So, it’s clear that those that believe and adhere to the followings of Christ (ahem, Christians) will go to Heaven.
The bible describes the awesomeness of heaven (and even though the word “awesome” is overused in the modern context, heaven retains the full meaning of the word – and more). “In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2)
Now comes the difficult question: what happens if you are born in a largely non-Christian territory? What if you are not born in a country such as the United States, which is populated by many Christian denominations?
Surely, a “just” or rational God wouldn’t be so unfair as to randomly assign some to eternal damnation at no fault of their own. Right?
Well, enough of the rhetorical questions. For me, one answer in addressing such a question that might counter theistic claims is simple: we are the answer.
I could go on about how various groups (within various denominations and traditions) of Christianity address the question differently: from those that believe that although it seems unfair, some are just damned and unfortunate, but it is not unjust because no one deserves grace from God to begin with– to those that believe that even without actively reading or knowing of the gospel, living a Christian-like life is sufficient for salvation.
There are many claims, and I will not endeavor to answer this. Rather, I believe that if everyone in the world was Christian from the early years of Christ’s teaching, there would be no “Christian struggle”. That is, we would be unable to feel the experience of spreading God’s word to others. By spreading the gospel throughout the world, we bring others to salvation while struggling ourselves to attract as many people as we can to Christianity.
That is, without a struggle Christianity would not be what it is – from the struggle humans have regarding sin to the struggle we might have in being attacked for our beliefs, Christianity is embedded with various conceptions of struggle.
So no, I can’t completely say with certainty what happens to those that aren’t actively enlightened with the gospel, but I can say that I can struggle to make the news available to as many people as possible (without being forceful, of course).
As C.S. Lewis put it in Mere Christianity, “We do know that no person can be saved except through Christ. We do not know that only those who know Him can be saved by Him.”