Q. How can an all loving God ever send someone to hell? Is there really going to be a Hell for those who refuse to accept Jesus as the Savior?
Most people don’t believe in hell. Most religious people don’t believe in hell. In 1980, the Princeton Institute for Religious Research conducted a study, and did you know that less than 40% of all the people who wear the name “Christian” actually believe there will be a place of everlasting destruction called hell?
The fact of the matter is you and I may not like the idea of hell, we may rally against it, we may even rant and rave, but hell is reality. It stands out like a monolithic tombstone in scripture. The warnings are everywhere; fifty-five times in the Bible hell is warned about to those who would read scripture. The one who warned about hell more than any other author, more than any other speaker, was Jesus, the man from Nazareth. Over and over again he gave the warning that is summarized in
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Hell is portrayed in horribly frightening ways in the Bible.
II Peter 2:4 and Jude 13 call it a “place of darkness”.
Matthew 13:42 says hell is going to be a furnace of fire.
Matthew 25:41 says it is going to be everlasting fire.
Mark 9:44 says it is going to be the fire that will not be quenched.
And Revelation 20:10 is that familiar statement about fire and brimstone.
Keep in mind, that hell and heaven are going to be spiritual abodes, not fleshly abodes. So the “fire of hell” is really about as metaphorical as the “streets of gold” and the “gates of pearl” in heaven. But picture the idea of fire and you get what the gospel writer is trying to say.
Hell is also going to be a place of pain. Four times in four different chapters in the gospel accounts, Jesus says there will be weeping, there will be wailing, and there will be gnashing of teeth.
Jesus said in verse 46, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.”
Revelation 14:11 says, “The smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever.”
There is a hell because of the nature of God.
God is just; He is absolutely holy; He is perfectly righteous, and you see, you have to understand all of God’s nature. And while God’s love, God’s mercy and God’s grace are demonstrated wonderfully in the atonement of Christ, His other attributes demand equal authority. His attributes justify hell.
God is all-righteous, He is all-holy. He cannot do anything that is any less than right. Evil absolutely cannot abide in God’s presence.
Habakkuk 1:13 says, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil. You cannot tolerate wrong.”
God’s great plan for this universe is-to ultimately bring this universe back to His righteousness; to bring it back to harmony with His character. That is why He has provided a way for sinners to return to righteousness. He explained it this way:
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The justice of God.
The justice of God is the logical complement to His holiness. Justice demands that something be done about sin. Our God just can’t ignore sin. Our God can’t wink at sin. Our God can’t pick up the rug and sweep it under. We serve a greater God than that! He is an all-just God. You want to know what God thinks about sin?
Listen to Psalm 5, beginning at verse 4,
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.
6 You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.
God can’t ignore sin, there’s got to be a payment. The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23) That death, is in the form of hell.
God’s love demands a hell.
His love requires a hell because God must protect those who have obeyed His promises and who love Him, from the hatred and the defilement of God’s enemies. God’s very character demands that there be a hell. We may understand these truths about God’s character, but somebody says, “Isn’t hell an awfully stiff penalty for not accepting Christ? For not believing God’s Son? For not obeying the gospel? For not repenting of sin and being baptized in the name of Jesus? Isn’t hell a stiff penalty?”
You know, if the truth be told, I’m afraid that most Christians tend to think of rejecting Christ as a rather small matter. I don’t mean we think it is trivial, but we probably lump it right in there with other sins like theft, or adultery, or lying, or maybe even murder; but isn’t is unreasonable to require such a monstrous payment for such a small shortcoming?
That is where we human beings just don’t understand the horror of sin. I am a sinner. I have alienated myself from God. .
The TRUTH IS God doesn’t send anyone to hell. It’s a choice. Will I choose to accept Jesus Christ or will I reject Him?” If I reject Him, I condemn myself here’s what Jesus, Himself, said in John 3:17-18, read with me,
17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
When I choose to reject Christ, when I don’t obey the gospel, I already stand condemned., here is an example:
25 “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.
What we need to see is Abraham said to that rich man, you were choosing your path all along. We need to be thinking more seriously about that choice. More people ought to know, and even as that is said, it reminds me of what the rich man says in torment when he said, “Please, Abraham, send somebody back to my five brothers. They are heading the wrong way!” “They have Moses and the prophets,” says Abraham. “But they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets,” says the rich man. Abraham says, “If they won’t listen to them, they won’t listen to somebody back from the dead.”
The choice is eternal. Listen to what your God-given common sense would tell you. Romans 1, beginning at verse 18, God tells us–people ought to know–
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 ¶ because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
We ought to know that the God who created all that is would gave us a revelation, which the Bible tells us we can read and understand (Eph. 3) and we sould turn to that revelation to answers to our questions and to Jesus Christ who taught us how to be freed from our sins. We don’t want to suppress the Truth. Not all Bible subjects are pleasant, but they must be taught by faithful people, or we end up becoming fools (as Paul says in Rom. 1:22) supreme revelation, Jesus Christ, to rid us of the wrong we commit in our life. It ought to be plain to us, let’s don’t suppress the truth! Or we’ll end up like verse 22 says in Romans 1, “becoming fools”.
22* Professing to be wise, they became fools