Why would an all-loving God send people to hell?
I think it’s important to validate someone’s question before jumping right into answering it.
This is a difficult question for us to comprehend. We can’t imagine allowing our worst enemies to suffer eternally, much less subjecting them to such inescapable torment. I think that this question and the problem of evil are the two most common rejections of Christianity offered in our day and age. I think they are the root of our other objections too.
Option 1 – Hell is God’s Monument to Human Freedom Answer – It’s clear in Scripture that God does not desire for anyone to perish forever, but for everyone to come to repentance and salvation. Again God does not desire for any of us to suffer perpetual death! Hell is God giving individuals what they both desire and deserve, eternal separation from him. John 3:19-20 says, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” The Light is Jesus Christ and men love darkness instead of light. Those who reject Christ do not want to know God and have a relationship with him. In hell, God is giving them the desire of their hearts, to be forever separated from his grace, riches, and provision, forever awake and dying in the darkness of eternity.
Option 2 – Hell Wasn’t Intended for Humans Answer – We must remember that God doesn’t desire for humans to suffer in hell for eternity. Hell wasn’t intended for humans, but rather the demons. In Matthew 25:41 Jesus states that hell was “prepared for the devil and his angels.” But because of man’s own wickedness, we too deserve hell. The people who are destined to hell do not want anything that is of God in this life. What is to say that they all of a sudden will flip a switch in heaven? Heaven is a place of perfection for it is the place that God’s glory dwells. Nothing evil can exist in his presence. If people don’t want to be washed clean and to be forgiven by the work of Jesus Christ, God is left without a choice but to cast them out of his presence.
Option 3 – Who Are We? Answer – Based on our human understanding of love and hate, crime and punishment, we reject the notion that a loving God could possibly punish someone for eternity for matters that we feel are trivial. This is arrogance on our part. As God reminded Job, “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me” (Job 41:11). Have we not stopped to consider that God’s ways are not our ways, and that in fact his ways are greater and better than ours? Is it not possible, that in this situation, hell is the only possible consequence for sin that a good, loving, and just God can deliver?
Option 4 – Share the Gospel Answer – Read “Back to the Gospel” within this question.
2 Peter 3:8-9 – “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
1 Timothy 2:1-6 – “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.
Isaiah 55:9 – “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 – “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Back to the Gospel:
Whenever answering an objection to the Christianity, the goal should always be to turn the conversation back to the Gospel, for it is the power of salvation for all who believe. (Romans 1:16)
The terrors of hell are real and we act as if a loving God who chooses to send people there must not exist. We have no grounds upon which to make this accusation, because God himself has suffered the penalty of hell in the person of Jesus Christ. What greater love is there than for God to give his only, eternally, begotten Son to die as a substitute for us, who though he was sinless bore our sin and took the penalty of our guilt upon himself? We can’t claim that God is not loving for sentencing people to hell, when God allowed his own, innocent Son to suffer hell, so we don’t have to! God didn’t have to send his Son to die for us, but he did, out of love for the world.
7 thoughts on “Why would a loving God send people to Hell?”
This argument reminds me of a scenario where a man tells his wife that he does not want to beat her, but will if she doesn’t do what he says. If the women refuses the man’s demands, then (by your logic) the women choses to be beaten.
This sadomasochistic relationship Christians have with their god sounds more like a chapter from ’50 shades…” than a holy book…
just judgement from a holy God. Natural sinful Man can never understand or be in agreement with God. It starts on your knees confessing your sins and inviting Jesus into your life. Then He will send His Holy Spirit to lead guide, and direct you. Don’t try to figure God OUT ON YOUR TERMS,you will always come up short. Just trust Him in faith beliving. He will do the rest.
What if I tell you that there is not a hell yet and that it will not burn forever? If you do not understand scripture and believe the doctrine of man then God can easily look like a sadist and unrighteous, but if you read and understand His word, you will love Him with everything you have
Alpha079er, where does Jesus fit into your scenario? He seems to be absent.
Jesus said, I and my Father are one, what ever God says, Jesus says the same thing, they are one, and the Father The son, and the Holy Spirit all three agree as one. He is a triune God. so He is right there in it all the time with God. word!
So when I first clicked over, I had a spfeicic thought. By the time I finished skimming the comments, I have 20 thoughts. I hope I won’t wear out my welcome here, so I’ll try to keep it somewhere in between.My first thought was, I wish it was just a web war, BLW, but it’s not. I hear ignorant comments all too often in real life that are just as ignorant; supposedly innocent or well-meaning remarks that people should just stick it out for the kids or just work harder. Nobody really knows what goes on in someone else’s home. And some of us can be really good at hiding it for a really long time. I’m not talking about abuse here (although that is also valid). I’m talking about people who just shouldn’t be living together. It doesn’t even have to be someone’s fault. Sometimes, it just doesn’t work. Sometimes, someone takes all the funds for drugs. Marriages are as unique as the participants. No one has the right to say whether or not the marriage could work than the ones in it. Same goes for a divorce. While the ideal is the co-parenting situation, if one parent is unwilling or unable to do so, there is absolutely nothing the other parent can do about it. No matter how hard some of us have tried. To Paul, I’m sure you meant well with the this too shall pass comment. And sure, the war on the web or whatever will. But BLW has taught me something that is so important to me. This is not our past, but our present. The divorce may be 5, 10, 15 years ago, but when you have kids with someone, it’s never completely over. As the active parent, we are always dealing with the consequences. Months can go by with no contact, and yet, it is still there. It doesn’t pass. and that’s what makes it even harder when people refuse to acknowledge and accept our own truths. Some days, we’re barely holding on. And having someone deny us our truth on the worst days certainly isn’t helping us or our kids, or anyone, really.
In response to your title: God is more than a loving God, he is also a holy God, and a God of Judgement. And He hath appointed a time in which He will judge the world. In Righteousness he doeth judge and make war. If a person wants to reject God’s offer of ETERNAL SALVATION AN GO HIS OWN WAY God will let him make that choice; we are free moral agents. which is why excepting or rejecting God’s offer is so important, it is an eternal choice. God can only do what is right and just, He is perfect in all His ways. Therefore our eternal destiny is determined by our own choice. You and I don’t have to like it, we don’t have to unravel it, it is given to us to except on faith that God is righteous and in Him is no sin at all. At the reading of these words if you are not sure of your eternal future you can be. Heaven or Hell is your choice, Now is the excepted time ,behold , now is the Day of Salvation. God is holy, and righteous and just, His standard of what is right and just far exceeds our own. We can count on God doing what is right. He will punish sin, and he will judge all who reject his son and His offer of Salvation. You CAN BOW NOW, OR YOU CAN BOW LATER. if you would be saved and have the assurance of eternal life do this. Admitt to God that you are a sinner and that you cannot save your self. except that He sent his son to die for you and give his life in your place. tell Him that you believe he died and rose again the third day that you might have life in His name. Ask Him to come into your life and to save you. .Thank Him for saving you. Now, the next step of obedience is baptism, Go to a Baptist Church and Get baptized. attend a bible teaching church and ask God to help you to live for Him. Pray daily, make prayer as tho it were your necessary food, Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To God be the glory.