How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

1st, Fix the question – Most questions that confused or unbelieving people ask about Christianity are full of assumptions and erroneous statements. For example:
“Have you stopped beating your wife?” Whether you say yes or no you are an abusive husband! This question is made on the assumption that you are an abusive husband; if you are not how can you answer the question without first fixing the question?
“Did you like your sandwich?” also presumes that you ate a sandwich, what if you have not? How much more so must we fix a question before we ask it about something so deep and important as God’s character.

Who’s fault?

  • People only go to hell because they do not believe in Christ as Savior (remember belief means more than mental acknowledgment)
    • Jhn 3:36 – “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
    • Jhn 5:24 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
    • Jhn 6:47 – “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
    • Mat 25:41 – “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
  • By having faith in Christ as your Savior your name is written in the book of life
    • Rev 3:5 – “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
    • By not believing in Christ you opt out of having your name in the book of life
  • Not being in covenant with Christ is what sends you to Hell
  • Individuals who purposefully ignore God express their desire to live without God. In hell your wish is perfectly granted.
  • Therefore: God does not send anyone to Hell, they send themselves. God is just obeying the spiritual laws that have existed since before time that darkness cannot dwell in the light, and that sin incurs wrath.
    • Laws like gravity, fire, and water can kill or injure you but when you know of the consequence of jumping off a cliff etc. who’s fault is it when you get hurt or die? Can you blame God for not breaking the laws He set up and holds you accountable by?
  • Sin cannot exist in God’s fullness in Heaven, it must be washed away.
    • Isa 59:2 – Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
    • Rev 21:27 – But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
    • Rev 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
  • “God doesn’t send his children to hell” correct, because His Children believe in and surrender to Christ.
    • You are only a child of God if you are born again by Christ, else you are still subject to sin and God’s wrath aka a child of Satan
    • Jhn 8:44 – “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
    • 1Jo 3:1 – Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
    • 1Jo 5:2 – By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
    • He gave salvation for free at the cost of His Son
    • He warned and informed us of the consequences of sin & unbelief
    • He convicts us of sin by the Holy Spirit
    • He forgives us of sin and sees us as righteous via Christ’s righteousness

God has actually worked to keep us out of Hell!

  • The one thing God can’t do is control us against our will
    • We are accountable for our own actions and we can’t hold God responsible for them
    • Jam 1:13-14 – Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
    • 2Pet 3:9 – The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
    • If someone does not want to be with God in this life they will be totally separated from Him in the next.
    • “This life is a dress rehearsal for the next”.

A great resource on sin:


18 thoughts on “How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

  1. Thank you Marianne. That’s the point of this series, to have a simple lesson plan that doesn’t get too deep in the theology but covers the important basis that should be covered when having a real conversation with someone the subject.
    I’m teaching these to the youth at my church on Sunday mornings.

  2. Grove, as you are probably aware, the word “hell” is problematic, since:

    * it is archaic English;
    * it reflects many different terms in the Greek (and Hebrew) scriptures;
    * as a “place name” it is not found in the Greek (or Hebrew);

    For example, let’s say the Greek refers to “Israel” and “Judah” and “Canaan” and the KJV decided to translate all of these place names as “Paradise”… would you not find that misleading, confusing, and frankly, useless translation?

    For example, Jakob understood the fate of all to be SHEOL:

    Gen 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave [SHEOL] unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.

    In the Greek OT, this is hADES (or, “Hades”).

    So I suggest you refine your exegesis and look at a translation that distinguishes between SHEOL, hADES, TARTARUS, GE-HINNOM, etc. because… well, remember how “dull hearers” fail to distinguish? This is a case where “rightly dividing” is necessary.

    For example, references to incineration (“the GH-hINNOM of Fire”) refer to a particular place – Jerusalem’s ever burning trash incinerator. SHEOL, that Jakob referred to, is merely “the grave.” At times the OT saints referred to “the pit.” But prior to the period in Alexandria, Egypt, **after the whole OT had been written**, there was no concept of an afterlife, let alone a post-death retribution!

    The Sadducees were correct on this count, and the Pharisees (like Paul, for instance), were wrong… or at least, “post-prophet.”

    I hate to constantly “fuss” at you, but you are regurgitating all of the Catholic-Protestant “half baked” ideas that just don’t cut it in an information age!

    Dig deeper!

    Pro 18:17 He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

    Or as the NET Bible has it:

    Pro 18:17 The first to state his case seems right,
    until his opponent begins to cross-examine him.

    Do you want your words to be “something you can hang your hat on?”:

    Ecc 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

    Again, as the NET Bible says:

    Ecc 12:10 The Teacher sought to find delightful words,
    and to write accurately truthful sayings.
    Ecc 12:11 The words of the sages are like prods,
    and the collected sayings are like firmly fixed nails;
    they are given by one shepherd.

    And finally:

    Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

    Please consider me your hUMBLE furnace.

    Num 22:25 And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.
    Num 22:26 And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

  3. So what do we know about hADES? And what do we know about GeHenna? And what do we know about Tarturus? What about Sheol?

    Shouldn’t we probe, rather than lump these things together thoughtlessly? Is thoughtlessness ever a virtue?

    • First of all I don’t feel like doing a research article just for you (you probably already know the answer) and second of all you are accusing me of thoughtlessness quite suddenly. I used the word Hell because it is simple and understandable as the place one goes without Christ. This article is written for a simple discussion with someone who is overly skeptical or does not believe and wants answers. The theological and linguistic compartments of hell don’t need to be brought up in an on-the-street discussion while witnessing to someone about Christ. I used it for simplicity. And for the record I don’t see all compartments as the same, I agree the word “hell” causes problems and is not helpful as it refers to different words and places in the original writings.

  4. >>>…The theological and linguistic compartments of hell don’t need to be brought up…And for the record I don’t see all compartments as the same…

    There are no scriptural “compartments of hell,” theological, linguistic or otherwise that I am aware of. To what do you refer?

  5. I really appreciate the thoughfulness of your comments…

    You did a great job explaining the lost condition of man based upon his own sin and later rejection of Christ.

    By stressing all the the Lord has done to keep us FROM eternal punishment, you have clearly declared His mercy, love and grace which He has put on display.

    A man entering eternal punsihment does not show us the lack of love on God’s part… it shows us the horrible condition in which sinful man now resides.

  6. Did Adam go to “Hell”? If so, was he misinformed about the penalty for eating the fruit?

    Out of the 20 billion or so people who have ever lived, what percentage do you think are going to be tormented forever?

    • I’m not sure where he went and I’d rather not get in that discussion with you, also I would not like to even guess at percentages of who’s in the book of life and who’s not, I just want to make sure that I am and that I can help others make sure they are.

  7. Grove,

    ‘Twould appear thou hast a thorn named Wounded Ego who methinks thinks way too much.

    @Wounded Ego, no offense, but dude…how much spare time do you have that you can come here and wax on and on about irrelevant info when what matters is relationship with Jesus?

    Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.

    I have come to dread visiting here because it appears you have camped out on this blog and are looking to write small novels in seeking to show everyone how theologically deep you are.

    Grove, I apologize for speaking out of turn here, and perhaps I am wrong in voicing myself so arrogantly. I quite enjoy your thoughts and your postings. I simply cannot handle such audacious speeches when they are given not to actually teach or guide, but to subtly belittle and confuse.

    Donald in Bethel, CT

    • Donald thanks for writing and I don’t believe you’re out of turn, freedom of speech (and annoyance)! I can sympathize with the dreading, thanks for keeping up with my stuff.

  8. >>>…I simply cannot handle such audacious speeches when they are given not to actually teach or guide, but to subtly belittle and confuse.

    Have you heard of the Christ’s command, not to judge? In what way are you uniquely qualified to judge my motives?

    Grove, so far, has seemed to accept some abrasion as an opportunity to “sharpen his blade.” This shows a rare nobility of mind. I would suggest that “relationship” with Jesus is not what the scriptures say is “what matters.”

    Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
    Luk 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
    Luk 13:26 **Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets**.
    Luk 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
    Luk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

    • @WE,

      You have only served to prove my point. Bravo!

      @Grove, still loving your blog. Blessings, grace, and power to you and yours in Jesus’ mighty name!
      Donald Borsch Jr.
      Project:Mathetes on WordPress

    • WoundedEgo I think I should mention that just as you assume Donald is “judging” your motives (which I don’t think he is, he’s observing the message your overall writtings give off) I believe you have often judged my motives or more accurately – assumed much about me.

    • @WE,

      You said:
      “I would suggest that “relationship” with Jesus is not what the scriptures say is “what matters.”

      Oh my. Really? I mean, wow. I don’t even know how to respond to such a statement. Relationship matters greatly, WE. The New Covenant is about relationship. Salvation is about relationship. Jesus Christ is all about relationship.

      I would encourage you to stop burying your head in so many books and spend some quality one-on-one time with Jesus. He really wants to commune with you. He really wants to have a relationship with you, because if He doesn’t, then you are all about Matthew 7:21. It is not if we know Him, WE. It is if He knows us.

      John 5:39 says–
      “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me…”

      Please do not ever seek to use The Scripture against me to call me a ‘worker of iniquity’ because I hurt your feelings.

      I’m done with this kind of talk. Let The Spirit render His decision.

      • So where is your feel-good “relationship” with Jesus defined?

        Here’s what I’m referring to:

        Luk 11:27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
        Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

        If Jesus was so intimate with you that he fed at your breast, it would be less consequential than if you listened to the word of God and obeyed it. Do you disagree?

  9. @Wounded Ego:

    I’m done with this kind of talk. Let The Spirit render His decision.

    You’re seeking an argument for the sake of giving you an opportunity to stand on a soap box. I’ve been around the block a few times to fall for such idle tactics.

    Donald Borsch Jr.
    Project: Mathetes

    Tuesday morning 4 Jan 2011

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