Jesus Death_02

What Is HellActs 24:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

15 having a hope in God, which hope these men await, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.

Fate of the unlearned

The fate of the unlearned, also known as the destiny of the unevangelized, is an eschatological question about the ultimate destiny of people who have not been exposed to a particular theology or doctrine and thus have no opportunity to embrace it. The question is whether those who never hear of requirements issued through divine revelations will be punished for failure to abide by those requirements.

It is sometimes addressed in combination with the similar question of the fate of the unbeliever. Differing faith traditions have different responses to the question; in Christianity the fate of the unlearned is related to the question of original sin. As some suggest that rigid readings of religious texts require harsh punishment for those who have never heard of that religion, it is sometimes raised as an argument against the existence of God, and is generally accepted to be an extension or sub-section of the problem of evil.[1]

The “unrighteous” that Paul spoke of are persons, who are have died prior to Armageddon and have not had an opportunity to hear the good news of the kingdom, meaning they had no opportunity to accept it or reject it. While we have spoken of these ones prior to this chapter, the following comment is first mentioned here. God knows who would have accepted the good news had they heard and who would have rejected it. Thus, we can extrapolate that the unrighteous, i.e., unevangelized or unlearned that are resurrected will likely be those that God knew would have accepted it. Unlike humans, God is able to read hearts and intentions, knowing who would be receptive to the Gospel and who would reject the truth.

These unrighteous ones are not being resurrected to face an immediate adverse judgement, to then be sent off to some eternal pit of fire. No, rather, they are entering into a judgment period of a thousand years, where they have an opportunity to act on the Word of God as well as the new book(s) that will be penned. It is at the end of that judgment period when they will be judged, not on their previous life, but on what they did during the millennium. (John 5:29)

Review Questions

  • Who are the unevangelized or the unlearned?

What question arises as to the objective of the resurrecting of the “unrighteous”?

[1] Fate of the unlearned – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fate_of_the_unlearned (accessed March 14, 2016).