Published on September 17th, 2014 | by Jeff Price0
How Could A Loving God Send Me To Hell?
How could a loving God send someone to Hell? The very thought that God will send people to a place of eternal torment simply because we won’t or can’t be good is a stumbling block for many who are considering becoming a Christian. There are even some Christians that have a problem with the concept.
People don’t want to think of God as a vengeful, hurtful being. For that matter, a great many of the Christian population hold fast to the concept that God is simply too good to condemn people to Hell and His divine love and mercy will ultimately reconcile all lost souls to Him as opposed to abandoning them to an eternal life of torment. On the other hand, some people hold that if God is callous enough to send people to a place of eternal torment, they want nothing to do with Him.
Granted, It goes against our very nature to conceive of God, who is supposed to be perfectly good, acting in a way that could be perceived as evil. Yet, He had men, women, children and animals slaughtered by the thousands in the Old Testament. And in the New Testament, there is always an underlying theme of eternal punishment for the unsaved. Our moral compass tells us that, that is not fair. Should a Muslim or Hindu be condemned to eternal punishment simply because of the god or gods they follow? Should a person who is predisposed to gambling suffer for his addiction? Should a person suffer eternal torment simply because he or she loves someone of the same sex? We forgive and tolerate others for those very things. Well, most of us do, most of the time. So, if we are made in the image of God, why does it seem we are more forgiving than He is?
These types of questions haunt many of us – and for good reason. We need to learn to be forgiving, but God does not. We need to learn tolerance – not of sin, but of the sinner, but God does not. We need to learn the value of being a loving, caring, giving individual – God does not. We need to learn to be all these things and more, but God does not because He already is all those things. In fact, God is incapable of not being any of those things because He is utterly and completely righteous; He is perfect. Can any one of us say that of ourselves? No, we can not.
Therefore, we need our God-given sense of morality as a guide because we are all evil no matter how good we try to be or think we are. God, however, does not need such a guide because He is perfectly good. He can do no evil and everything He does is for the good of those that love Him. So, what we perceive as evil from God, such as His actions against pagan cultures in the Old Testament, and His admonishment in the New Testament to welcome salvation or suffer the consequences is actually His effort to keep evil at bay and clear the way for His perfect love.
Additionally, we must remember to be humble in our efforts to understand God. We, with our human minds, cannot comprehend the ways of a God who is unfathomably wiser than we are. We have become so accustomed to being the most intelligent life on earth; solving complex problems and building technologically advanced civilizations that we have become prideful. We think we have the ability to figure God out, when in reality, such as task would be like a two-year-old attempting to understand quantum physics.
There is yet another motive for some to deny the fact that God is indeed capable of severely punishing those who do not want to keep His commands or follow His ways. If there is no Hell or if God is too full of good to send anyone there, then what have we to worry about? What have we to fear? We can live our lives as we see fit and not have to worry about punishment in the afterlife.
But, God is indeed capable of punishment. In the Old Testament, we see that God wiped out entire civilizations, not because He is evil, but because those civilizations were evil and worshiped fallen angels in place of God; they worshiped the creation, not the Creator. And in doing so, He established His superiority over all the false gods and religions in the world. In the New Testament, we see that God deals with evil another way. He made it possible for his rebellious, sin-filled children to avoid destruction altogether.
God is perfect and because God is perfect, He demands perfection of us. This is why God tells us that no one is truly good, no not one, and all our good deeds are nothing more to God than filth-covered rags – when compared to perfection, that is. So, if we want to live our eternal lives in the presence of a perfect God, we must ourselves be perfect. But, alas, we are not – not one. Perfection is impossible for us to attain, therefore we are all doomed to be sentenced to an eternity in Hell because we can not live a life perfectly free of sin.
God desires that everyone be saved and He wants to spend eternity in the presence of the children He created and loves so dearly. Sin has made that impossible. Yes, there are some things that even God is incapable of doing. God, as powerful as He is, can not do whatever He wants simply because He is God. if God simply forgave us of all our transgressions, He would no longer be righteous because righteousness demands compensation for sin. A perfect Judge with a perfect law can’t simply waive a guilty verdict for someone who is responsible for a crime. Justice demands accountability and accountability when not met demands restitution. So, if no one can lead a perfect life and if God must punish us for our imperfection, what hope is there? That is why God sent His Son.
God loves us so much that He sent His perfect Son to this imperfect world to suffer the consequence of everyone’s sin. Christ did lead a perfect life, free of sin. And He has consented to pay the price for our sins and now stands boldly in our place in God’s court of law and receives the verdict of “GUILTY” for anyone and everyone who accepts the salvation His sacrifice has bought.
How could a loving God send us to Hell? It should be evident by now that God does not send us to Hell; we send ourselves. In fact, God has made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can avoid Hell. What more could we possibly ask of Him after he sent His Son to take our guilt and its consequence? No, God does not send us to Hell, we send ourselves! We send ourselves when we do not accept the free gift of salvation offered by God’s own out-stretched hand.