The other night, my wife and I watched The Last Samurai on AMC. Throughout the film, we see the lifestyle that this people live. It's a life of discipline and compassion and respect. Everyone is everyone else's servant. The home is a home that would be in line with what Paul teaches in Ephesians 5. THese people's lives reflected the law and commands of Scripture in as perfect a manner as any human can, and they had never heard the gospel. Upon finishing the movie, my wife said to me something to the effect of, "I have a hard time believing that people like that are burning in hell...people who have never heard the gospel but are faithful like that to a life that mirrors Christian principles." So we started talking about the exclusiveness of Jesus' claims and then I remembered a passage of Scripture about Gentiles and the law. Here is the passage; my thoughts and question will follow. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:12-16 ESV) From the reading of this passage, it appears as though there is some sense in which there is redemption for people who have never heard the Gospel story. Not like a universalist idea, but an idea that someone who is faithful to the law but doesn't have the law is excused while those who live lives that aren't faithful to the law are accused. In light of this, have we become too exclusive about who Jesus' work applies to? I am a Calvinist, and I do believe in a particular atonement. I believe that only the elect have their sins atoned for (or only those who have faith in Christ have their sins atoned for). Is it posssible, though, that, in our zeal to spread the Gospel, we have made Jesus' work and mission here more exclusive than even He did? Could Jesus' finished work on the cross be more inclusive than we normally preach it?