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Ravi Zacharias: Does God Condemn People from Other Religions?


Ravi Zacharias is a well-known apologist who is not afraid of tough questions. Originally from India, he is used to thinking outside of our American church box. Which is perhaps why he is able to answer the following question as well as he does:

Isn’t it vastly unfair to claim that all the people who don’t believe in Jesus are condemned to hell?

What Ravi Zacharias Says

Zacharias starts by addressing the myth that since Jesus came only 2,000 years ago, everything that came before him (including our beliefs) would take precedence over him and the religion his life inspired. But 3,000 years before Jesus, we see Abraham, who grew up in a polytheistic society, yet found the one true God.

In Genesis 18:25, we are told “the Judge of all the earth will do that which is right.” This verse is in context to the judgment that was coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah as a result of their disobedience. Zacharias claims the examples of Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham show us that God “speaks through our consciences. He speaks through creation. He speaks ultimately through his word and then in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.”

Additionally, Zacharias claims “God doesn’t really send anybody to hell. We make our choice.” Ultimately, the decision to submit to our heavenly Father or not is our choice. Because, as he explains, “he will not violate our wills.” God is very concerned with our freedom. “That sacred gift of my freedom is given to me by God,” he says.

C.S. Lewis has a pertinent quote that Zacharias draws on: “There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who bend their knee to God and say to Him, ‘Your will be done,’ or those who refuse to bend their knee to God and God says to them, ‘Your will be done.’” Zacharias uses this quote to make the point that God will let us make our own choices—even if those choices land us in hell.

Zacharias ends his discussion by saying God’s “will is the most beautiful thing you can pursue.”

For other Ravi Zacharias Question and Answer videos, check out the following:

Does God Favor a Particular Gender?

Does Suicide Send You to Hell?

Is It OK to Just Follow Christ’s Commands?

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.