“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.” (John 12:46 NLT)
Yesterday we looked at the question, does God send people to hell? But, as my wife would attest, sometimes my mind goes in so many directions it’s hard for me to complete one thought without scurrying to another. So, today I’d like to lay a little groundwork, then share another illustration that, hopefully, will help you understand better that God sends no one to hell.
Jesus came to earth for the express purpose of revealing to us who God is and helping us to understand that because of sin, introduced to mankind by our original parents, Adam and Eve, we are all, by nature, sinners. The Bible says in Romans 3:10: “No one is righteous – not even one.” The Bible also says that sin carries a death penalty. Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death…” If we die without having our sin dealt with, we spend an eternity paying the death penalty ourselves.
Because God loves us and wants to have a relationship with us, He saw the only One who could pay the penalty for our sin was Himself. That’s when Jesus volunteered to come to earth, to experience life as a human being and be tempted in every way as we are. He came to live with us as a perfect reflection of God, then sacrifice His life in our place to once and for all, satisfy the penalty for sin. He now offers us forgiveness and new life in Him as a free gift. The rest of Romans 6:23 says: “…but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So, you see, God did everything possible to make a way for us to be in heaven with Him. He literally opened a way where none existed, but the choice is ours! We’re not puppets, we’re living, breathing human beings with a will of our own. God made us that way so that just as He chose us to be in relationship, He gives us the option of accepting His love and forgiveness or rejecting it; of being a child of God or continuing to follow the dictates of our selfish, sinful nature. The choice to receive God’s love and His gift of eternal life is ours to make. We must respond in faith and trust to receive God’s gift of new life in Christ, and go to heaven when we die. To not receive God’s gift of eternal life in Christ is to make the choice of hell and eternal separation from God. To NOT choose, IS our choice. “Yeh, but I don’t want to go to hell!”
Think of the person you most love in this world. (Do you have that person in mind?) Imagine that person is in a large city, and they see a young person engrossed in their phone screen, not paying any attention to where they’re going, but they’re heading straight into the path of an oncoming bus. So, without hesitation this person you love pushes the young person out of harm’s way, but they are struck and killed by the bus.
Everyone who knows the truth of what happened knows that the only reason that young person is alive is because of your loved one, but in an interview, the person saved from certain death says: “I guess it was just my lucky day. Fortunately, I’m in good shape and at the last possible second I realized I was in trouble and jumped out of the way of the bus.” How would that make you feel? It’s bad enough your loved one gave their life for a stranger, but for them to not even be acknowledged or for the person they saved to not even recognize they were alive because of the sacrifice of your loved one’s life, is like a slap in the face. It’s disgraceful!
Yet, that’s exactly what we’re doing and saying when, after all God has done for us, we live like it doesn’t matter, and Jesus’ death has no bearing on how we live? We say with our behavior: “I’m a good person, I don’t need anyone to forgive my sin or show me a way to heaven. I’m okay the way I am. I don’t need God’s help, I’m good enough on my own.” Arrogance, pride, selfishness, defiance, blatant disregard for and disobedience to the clear directives of God are why people go to hell, not because that’s what God wants. 2 Peter 3:9 helps us understand that it’s not God’s will that anyone perish, but that everyone turn from their sin, be forgiven and find new life in Jesus. If you want to go to heaven, there IS a way. His name is Jesus. God sends no one to hell. That’s a path WE choose for ourselves.
Blessings, Ed 😊
One thought on “Does God Send People to Hell (Part 2)”
Thank you for your very clear reminder that there is but one path to heaven.