explained to Rebekah when Jacob and Esau struggled in her womb:

Genesis 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Two nations, Jacob (representing the nations of them which are saved); and Esau (representing the nations of the world, those that are not saved).

When Jesus gave the command to, "TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM"---it was a command to bring the gospel to the elect people scattered out in the world.

To teach all nations, and to baptize all nations, is language indicating to bring the Word of God (to teach) and through that word salvation, or the washing away of sin will come (to baptize) all the nations of God's elect.

Although not quickly evident, this solving of the mystery does bring about a drastically different understanding regarding this verse and its great commission message.

Part 2


Based upon their incorrect understanding of Jesus' words in Matthew 28, many people today, look out over the world's nations (the nations of the unsaved people of the world)--and invoke the great commission in order to motivate Christians to continue to bring the gospel message of salvation to the many lost souls out there.

Yet, that is not now, nor has even been the great commission. The actual command of Christ, or the actual great commission, is for God's people to bring the Word of God to the people of the world, so that the elect found in every land could hear and become saved.

Once that task has been completed, once all of God's elect, all whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life, do hear the Word of God, and become saved by the faith and work of the Lord Jesus Christ---then the great commission task has been completed.

But what about all those people out there, millions and millions of people, that haven't heard the Bible yet? What about them?

The answer is, that their hearing the gospel message is not relevant. They were never predestinated to salvation. They were never God's elect. Their names were never written in the Lamb's book of life. And therefore they were never of the "nations of them which are saved". Which means, that Christ never gave the command to go and teach, and baptize them.

Since many people in churches have never really heard the Bible's true teachings, on many points of doctrine, they may be astounded at the idea that Christ was only interested in sending forth the gospel to reach (and save) His elect people. After all, most of their churches teach Christ died for everyone. And that God is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

The same answer we're seeing in the great commission also solves that statement. God is not willing that any (of His elect, or nations of them which are saved) should perish; but that all (His elect/nations of them which are saved) should come to repentance. Once we properly insert the key to these Bible verses they open up to our understanding easily.

People may be astounded by this idea, but what did they think Jesus meant when He said this:

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Christ is revealing that He was sent to a very specific people (house of Israel, figurative language for God's elect). And no one else.

The two nations (one of the unsaved world, and the other of the saved elect) are also in view as Jesus made this statement in the gospel of John:

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

Isn't it obvious, that if Jesus wanted every single person in all the world to be saved---that He would have at least prayed for them?

But He made it clear that He did not pray for the world (unsaved--nations of the world) but only for "them which Thou hast given Me" (i.e. nations of them which are saved).

The concern of God has ALWAYS been, and is ALWAYS for His elect people.

Once we understand that fact, we then come to realize many, many things in the Bible. For instance, once we understand that God' overriding concern was always for His elect, we can then understand why the Holy Ghost forbade entry into China and other parts of Asia back in the 1st century, AD. The reason is simple---there were no elect to be found there at that time.

And since God's outreach is always based upon going where the elect are to be found (I Am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel), then no missionaries, and no gospel message is sent into certain areas of Asia (for a time). During later centuries of the Church Age, and during the period of the latter rain, God then sent His Word into China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and other parts of Asia in a major way. Why? For the purpose of reaching and saving many elect that were to be found in that land at those later times.

It's the same answer for the Aborigines of Australia, and for the native south and north American Indians of centuries past. God's Word did not go to those people, simply because the elect were not born into those generations at that time in history.

No injustice done whatsoever. The idea of injustice for not reaching out with the gospel is based upon a falsehood. The wrong doctrine that the gospel must go to all nations (of the world) and reach them, even if there are no elect among them. That idea goes completely contrary to the Bible.

God is under no obligation whatsoever to send forth His Word to reach non elect individuals.

What would be the point of that anyway? They are non elect. They were not chosen to become saved. Therefore there is absolutely no reason to send forth the gospel to people that could not possibly be saved by the receiving of it.

Now we come to our present time. And our present situation.

The Bible continues to insist that May 21, 2011 was Judgment Day. And the Bible continues to insist, that on that date, God shut the door of heaven. And on that date God put out the light of the gospel all over the earth.

The Bible continues to insist, that on May 21, 2011, God ceased to perform the work of saving. In other words, He ended His salvation program for this earth.

Many people do not like hearing this information. I understand that. I understand it is very grievous, very sorrowful. There are many aspects to it that I also do not like (like the idea that unsaved relatives cannot become saved any longer).

However, it is simply false, for a person who doesn't like this information to say, "God would never do something like that." Based on all that we read in the Bible that is not a true statement in any way.

The Bible's teaching, and what we know did happen, is that God sent forth His Word in an unparalleled way in order to reach all those whose names were recorded in the Lamb's book of life. And in a final great effort blanketed the earth with the news that the Day of Salvation would come to an end on a set day. God's Word covered the earth and search out the lost sheep of the house of Israel (the elect), and found them. The great commission, "teach all nations" was fulfilled at that time as the Bible's message spread across the face of the earth. The other part of the great commission's message, "baptizing them" was also fulfilled as the elect heard the word, and faith came through it, spiritually washing away their sins (baptizing them in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost).

The Lord Jesus prayed for His people and not for the world. His people all became saved.

The Lord Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. All the lost sheep were finally found and all became saved. The great commission's task was completed by the date of May 21, 2011.

May 21, 2011 was actually a great day of victory for God and for His kingdom. It was the day, finally, after thousands of years, that Christ completed the work of saving the nations of the elect.

Remember, causing the elect 'to believe' was the work of God:

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Again, after broadcasting the gospel during the 2nd part of the Great Tribulation period, during the outpouring of the latter rain, the work of Christ (God) was finally completed.

Once the work of granting belief (i.e. salvation) was completed, then the world should end, shouldn't it?

We used to think so. But we have since learned differently. God has revealed many more things to us in these days after the tribulation. One important truth we've learned is stated by Jesus in this verse:

John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

We've already established that the work of God (Christ) is that you believe. Jesus says above, that He must work the works of Him that sent (Him)--that is He must perform the work of salvation--while it is day (the day of salvation)---but He then proceeds to tell us something amazing. Let's read it again:

John 9:4 ...the night cometh, when no man can work.

The night (immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun is darkened...) comes when no man (Jesus) can work (perform that work of God which is granting believe, or salvation).

God shut the door to heaven because there were no more lost sheep to be found. No more work for Him to perform.

The sending forth of the gospel to evangelize unto salvation--is an unnecessary task, if there are no more elect to be reached among a particular population of a nation, or even among a world comprised of nations.

We have to keep in mind, that God is not a God that involves Himself in vanity. The definition of vanity is that which is an empty thing. A valueless thing. And it would be a vain thing for God, the God that knows all whose names were written in the Lamb's book of life, for Him to send forth the gospel into an area wherein He fully knows they are no more elect people to be found. It would be a waste of time.

God does not involve Himself with vain things. And He does not involve Himself with activities that waste His time and the time of His people.

Let's ask and answer some key questions the Bible presents:

Does God have an elect people? The answer is yes.

Did God obligate Himself to save these elect people? The answer is yes.

Did God obligate Himself to evangelize the earth, or to send out a gospel of salvation until these elect people were found and all saved? The answer is yes.

Did God obligate Himself to send out a gospel message of salvation to people that were not of the house of Israel, or, who were not listed in the book of life? The answer is no.

Does the Bible indicate that God would one day find all of His elect people and save them all? The answer is yes.

Does the Bible indicate that God would then end His salvation program and shut the door of heaven once all those to be saved (elect only) were saved? The answer is yes.

Once God finds and saves all of His elect people, is He obligated to continue to send out a gospel message of salvation to the rest of mankind (unsaved people)? The answer is no.

Can God rightly and justly save all of His people, and then end His salvation program? The answer is yes.

Is God unjust if He does not continue to offer salvation to the rest of the people of the world after He's saved all of His elect? The answer is no (it's actually a ridiculous question).

Is God unjust if He allows unsaved people to live any length of time without the possibility of salvation? The answer is no (This goes back to the fact that God never obligated Himself to save them).

Is it really possible for God to allow the world to continue on for years, perhaps even as many as twenty two years, without saving anyone? The answer, according to the Bible, is yes.