A loving God wouldn’t send someone to Hell!
If you have been a Christian long enough, someone has probably made this statement to you. Peter Kreeft, a Catholic theologian from Boston College, once said: "Of all the doctrines of Christianity, Hell is the most difficult to defend, the most burdensome to bear, and the first to be abandoned." Hell may be difficult to understand and for some hard to take, but that doesn’t make it any less real. All four of the gospels and most of the New Testament talk about eternal punishment for those who reject Christ. Jesus himself said in Matthew 25:46 “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” From the New Testament and Christ on words, we can deduct that Hell is real. The question for many is would a loving God really send people there.
When people ask this question, they are automatically presuming two things. One, there is a God. Two, He is loving. Some do, however, use the idea of Hell to say there can’t be a God. The late Chuck Templeton, former evangelist—turned atheist—once said, “I couldn’t hold someone’s hand to a fire for a moment. Not an instant! How could a loving God, just because you don’t obey Him and do what He wants, torture you forever—not allowing you to die, but forcing you to continue in that pain for eternity? There is no criminal who would do this!” Basically, people find a loving God and a judging God at odds. But are they? How could God send someone to Hell?
First, we must realize that we are morally accountable to God. He is the creator of the world and therefore we must answer to Him. He made the rules and the standards and we must abide by them. The standard is that God hates sin and can not tolerate it. Therefore, there has to be a solution. The solution is Hell.
Second, why is it we expect righteousness in every aspect of our life, except when it comes to God. Let me give you an example. If someone was to break in your house and kill one of your family members and then was arrested for this crime. How would you feel if they went before the judge and the judge said I know you are sorry for doing this, so I am going to let you go free without any punishment? You would be outraged and would think they were a wicked judge? Yet we want to hold God to a different standard. What kind of God would He be if He never punished wickedness? His righteousness demands that He punish evil, and He does that in Hell.
Fortunately, there is a way out of Hell. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. Christ through His death on the cross has provided a way for us to escape the torments of hell. If we will confess our sins, give Him our life and put our faith and trust in Him we can be saved. This should encourage us and also motivate us to save others from an eternity in Hell.