Is there really a hell, and if so, how could a good and loving God send people to it?

By June 30, 2015 Articles, Resources

If you believe what the Bible says about a good and loving God, who sent Jesus to pay for our sins, it seems logical that we believe what Jesus said about hell; for He spoke more about hell than anyone else in the New Testament. It is described in a number of ways: as a place of outer darkness, a perpetual burning dump “where the worm does not die and the fire never goes out”, a bottomless pit, a prison, a place of torment and regret, a place of eternal destruction. The worst description however, is that it is a place separated from God. Jesus spoke of a great chasm fixed between the two possible destinations after death, thus denying access between them (Luke 16:26). Paul spoke of it as “…exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might.” (II Thess. 1:9). Can you imagine being separated from God, who is the source of all good? While on this earth, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt 5:45), but in hell, every vestige of good will be gone. Separation from God will be complete and final. Instead of light, there will be darkness. Instead of comfort, there will be torment.
Contrary to what the question implies, God does not send people to hell against their will; He simply gives them what they choose. Everyone deserves hell, but God has provided a way of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. We may receive His gift of forgiveness and follow Him; but to reject that offer is to choose separation from God (hell). Even an atheistic writer such as Jean-Paul Sartre suggested that the door of hell is locked from the inside (see his story No Exit). Hell is a place of torment, not torture. It should be noted that torture is inflicted from without against one’s will, while torment is self-inflicted; it is living with the consequences of our bad choices. The choices that we make in time, are sealed in eternity. Those who do not wish to have a relationship with God will see that desire fulfilled, forever. Those who do not wish to be with God, will then be separated from Him, forever. C.S. Lewis noted in his Screwtape Letters, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’”.
What does God desire for you? “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”(II Peter 3:9) He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2:4) He will not force you to have a relationship with Himself, but He does extend the invitation. Have you responded to His offer? If not, why not do it right now, and begin to follow Him? Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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