Provocative title, I know. But I didn’t come up with it! Read on for details.
I just received a drive-by comment on an old post I wrote a couple of years ago that demands an immediate response. The post is titled ‘Does God Send People to Hell?’ In it I dispelled a popular myth in the modern church that God does not send people to hell. This denial of God’s responsibility in condemning sinners takes two equally heretical forms. First (and the issue primarily dealt with in the article) is that many people deny that God ‘sends’ anyone to hell, they simply go there by the free exercise of their will. The other false teaching is that there is no hell at all. The orthodox Christian teaching of eternal punishment is a misinterpretation of the text. Neither position holds weight under the full testimony of scripture. God executes his judgment on all unrepentant sinners; he sends them to a place of eternal misery. Apparently several readers disagree with my position, some vehemently. Here is the comment in full that I just received.
“if god is as you say, then god is very evil. i dont like him. can we send god to hell for being so hateful?”
God is good. He has set the standard for what is good and evil in the universe. Goodness is inherent in his character and nature. ‘For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!’ (Zech 9:17) We only know good because he has revealed it to us, in scripture and in our hearts. Because God is good he therefore must punish evil. Else, God is not just. If he is not just, then God is not good. Can you imagine the anarchy in society if lawbreakers were never punished? What would you think of law enforcers and court justices who did not uphold the law but let everyone pillage, rape and murder without consequence? You certainly wouldn’t call them good!
Man is evil by nature. Want proof? read the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, or watch both the local and international news tonight, or, closer to home, take a hard, honest look into your own heart. Man as a whole has lived in open rebellion against his creator since the days of Adam and Eve. Hell is a just reward for all who do evil in the sight of the Lord.
You say you don’t like God; I completely understand where you’re coming from. By nature no person likes God, because we are at enmity with him. He is perfectly holy, we are not. We despise him because he is everything that we are not. This can only change when God imparts life into our ailing hearts.
Your hate for God is apparent. You desire to condemn God because you stand condemned before him. However, God is God. It is wickedly unjust for depraved man to judge a perfectly righteous being as evil, deserving to suffer punishment for sins he did not commit. God is guilty of no crime. He is innocent of all our charges against him.
However, God, in the person of Jesus Christ, stepped into this dark and corrupt world 2,000 years ago. He suffered for crimes he did not commit. He took the punishment of sin upon himself and bore the full wrath of God so that we needn’t suffer eternal punishment for our sins.
God is absolutely just. He is also loving and compassionate to those who do not deserve it. I plead with you to cry out to God for mercy and he will hear you and heal your desperately sick heart. In Christ is your only hope for salvation.
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)