Will those who have never heard the gospel be saved?
One reason why so little evangelism really goes on in churches today is because Satan has convinced the Christian that because "God so loved the world", he really will not bring eternal judgment to either "good people" or those who have never heard the gospel. With the natural mind, it is understandable that we rationalize away a very painful and horrible thought that anyone would go to hell. We can more easily agree to it for those whose wicked crimes are normally despicable - such as Hitler or Hussein - but we can't easily bear the thought of our mother or father being lost. In order to justify in our minds salvation for the ones we love - even when they have not believed or obeyed the gospel - most Christians will rationalize that the native on an island or the man in China who may have never the gospel will by God's mercy obtain salvation on the basis that it would be unfair of God to send someone to hell who may have never heard. This allows a person to then apply that logic to anyone who might lack sufficient knowledge of the gospel or who might have lived up to any Bible standard that pertains to salvation - i.e. if they were ignorant of it or really did not believe it, it won't matter.
Notice first of all that to question God's fairness is as old as the story of Adam and Eve in the garden. Satan has used this approach many times. Why do children die? Why do people suffer? Why do I suffer? Why does God allow sickness? But the Bible is very clear on the question of unbelief and also on the question of un-enlightenment.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.Think of this: Suppose there is an island in the South Pacific with a thousand natives on it that have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no Bible, no church, no missionary. Based on the logic above, because they have never heard the gospel, they will be saved. Now suppose our missions board and churches take up missions pledges and we send a missionary to that island to preach the gospel. We have now saved a few but doomed the majority to hell. Would it not have been better NOT to send the missionary? Wouldn't it be better not to build a church, or print a Bible, or send a preacher if a person is saved because he never heard the gospel?