Why Must God Send Some People to Hell?
Introduction. (Matthew 25:31-46) One of the sad truths of God’s revelation to man is the fact that He has promised that upon Christ’s return and the judgment of all men some will inherit eternal life and others will inherit everlasting destruction. We might say (with little exaggeration) that the focus of all efforts in religion is to attain the former and avoid the latter. While it is not the place of man to question his Creator as God asked Job - “…Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?” (Job 40:2) At the same time it is appropriate to try to understand what has been revealed about some of the questions which most trouble us. In that spirit let us this morning ask the question - Why must God send some people to Hell?
I. “…The hand of the Lord will be against you…” (I Samuel 12:14,15). Note: Hand of punishment/hand of providential punishment.
• Because sin is a horrible thing.
– It is horrible because it is rebellion against the Creator. (e.g. the invention that doesn’t work.) Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,”
– It is horrible because it hurts us. (e.g. alcoholism, infidelity, divorce, etc.)
Further, it is horrible because...
• Because the blood of Jesus was a precious thing.
II. “...With the precious blood of Christ...” (I Peter 1:17-19). We don’t have to understand why God identified certain things as sins but we must understand that sin was serious enough that it took Jesus’ life.
III. “...Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:20-26).
• Because He is just.
How just would it be for God to allow child molesters, mass-murderers and torturers to live never having to account for their crimes? We understand that. Yet, we must also understand that all sin classes us with such people.
IV. “Having made known to us the mystery of His will...” (Ephesians 1:7-10).
• Because He has tried to save man.
Revelation 13:8 speaks of Christ as the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Some have argued that if God is all knowing and He knew from the beginning that man would sin and be separated from Him then it was cruel for Him to create man in the first place. While He knew man would sin He planned from the beginning to have a way that man could be saved (i.e. the plan of salvation).
V. “... God, who cannot lie...” (Titus 1:1-3).
• Because He cannot lie.
The book of Hebrews 6:18 echoes the words of Paul to Titus in saying “it is impossible for God to lie”. If God promises us heaven if we believe and obey and warns us of hell if we don’t believe and disobey what would He be doing if it came down to judgment day and He didn’t follow through? He would be dishonest! (Example: Parental inconsistency teaches children that the parents’ word means nothing.)
VI. “…Not for ours only but also fro the whole world.” (I John 2:1,2).
• Not because He doesn’t love man.
The fact that Christ was offered as the sacrifice for the sins of the whole world demonstrates God loves the lost. Matthew 18:11-14 Note: 1.) God is distressed over the lost, 2.) He seeks after the lost, 3.) He leaves the rest of His sheep in some jeopardy to rescue the lost (i.e. the saved stay in a world of temptation while the Lord tries to bring the lost to salvation.) That is love! Even so He must one day bring all to account. (Example: Rabid dog must be – 1.) kept away from others, 2.) put down because of its condition.
VII. “...Not willing that any should perish...’’ (II Peter 3:9).
• Not because He wants to.
We must not confuse this with saying that because He doesn’t want man to be lost He will not condemn them. He will be true to His word. He will be just. Illustration: (Our annialationist friends suggest that God would be cruel to eternally punish people for a small lifetime of disobedience). One way to think of this is the illustration of nuclear power. When generated it can be a great source for good, but it makes use of materials that take 100’s of years to break down. When the materials used for this can be no longer productive measures must be taken to separate the hazardous materials from the productive. In the same way God has made us eternal beings like Himself. We must follow His will or we are hazardous to Him (in that we can grieve Him and cause others to disobey), and others and must be removed from His presence.
VIII. “…What will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (I Peter 4:17,18).
• Because only those who choose to be, will be lost.
We choose to be lost when we...
- Choose our will over the Lord’s.
- Choose not to seek the truth of God. Romans 1:20 points out to us that the creation itself shows man God’s… 1.) “eternal power” and 2.) “Godhead”. If man looks at this and doesn’t choose to seek God he has chosen hell!
God told the Israelites that even when they came to the point that they were surrounded by false gods…
— Deuteronomy 4:29 – “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Jesus said …
— John 7:17 – “If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.”
The problem is often that men don’t seek Him with all of their heart & soul - they don’t want to do His will! Instead, they follow the traditions of man rather than God.
Conclusion. Although we might wish it to be otherwise God has promised that those who are not faithful and obedient to His will will inherit hell eternally. Our duty is to make certain that we are following Him when the Day of Judgment comes.
Note: Some don’t like what God has revealed so they reject Him. That is like rejecting gravity because you don’t like some things it does. Gravity doesn’t go away because we reject it. God doesn’t either, His patience just wears a little thinner!