Tuesday, January 8, 2019

If God loves us Why would He send anyone to Hell?

Have you ever been asked the question: “If we believe God loves everyone, do you really think He would send people to Hell if they were a good person?” 

It's a very good and reasonable question.  Let's look at how we could respond.  Here is how I would respond...

First of all, I would thank the individual for the question, let's say its a young adult in his twenties.  I would ask him if he had some time to sit down and talk about this in greater detail. We would meet, and I would explain to him that there is no easy answer to the question of “hell.”

I would explain to him that according to the Bible, we do believe that we are immortal beings, and that our bodies will be resurrected at the end of time. We believe that there will be a day of accountability, when God will judge all peoples. God is the only one who has the authority to render judgment on humanity, because God is holy, timeless, and perfect.

When we see on the news that someone does something wrong, we are pleased that this person is brought before a judge, and punished for their crime. And when you’re at school, and you see someone who is bullying another student, or cheating on a test, and they get caught and are disciplined, you are glad about that right? We all want justice in the world.

The Bible, our guidebook to who God is, says that no one is a good person, not really (Romans 3:9-20). Each of us have sinned. And if we want to test that out we can look to the ten commandments that God gave Moses. God said you must not lie. God said you must have no other gods before me. God said you must honor your father and mother. God said you must not bear false witness. Have we ever done these things? If I’m testing myself I have to say “yes.”

So on judgment day, God is required by the standard of his own righteousness to judge us. And with all of those sins piled up, he would have to send us to hell. But the truth is, God has made a way for each of us to be pure and blameless on judgment day.

God sent his son Jesus Christ into the world, who was Immanuel meaning “God with us.” Jesus Christ was God come into the world (John 1:1-5). God so loved the world that He gave his only son, that anyone who would simply repent and believe in Him don’t have to go to hell, but instead will have eternal joy in heaven (John 3:16).

No one wants to go to hell. But many in this life choose to reject God and live their own way. And those ways are often very destructive to society, and to the world.

God wants everyone to be saved. He holds out his hand all day long, for their whole lives. But often these people still choose to reject God. And in the end they get what they want: Hell is a place where God is not there. Or perhaps better explained, hell is a place where only the wrath of God is present.  Hell is eternal, and it is quite scary and the Bible depicts it in vivid form. 

We should take as much time as we need to wrestle with the concepts of heaven and hell. This shouldn't be quick or easy.  It should be done in weeks, months, and years of prayer, scripture study, and long talks with friends. We should wrestle with God about it, and He will will enter the discussion. 

Honestly, I can't even think on the concept of hell for very long and I just want to break down crying.  It breaks my heart, and it should break our hearts.  It's a place that no one should go when Christ Jesus is available for salvation.  If we aren't willing to cry over hell, then we probably shouldn't be giving answers about it.

The reality of hell should be a reminder to us that God has called us to Christ, and so we should continue to walk with Christ, and live in holiness.

God loves you. And he has gone to prepare a place for you in heaven. The reality of heaven and hell should drive us to evangelize the lost, disciple our people in holiness, and look forward to our eternal future of joy in the eternal city of God.

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  3. The Judgment Seat of Christ: Heaven, Hell
  4. Even to your Old Age & Gray Hairs: I am He
  5. Confronting Sin: A Passion for Being Changed
  6. Justin's Calling: Are you called to be a Salvation Army Officer?
  7. Don't Judge Me! Discernment or Condemnation?
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