How Could a Loving God Send Anyone to Hell? Part 2May 30, 2023
Last week I wrote a blog post explaining the reality of hell, and how people end up there. This week I'm going to conclude that post by sharing the answer to these 2 very good questions I've been asked about God, people, and hell.
- If God knows that a person's going to hell, why would He let that person be born in the first place?
- If we're all sinners headed for hell, before we even get to make our first choice, isn't the whole thing messed up?
If God knows that a person's going to hell, why would He let that person be born in the first place?
Wouldn't it make sense to just "nip it in the bud?" I mean, if we were never born we'd never know pain (or pleasure), suffering (or joy). We'd never know what we're missing and no one would have to wrestle with these kinds of questions!
Let me begin by saying this: It's a whole lot easier to ask questions like this one than it is to answer them. The question itself makes you feel good. I mean, you are looking out for the good of people! And, not just any people, but of the people who end up in hell. You are looking out for the good of the most damned people in the world.
What if you could rescue them with your reason and logic?! Wouldn't that be terrific?
Of course, it takes a whole lot more than logic and reason to save people from hell. It actually took a human sacrifice and Jesus offered it. For those who are unfamiliar with our good news, and for those re-examining their faith to see if it "fits" them today; I'm sure that sounds outrageous.
And it would be outrageous if we misunderstood the nature of God and His "take" on sin.
I heard Todd Friel say today on his YouTube channel "Wretched" that we have neglected crucial aspects of the Gospel. We've shied away from God's justice and wrath. "If God isn't holy and angry, then hell makes no sense." Check out this interesting episode where Friel gives us 5 strong reason so many people are deconstructing their faith today. "The Eye-Opening Reason That So Many Deconstruct Their Faith"
That's it, though, isn't it? Some of us are old enough to remember the invitation hymn on page 307, Just as I am, without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me. And we interpreted that to mean, that God is sitting on His throne in heaven like a sniveling momma who can't wait for her wayward children to return home.
We've mistaken God's amazing grace for pitiful unconditional acceptance. What other world religion offers you mercy without compromising justice?. In the Christian faith, God's righteousness demands justice that is intercepted by His mercy in sending His own Son (willingly) to pay sin's price. The wrath of God was satisfied in that age of Roman crucifixion. Mercy and Justice equally accomplished.
So, what happens to anyone and everyone who rejects the "gift" of Jesus' substitutionary death on the cross? They remain under the God's wrath not because He is mean! But because He is JUST!
What if God only "let" people who would choose to receive Jesus' gift of salvation to be born? Wouldn't that be overstepping His self-imposed boundaries of free will?
When my son was in middle school he played a computer game called Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, in it he built amusement parks that were impacted by the satisfaction of his park patrons. If he saw a patron leaving the park thinking less than stellar things about his park, he would either drown them in a fountain, or put them back in the park, way back in the back, so that they couldn't go out and spread a bad report. TJ exerted his god-like status as the "player" of the game and established that outcome by manipulating the people.
Isn't this what God would be doing if He made sure that only people who chose Jesus were allowed to be born?
Would that be fair? Would that be right? Would that be just?
Maybe you could send me the answer to those questions.
If we're all sinners headed for hell, before we even get to make our first choice, isn't the whole thing messed up?
Yes. I guess it is. And the Bible tells us the truth about that.
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 5:20, "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned"
And it would be really messed up if God simply left us to our miserable existence. But, because of His love for us, He reached right down into this sin-stained world and made the way for us to live spotless and clean, victorious and satisfied.
As Christ followers, the blood of Jesus "washes us clean" and we get to have a personal relationship with God based on the merits of His grace, not our works.
Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works so that no one can boast."
When people express this argument as one that discredits the claims of Christianity, they are blinded by an over-inflated ego and a mistaken understanding of God.
Over-inflated ego because they think their sin doesn't matter so much; they downplay their sinfulness out of ignorance regarding the pure and holy righteousness of God.
Mistaken understanding of God because they think He's a suffering Savior simply waiting for sinners to make their way to the cross. They forget that He is the Master of the Universe; Maker of Heaven and Earth. They think He's somehow obligated to dismiss their sins because they're pretty good people and the god they know wouldn't dare send anyone to such a place!
They have exalted themelves to god-like status because they are merely mortal and in no way equipped to sit in such a place; their minds are dulled and they can't even see the foolishness of their thought patterns.
I wish that reading something like this online might cause them reconsider their perspective. For the glory of God and for their eternal souls.
But that's up to them--because God is good; and it's good that they get to choose for themselves. But when their eyes are opened to just what happened on Calvary's cross when God's wrath was poured out of His righteousness on His own Son as His love was expressed in mercy and grace; they won't bow out of fear of hell but rather out of awe of God.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling. Calling for you and for me.
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