Would a Loving God Really Send Someone to Hell?
Many years ago, while reading about the decline of American morality, from a draft of Billy Graham’s book “World Aflame,” his wife Ruth famously declared “If God doesn’t soon bring judgment upon America, He’ll have to go back and apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!”
Since that time, the message of repentance that was preached by Billy Graham and his contemporaries has faded into history. It has since been largely replaced by a doctrine of universalism. This doctrine teaches that God loves people so much that He will let everyone into Heaven no matter their sins or condition of repentance.
While this sounds wonderful to our sinful nature, we can’t think about it very long before it gets uncomfortable. What about Hitler? Does he get to go to Heaven with the rest of us? If that’s the case, is it still Heaven? What about child molesters? Terrorists? Mass-murderers? Certainly God has to draw the line somewhere doesn’t He?
Before you know it, we begin to define who should be allowed into Heaven and who shouldn’t. It is a natural result of the image of God that we are made in. We intuitively understand that there is good and there is evil. We further understand that any reasonable concept of Heaven must exclude evil, and evil people, for it to remain heavenly.
The problem is, everyone tends to draw the inclusion/exclusion line based on their own level of righteousness. By rewriting the rule book, we create an illusionary Heaven that includes ourselves, and those we love, but leaves out the people that we don’t want there. In a nutshell we have created our own religion that is defined by our own subjective rationale. In reality, God doesn’t take our view into account. If He did then Hitler would probably argue that He deserves to be in Heaven as well.
The good news is, God has provided a way through His Son Jesus who said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (Jn 14:6) He also said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;” (Jn 8:31) Seems to me the key here is continuing in His word.
What do you think?