You were dead in your trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1)
God is not unjust. No one will be condemned for not believing a message he has never heard. Those who have never heard the gospel will be judged by their failure to own up to the light of God’s grace and power in nature and in their own conscience. This is the point of Romans 1:20–21:
His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him.
Apart from the special, saving grace of God, people are dead in sin, darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, and hardened in heart (Ephesians 2:1; 4:18).
And the means God has ordained to administer that special saving grace is the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1:14–16)