The Way to Infinite Wealth
If scripture is historically accurate in recording the message Jesus conveyed, this statement would have to be considered one of His most direct and absolute. He’s pretty much claiming to be the personal bridge to God. In today’s terms, “You have to go through me.”
The immediate and understandable response from many: “How can one be held accountable to Christ if he or she has never even heard His name?”
That is a darn good question, have pondered it deeply myself.
I would think the first thing a Christian would logically do is prayerfully consider an answer to the question, and expect it could be found within the context of scripture. That is what I have done. I am not a theologian by any means, but scripture tells us in its unique, self-validating way that it has been written for us all to read and understand.
My conclusion, subject to debate as always: We (humanity) have all been afforded differing levels of revelation from God. The most fundamental of which would be evidence found within what He has created, i.e. His signature (Romans Ch 1). On the other end of the spectrum, we might find the Bible. Maybe even take it step further, as some have actually encountered a living or risen Christ.
Surely individuals have existed over time that did not have the intellect to contemplate God or Christ. So they encounter Him after leaving the planet and get a free pass in the absence of conscious free will. This group might also include those little ones who never got out of the gate for whatever reason.
Next consider the often referred to person who had no knowledge whatsoever of Christ. I would think his/her eventual end would involve a gauge on the heart’s condition. Is/was that heart open to and desiring fellowship with God? In many cases, maybe that would be quite enough. Not limiting God to the three dimensions we inhabit, He would know how these individuals would respond to His message and/or person. For all we know, maybe He actually makes an appearance in some of these cases.
Finally, my case, which is a good illustration of a point at or near one end of the “revelation spectrum”. I had no accurate idea what the Bible really claimed concerning Christ until I was in my 20’s. But I certainly had access to it, and had heard His name countless times. Just no light bulb activity. Via multiple means and events we do not have time to get into today, I believe He manifested Himself to me and eventually prompted a choice. Had to get out His hammer, but the switch was finally flipped in the “on” direction.
Which brings about a key point to all of this. God will do what He has to do. If the target is open at all, He will hit it.