Words of Healing “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” – Jesus (Matt 24:35).

13Dec/000

How Could a Loving God Send People to Hell?

Hell is an interesting concept. It is something that causes much frustration for Christians and non-Christians alike. How could a loving God send people to Hell? But I will ask another question, and that is, how could a loving God force people to worship Him for eternity?

Heaven is a place of eternal worship of God. Why would anyone who didn't want to serve God on earth, want to serve him for eternity? Therefore, Hell is not so much a place where people are thrown to, though it does come through the judgment of sin, but it is more a place where those who choose not to serve God on earth, get to go. However, I will point out on a side note that the absence of God, and the billions of people who realize that they just missed out on Heaven, and the fallen angels, which hate mankind, are going to make Hell a real Hell of a time.

God has laid out His plan. He has said, "I am God and there is no other," (Isa 45:22, 46:9) The Bible tells us that there is no other name in Heaven or on Earth by which a man can be saved, other than the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). Jesus came that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). So, he has opened the door, for to as many as would receive him, to them he gave the right to eternal life (John 1:12). God couldn't have made it any easier to get to Heaven. He doesn't require that we be perfect, but only that we be willing to repent of our rebellion against Him, and then be willing to serve Him throughout eternity. This is the message of the cross. We couldn't be perfect, so Christ was perfect for us, and through His perfection, we can once again enter into a life of serving God. The problem is that as humans, we want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to have the benefits of getting to go to Heaven, but we want to live the "good life" here on earth too-we want to be our own boss.

Ever since Adam and Eve sinned by eating the fruit, mankind has been in rebellion against God. We've made our own rules, ignored His rules, and we think that as long as we obey our own rules-we'll get to go to Heaven. However, we miss the point entirely of what the issue really is. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the Garden of Eden, they were choosing to be their own boss, and they rejected God as their Master and chose to serve themselves. Since then, all mankind has been serving themselves-their own best interests. We want to "go to Heaven" because it sounds like a nice idea, but we're not willing to let God be our Master, which is what caused mankind to be condemned to Hell in the first place.

God does not want us to go to Hell. He wants us to go to Heaven, all of us (2 Pet 3:9). Christ died so that everyone could enter Heaven. However, the condition is that we must be willing to return to what Adam and Eve had before they chose to rebel against Him. We must return to submission to our God, to let Him be God, to let Him set the rules, to let Him be our Master. This is a price that most people are unwilling to pay. So, I will ask anyone who doesn't want to let God be their Master, but at the same time wants to go to Heaven:

Would you really enjoy Heaven? Would you enjoy being forced to serve a God that you refused to serve when you had a choice? Do you think it would be right for God to force anyone to serve Him? Would a loving God force people into submission to His authority and make them nothing more than puppets in His hands? Would you want God to take away your free will?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, then you are starting to understand why God created Hell?

God has done all that He can do, apart from taking away our free will. Therefore, going to Hell is something that many people choose to do, because they are not willing to allow God to be their God. Instead, they want to rule their own life, and be their own God. Why do people choose this? Often, I think it is because they do not take the time to know or understand God. If they knew Him, they would trust Him. In trusting Him, they would come to love Him. And, in loving Him, they would come to serve Him. Mostly, though, people are just unwilling to bow their knee to the King of Kings, whatever the excuse. God said, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jer 29:13). If someone really wanted to know God, they would seek Him out, and then He would find them.

Unfortunately, most of us just focus our attention on superficial things like entertainment, trying to pass the time without having to think about anything. I've actually had people tell me that they believed that there was a God, but that they just hadn't had the time to think about it. At this, my heart cries out, ''Don't you get it? There is nothing more important than what you do about God. Whether you accept or reject Him as your Lord doesn't just affect the seventy or eighty years you live on this earth, but has eternal consequences one way or the other." If we would only spend as much time with God as we spend watching movies, going to parties, or just hanging out, then we'd be in a much better position.

But we are a "busy" people. We travel the earth to and fro gaining the wisdom of man, and though we think we are wiser than any generation before, we have become fools. We have freedom, freedom to look at pornography (adultery-Matt 5:28), freedom to "terminate pregnancies"(murder), freedom to have homosexual relations (depravity-Lev 20:13, Rom 1:26-28). We have exchanged the wisdom of God for the wisdom of man. We have exchanged the glory of an immortal God, for mere objects, things that we control. Cars, houses, possessions, ski-doos, the opposite sex, sex itself, pornography, nature, entertainment, our jobs, and indulgences of every kind are our gods of choice (See Romans 1:21-32). We reject God, because we will not let go of our gods. God in turn, allows us to do these things. He allows us to rebel against Him because He is a loving God and doesn't want to control us. So, even though he knows that our actions are detrimental, He does not stop us.

Hell will be a place where people will go, in separation from the God they chose not to serve.

The book of Romans tells us that a man's conscience will defend or condemn him in the absence of the knowledge of the law (Rom 2:14-15). Yet, also a previous statement stated that man was without excuse, for God's divine nature and eternal power have been clearly seen (Rom. 1:19-20) Jesus states that he who does not accept the Son as the Begotten of God, stands condemned already (John 3:18), and that He, Christ, is the Way, the Truth the Life and the only way to get to God. (John 14:6) So, we are judged based on the knowledge of the Truth that we have received, but apart from Christ, we cannot find the redemption for our sin.

Therefore, if a person knows about Christ, knows about what Christ did at Calvary, and has heard the Gospel preached-of God's Grace bestowed to men-and they choose to ignore or reject it, then they are rejecting God in their lives. The Bible makes it clear that to reject Christ is to reject God, and to reject God is to reject Heaven, so to reject Heaven is to accept Hell and the Lake of Fire. Whether the Lake of Fire is a literal "fire" or whether it is a figurative example of a place that will consume life and give nothing but ashes in return, I will leave up to the professional theologians. What I do know, however, is that Heaven is a place of eternal worship of God, and Hell is a place where people will be separated from God-forever free to serve themselves.

FootNotes

Most of my thinking behind this was inspired by a pastor I once had and is discussed in the book Follow Me by Jan David Hettinga.  He says it much better than I have.

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