How Can A Loving God Send People to Hell?
Many people have often wondered: If God is so loving, how can he send people to a horrible place like hell? This question could be answered in the following way:
Think of a person whom you love very dearly. It could be your wife, your child, your husband or even your best friend. Then one day you discover that a serial killer broke into your loved one’s home during the night and then raped your loved one and then killed her before escaping. Such an inhumane and disturbing crime committed to your loved one by this murderer would obviously grieve and horrify you I’m sure. However, after several investigations into this heinous crime, the police capture this serial killer and the killer is brought before the judge for sentencing. Before the judge’s sentencing it was discovered through evidence that the killer is unrepentant of his crimes and even scoffs at the law. How would you want this judge to sentence the rapist/murderer who committed this crime against your loved one?
Which of the options would you expect the judge to take? Would you want the judge to:
a) Give this killer the just sentence he deserves and sentence the killer to jail according to the full requirements of the law? OR
b) Allow this killer to go free; to immediately go back into society and not be punished for the heinous crimes he has committed against not only your loved one, but perhaps against many other people who also lost their loved ones as a result of this killer’s crimes?
Let’s just assume this judge does Option B and decides to allow this serial killer to go scot free and not be punished at all. As a person who lost his loved one because of the crime of this killer,
1) How would you feel about this judge or this judge’s sentencing?
2) Would you feel that the judge is a righteous, just and loving judge for allowing this unrepentant killer go free?
3) Would you feel that there ought to be more judge’s like him/her who allow every or any criminal to be set free irrespective of their crimes; irrespective of the fact that they mocked the laws; irrespective that they were unrepentant; and irrespective that they had no regard for the authority in the land because these criminals believed that they should be allowed to do as they please?
I’m sure you would agree, that it would be a very suspicious and troubling scenario if the judge executed Option B. The judge’s ethics, morality and understanding of the law would be questioned given the crime. Because if a just judge is to judge the crime, then he would make sure that the time would fit the crime.
So, how can a loving God send people to hell? To further and fully understand the answer to this type of question, we also need to understand the following 5 issues:
1) WHAT IS GOD’s NATURE?
a) God is Love – 1 John 4:16-17 ESV – So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
b) God is Just & Righteous – Psalms 7:11-12 ESV – God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. 12 If a man does not repent, God will whet His sword; He has bent and readied his bow;
c) God is Holy – 1 Peter 1:16 ESV – Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”.
d) God is Forgiving – 1 John 1:9 ESV – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
e) God wants EVERYBODY to Repent and NOT Perish – 2 Peter 3:9 ESV – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
f) God chooses to be gracious and merciful according to His will – Exodus 33:19-20 ESV – And he said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you My name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.”
2) WHAT IS SIN, AND HOW DOES GOD FEEL ABOUT SIN?
a) God sees sin as being a crime against His law and His principles. Therefore in God’s eyes, sins are like crimes that cannot be allowed to go unpunished.
Proverbs 11:21 ESV – Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered
b) Sin can basically be defined as any type of wrongdoing against God. In other words, if God says that a certain behavior, thought pattern or lifestyle is wrong or bad, then that behavior or lifestyle can be defined as being a sin. Sin cannot be defined through the eyes of the world or by the world standards and systems. Sin can only be defined through God’s eyes and by God Himself.
c) Everybody is a sinner and is guilty of sin. Nobody is inherently good and all of mankind is capable of sin no matter how big or how small we may think our sins are.
1 John 1:10 ESV – If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Romans 3:10 ESV – As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;”
Romans 3:23 ESV – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
d) Sin has the detrimental effect of causing a spiritual separation between God and man. Therefore sin causes rebellion against God and if allowed to rule in a person’s life – without true repentance – sin will prevent a genuine and saving relationship with God.
Isaiah 59:2 ESV – But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that He does not hear.
3) WHAT IS GOD’s SOLUTION FOR SIN?
a) Since God desires that EVERYBODY would repent and NOT perish according to 2 Peter 3:9, God’s solution for the problem of sin is to save mankind from the punishment of ETERNAL HELL through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-17 ESV – For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
b) Because EVERY person is a sinner and is guilty of sin, therefore every person should be punished. However, by God’s love, grace and mercy, He sent Jesus who was sinless, to take our punishment as a sacrifice for our sins in place of us. Jesus came to take the punishment for our crimes against God. Therefore Christ died in our place as our substitute. The price of our redemption had to be the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Hebrews 9:22 ESV – Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
John 1:29-30 ESV – The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV – For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Peter 3:18 ESV – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
4) WHAT ARE GOD’s CONDITIONS FOR SALVATION FROM HELL?
God’s offer of salvation is FREE. You don’t have to pay any pastor any money for it. You are not saved by your own good works, but you are saved by God’s grace or undeserved kindness. Therefore in order to be saved, you must
a) You must ACKNOWLEDGE: You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and that you therefore need Jesus in your life.
Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Luke 18:13 – “God be merciful to me a sinner”
b) You must REPENT: Repenting means: to change your mind; a sincere turning away, in heart, mind and action; Therefore God wants you to repent of sinful values and of sinful living. God wants you to decide to follow Him.
Luke 13:3 – “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish”
Acts 3:19 – “Repent therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out”
c) You must CONFESS: God is a forgiving God. God will forgive any sin that you have done because Jesus died for ALL your sins and to set you free from the bondage of all types of sin in your life.
Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved”
d) You must BELIEVE: You must believe that ONLY Jesus can save you and restore your relationship with God.You must believe that Jesus is the ONLY way by which you can have everlasting life and escape from eternal separation from God. You must believe that Jesus died on the cross for you and resurrected from the grave.
John 1:12-13 – But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God
e) You must RECEIVE: By faith, You must receive Jesus as Your Lord & Saviour and therefore; you become a child of God; you become born again; you become a Christian; you restore your broken relationship with God; you are saved from eternal hell.
John 1:11-13 – He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
5) WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE FOR REFUSING GOD’s SALVATION PLAN
So how can a loving God send people to hell?
a) If we make the choice of refusing to receive God’s FREE offer of salvation through Jesus Christ we are in fact refusing to be aligned with God.
b) If we make the choice that we do not need God or the Lordship of Christ Jesus in our life, we automatically condemn ourselves.
c) If we mock God and mock His word and scoff at God’s loving act of sending Jesus for our sake, to become our substitute, we are in fact refusing to be part of God’s salvation plan.
d) If we make the conscious choice to not believe in God’s existence and to not follow or believe that His word gives us moral and spiritual guidance then we risk taking the path that leads to eternal damnation if we do not repent.
e) If we refuse to repent but instead continue to be led by the standards of this world and false doctrines, we might risk the chance of leaving no room for the one true God to save us from eternal hell.
f) If we do not believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord & Saviour we become condemned already. However if we receive Jesus Christ as Lord & Saviour we become a new creation who will not be condemned to hell – but instead we will receive the free gift of eternal life and reside in the eternal presence of the Lord.
Romans 6:23 ESV – For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:17-21 ESV – For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ESV – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Revelations 21:6-8 ESV – And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Romans 1:18-32 ESV – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For 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. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened
The truth is this: People send THEMSELVES to hell by the rebellious choices they make against God and by not heeding to God’s warnings and not committing to God’s FREE plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.
Just because we decide to believe in our mind that neither God nor hell exists, it does not mean that the TRUTH will change. Hell exists and it is eternal.
The GOOD NEWS is that God offers a way of escape from the punishment of hell through Christ Jesus.
To know more about what the Bible says about hell, read BIBLE VERSES ABOUT HELL.
DO YOU WANT TO BE A CHILD OF GOD? DO YOU WANT TO BE SAVED FROM ETERNAL HELL?
God exists. God loves you even if you are a sinner. Jesus died for ALL of us who have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). God also loves you even if you don’t believe in Him. However, if you really want to know what a person’s character is like – you have to get to know that person one-on-one. We cannot accurately judge a person unless we personally know him/her.
God wants to have a one-on-one relationship with you. God wants to show you how much He loves and cares for you. If you would like to know God and to have a personal relationship with Him you need to believe and ask Jesus Christ to become your Lord & Saviour.
Have you, in faith, believed & received Jesus Christ as your Savior because of what you have read here? If so, please let us know by clicking on the “I have accepted Jesus Christ today” button below.