Why A Loving God Sends People To Hell
2nd in my series: “The Top 10 Objections to Christianity Answered.”
The Bible is clear that God sends people to hell. Or perhaps it is better stated that they send themselves there. That bothers many. How could a loving God do or allow that? It confuses people. I’ve had to contemplate this issue carefully.
The USA Supreme Court represents the highest level of justice in the land.
This is the second article I’m writing in a countdown of “The Top 10 Objections to Christianity Answered.”
I’ll give my answers to why God sends people to hell in two categories:
1. God is just.
2. God is love.
1. God is just (fair).
Why do I say this?
a. The Bible reveals that God is completely just.
Justice means fairness. The God revealed in the Bible is completely fair.
“He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect. Everything he does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright he is!” (Deuteronomy 32:4 NLT)
One of the things that irritates people most is unfairness or lack of justice. We can be very glad that God is just.
b. Justice demands payment for sins.
Most countries have a “system of justice.” In the USA, we have a hierarchy of courts, with judges, juries, and the laws to support them.
We even have a worldwide International Court of Justice with fifteen judges who sometimes wear funny wigs.
Laws are only valuable if there is a penalty associated with breaking the laws. Otherwise, who cares?
We wouldn’t want to live in a place where there were no laws and penalties. When injustice comes, people march in the streets, protest and sometimes rebel. It can get very nasty! Human beings demand justice.
c. Hell means justice.
We like to think that we know better than God when it comes to justice. But here’s the bottom line: we don’t. God is perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. He cannot err and He cannot be unjust.
Therefore hell is just.
We might think it sounds unfair, but all that means is we lack sufficient perspective.
What we think of as good is sometimes different than what we think. Conversely, what we think of as bad sometimes isn’t as bad as what we thought.
Carolyn and I have a fun memory of two of our sons going to summer camp. One was quite excited to go. The other was reluctant and didn’t think it would be very good. When they got home, guess what. The one who thought it would be great was tepid about the experience. But the one who wasn’t excited to go came back thrilled about the experience.
The point is that it is too soon for us mortals to make judgment about hell being fair or not. Hell is in the future, so how can we disagree with God about its fairness?
What we can know from God’s written revelation however is that hell is to be taken seriously and to be avoided!
Which brings us to our second point:
2. God is love.
While it is true that God sends people to hell, Scripture says clearly that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
It doesn’t say God knows about love, or has love. It says God IS love!
Perhaps we need to let that soak in a little. We think we love and we know about love. But all of that comes from God because “God is love.” Take away God and you take away love, because “God is love.”
Here are some implications of the fact that God is love:
a. Because God is love, He decided to provide an alternative to hell.
There’s a wonderful story about Fiorello LaGuardia, Mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945. As mayor, he would sometimes preside in court.
One bitter cold day they brought a trembling old man before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. ‘I’ve got to punish you, declared LaGuardia. ‘The law makes no exception. I can do nothing but sentence you to a fine of ten dollars.’
But the Little Flower was reaching into his pocket as he added, ‘Well, here’s the ten dollars to pay your fine. And now I remit the fine.’ He tossed a ten-dollar bill into his famous sombrero.
‘Furthermore,’ he declared, ‘I’m going to fine everybody in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a man has to steal bread in order to eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to this defendant!’
The hat was passed and an incredulous old man, with a light of heaven in his eyes, left the courtroom with a stake of forty-seven dollars and fifty cents.”
The story illustrates both components of a just but loving judge:
Justice demands a penalty.Love provides payment for the penalty.
God is infinitely more just and loving! Because God is just, He demands payment for the wrongs done by every single human being who has ever lived. But because He is love, God provided payment in the death of His Only Son Jesus Christ for our sins.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8 NLT)
b. Because God is love, He doesn’t force Himself on anyone.
As I explained in my article 7 Amazing Ways God Reveals Himself to Us, God could overwhelm us and force us to follow Him. But that would negate love.
Instead, He invites us to receive His gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. He invites, but He doesn’t force Himself on us.
The invitation is open, but there is no coercion.
c. God is waiting patiently for you to respond to His love.
Some wonder why God doesn’t come and end all the suffering on earth. The answer is:
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9 NLT)
He is patiently waiting for YOU if you have never received His loving gift of eternal life. To find out how to do so today, please click HERE!
WARNING: This is an eternal issue not to be taken lightly! Jesus said, “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Matthew 7:14 NLT)
Will you enter the narrow gateway to eternal life? To learn how to do so, please click HERE.
Additional resources about related subjects on this site:
Podcast: What exactly is hell?
Podcast: What God would send people to hell?
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