How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

Question in response:

Can a loving & righteous God force men into heaven who don’t want Him?

Do you believe in hell?

One Minute Response:

  1. Your premise is correct–God loves us. But His love is strong, not weak and permissive. No one admires the parent who never applies any consequences for their child’s selfish or bad behavior. God isn’t that way. His good and righteous character is opposed to sin–He condemns and punishes sin. Because He is loving, He sent His own Son to take that punishment on Himself. God has done everything He can do, without taking away our freedom, to save us from hell. So it comes down to human beings refusing to accept God’s offer of eternal life more than God sending people to hell. How come men reject God’s offer of eternal life?
  2. How could a holy God send sinful people to heaven without any consequences for their sin?

Prolonged Response

Concerning: God’s heart

God does not want to send anyone to hell.

God does not want to force anyone into heaven–into an eternal relationship with Himself. He values our freedom to choose and has done everything He can without violating our free will to woo us to himself by His love–His willingness to pay the price for our sin by suffering, taking wrath and dying in our place.

God gives us over to our own choice.

Hell is the last act of love that God can show to someone who rejects Him–He simply gives that person over to their choice.

Concerning: Freedom

The possibility of hell is the logical necessity of a world of free creatures with eternal souls. If the agents are truly free they could either choose God and follow Him (to heaven) or choose to reject God and go their own independent way (to hell).

Concerning: Universalism

Why could not God have made it so that everyone would freely choose heaven?

There is no way to guarantee everyone in heaven if humans are truly free.

Concerning: Annihilation

Why could God not annihilate those who don’t want to be with Him forever?

The Scriptures seems to rule out the annihilation theory (2 Thes. 1:9; Matt. 25:46; Rev. 21:8)

If God is a preserver of values, He must preserve humans because they are so valuable. Hell attributes greater dignity to humans than does annihilation.

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