It’s a tough question. It’s an extremely important one also, considering that it may well encompass the vast majority of humans so far. Here are some answers folks have proposed…
1. They participate in an afterlife other than that of Christianity or no afterlife at all
2. They automatically go to heaven since they never rejected the gospel
3. They automatically go to hell since they never accepted the gospel
4. God gives all humans enough access to the gospel during physical life for them to willingly decide their fate, via nature, dreams, visions, or other atypical ways of evangelizing if necessary
5. There is an opportunity after physical death by which such people learn the gospel and decide their fate
6. God ultimately decides who goes to heaven or hell, so the lack of human exposure to the gospel makes no difference
Each of these responses comes with its own related questions, but unless Christians are satisfied simply knowing at least they were lucky enough to hear about Jesus, we need to find the best answer! What do you think and why? I’d love hear your opinion or any other options to consider. As always, later this week I’ll be advertising a blog, website, cause, or quote of whoever submits the most insightful comment, so leave a way for me to contact you if necessary!
For a helpful and healing look at the biblical destiny of people who can’t learn about or understand the gospel while physically alive, check out Healing Hereafter.