Are Those Outside Lost?



We are considering the open door—into salvation, into life. If Jesus is the Door, and the only door, what about those who died before Jesus came and those who lived after He came, but never have heard of Him—are they lost? I am grateful I do not have to decide that matter, for only God our Father is good enough and wise enough to decide it. It is my business to preach the gospel and leave judgment to God.

The Scriptures do give us guidance here, however. Paul says that those who have lived under the law will be judged by the law; those who have lived apart from the law have the law written within them—in their consciences, in their higher ideals—and they will be judged by the light they have had. Each will be judged according to his light. Now it says of Jesus: “The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world” (John 1:9)—the excarnate light of Christ is the light in conscience and in higher ideals in every man. If men live according to their light, then they have been unconsciously living according to “the light which lighteth every man coming into the world”—the light of Christ. If they have, they will be saved by Christ whether they knew Him or not. You and I have the light of Christ, and the bigger question is whether we will be saved, for of him to whom much has been given much will be required (see Luke 12:48).

If the Scriptures say that Jesus is the Door, what does life say? The same thing? Yes. The only alternative for the modern man is Christ or nothing. There seem to be no other alternatives. Life eliminates the alternatives, and we are being more and more shut up to Him. If He isn’t the Way, there is no way. Ripley’s Believe It or Not had the picture of a stone stairway into a house. At the head of the stairway was a blank stone wall. It led nowhere. Life without Christ leads to a blank stone wall—nowhere.


O Jesus Christ, when I put my finger upon the latch by faith and surrender, the Door opens—opens to everything. I know You are the Open Door into redemption, freedom, everything. I am entering. Amen.


Listen, my soul: every road leading away from Jesus is a dead-end road.

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Eli Stanley Jones was an evangelical Methodist missionary to India who sought to make a clear distinction between biblical Christianity and Western culture. For 70 years, Dr. E. Stanley Jones proclaimed the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, earning him the title of "the world's greatest missionary evangelist" by Time magazine in 1938, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1963, and two Nobel Peace Prize nominations during his lifetime. An author of 29 books, he moved among statesmen and among leaders as counselor, friend, and worker for peace and helped hundreds of thousands, from village outcasts in India to molders of public opinion in America, Japan, Europe, and India.


  1. Because Jesus is everywhere, people can encounter Him anywhere. Because He is invisible, He can be encountered without being recognized. When I first encountered Him, I didn’t know who He was, but I was acutely aware of His presence and love. As I began to follow Him, He began to reveal Himself to me as the Jesus of the Bible, the Christ, the Son of the living God — God who became a man and shed His blood on the Cross to pay for my sin and to be the Door to restore me to Himself and give me eternal life. He rose from the dead to ever live and reign as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.