How can a God of love send people to hell? How many of you have heard this one? Now here’s the interesting thing. People have a hard time with the idea of a God of love sending people to hell but yet they do believe there is a hell. Most people believe in a hell. Having said that most people don’t believe they’re going to hell. They think their neighbors may be going but they don’t think they’re going. And I think the reason we all believe in a hell even before we’re even Christians is because we want to somehow believe that somewhere there is a final Court of Arbitration out there for those that perhaps have escaped the long arm of the law. We know that there is a just God who will deal with them in that final day of judgment. So people accept the premise of hell but they don’t like the idea of a God of love sending a person to hell. My basic response and that is for all practical purposes God does not send anyone to hell. We in effect send ourselves there. You see hell was not created for people. God did not create heaven for good people and hell for bad people. Who created heaven as his own abode, his dwelling place and according to Jesus over in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 25 verse 41 hell was created for the devil and his angels. It is the last thing that God wants for any man or woman made in his image to go to this place called hell. God wants all people to be saved and forgiven joining him in heaven. In Ezekiel 33 he says, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Turn back from your evil ways.” Then in 2nd Peter 3:9 we read, “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” and that is why God sent his own son to be betrayed, beaten, tortured and murdered in cold blood on a Roman cross as he poured your sin upon his son who had never committed a single sin. God loved you so much he was willing to let his son take the full brunt of the wrong you had done so you could be forgiven and the Bible asks the question how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation. On that final day no one is going to be accidentally in hell and no one is going to be accidentally in heaven. People will be in heaven because of a deliberate choice and people will be in hell for the same reason.
I’m often asked why God would send people to a place of torment. Since god is loving, why would he send people to hell? Well think about it? Why should we think that God has a lesser of justice than mankind? God is loving yes but that’s not all. He is also a good judge. Should a loving human judge allow criminals to go free? Of course not. If we with our finite justice system think it’s necessary to punish criminals in civil court, how much more should an infinite God judge our crimes our sins against him?