By Brother Michel Lankford
Question: How can a person be saved if they are unaware of their need for salvation?
We must remember that God is love (1 John 4:7-8). It is His desire that everyone is saved and that no one will be condemned (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). God wants everyone to be saved who is willing to be saved.
With this in mind, I am reminded of a testimony that I read or heard about a man who was born in a remote jungle island that had been untouched by modernization. He and his entire village of about 50 people lived in a mountainous region of this remote jungle island. Forgive me, I can’t remember the geographic name, but the testimony has not left me since I saw it decades ago.
As this person grew up it became his job to carve out of wood the image of the ‘gods’ that these people worshiped. One day, he was carving one of these idols, and suddenly, a thought sparked in his heart and mind. He began to stare at his hand. He began to think and say:
‘My hands learned to carve these gods with skill, but which of these gods gave me my hands that I might carve?’
The man began to pray earnestly,
‘Whichever god gave me my hand that I might carve with skill, reveal who you are. Help me to know you, and grant that I may serve and honor you better.’
It turns out that just having enough care and concern to ask the question would change that man and his village FOREVER.
To make a long testimony short, within the year, the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth had sent a team of Christian missionaries to that remote jungle island, and then further up to that mountain village, to share the Scriptures and to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. That entire village of 50 people came to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and they rejected their former idolatry.
Think about this. The Holy Spirit of the Most High God moved upon some of His missionaries to go to a virtually unknown island, and then to an even more remote island mountain village to preach the gospel because ONE person had an earnest prayer and he wanted to know which God gave him his hand so that he could carve with skill.
- It was the Holy Spirit that sparked the question in the woodcarver’s heart and mind.
- It was the Holy Spirit that gave this carver of idols the strong desire to KNOW the God that gave him his hand so that he might carve with skill.
- It was the Holy Spirit that gave this carver of idols the desire and the willingness to pray earnestly that God would reveal Himself.
- It was the Holy Spirit who moved upon and prepared missionaries to go to that remote island, and further up that mountain to reach an even more remote village.
- It was the Holy Spirit that empowered these missionaries with the boldness to preach the gospel with conviction.
- It was the Holy Spirit that opened the hearts and minds of the villagers to hear the gospel, to receive the gospel, to believe the gospel, and to receive and obey God and Jesus Christ as their Savior after they heard the gospel.
- It was the Holy Spirit that empowered those 50 people to be willing and able to act upon the gospel and forsake their idols and obey YHWH Almighty God, and Messiah after they heard the gospel (Philippians 2:13; Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27).
Here is the upshot: Here is just one instance where Almighty God has proved Himself and His Word to be TRUE once again.
“Whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:9-10).
As it is written: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7–8, NASB95)
As it is written: ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’” (Jeremiah 29:13–14, NASB95)
How great, and how marvelous is our God; the Creator of the universe?!
Here is a villager who knew absolutely NOTHING of the Almighty, nor of Messiah; but he wanted to KNOW and to better SERVE the ONE God who made his hands, that he could carve with skill. God heard the cry of that man’s heart, and God moved heaven, earth, people, and circumstances to make certain that this man and his village had the chance to hear and respond to the gospel! I say again, How great, and how marvelous is our God; the Creator of the universe?!
The point is, God is not limited by geography or circumstance or anything else. If somebody is truly hungry to know the REAL God and to serve Him, God will absolutely move heaven, earth, people, and whatever circumstances must be moved to make certain that this person has the opportunity to hear, and to respond to the gospel and be saved.
This is one of the major reasons though why God prepares missionaries and sends them out to various places. He may be using those missionaries that he is sending out to remote places to answer someone’s prayer who is crying out to KNOW Him, just as that former idol carver did, you see?
As it is written: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20, NRSV)
God will take ANY opportunity to save someone if they are willing.
I do hope that this was helpful to you.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Brother Michel Lankford