Whenever there’s a conversation involving God at work place, at the coffee table or at a friend’s place, almost everyone quickly jumps to the question “Why would a loving God send people to hell?” To be honest it is one of those many questions, which troubles believers and nonbelievers alike; and we need to deal with it carefully. One thing to be noticed here is that no matter what kind of response you present to this question/doubt, the skeptic won’t accept it straight away as it won’t obliterate their skepticism. Issues like these can never be resolved in a sentence or two, but sometimes it takes days, months or years to accept it.
Before we begin to grapple with this question we need to understand what is Hell! The essence of hell is to be away from the presence of the Lord. This can be found in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (ESV), which reads as follows : –
7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
God doesn’t send anyone to hell, rather people voluntarily choose to go there. Hell is the destination which they ask for. Because you don’t want God, you don’t get God. There are two types of people : those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “Thy will be done” (C.S. Lewis). As far as the existence of God is concerned, I am not intending to argue for it in this article but I will leave a quote from Dr. William Lane Craig (which he often uses in most of his debates concerning the existence of God ), “As a professional philosopher I think that God makes sense of a wide range of the data of human experience, including philosophical, scientific, moral, and historical considerations.” We shall discuss about these topics in details, in respective articles.
But then why is hell necessary ? First, it is necessary because God by definition is a just God and his justice demands hell. Second, God is love and therefore he cannot force anyone to love Him. Love has to be persuasive not coercive. Those who do not wish to freely love God, their decision is respected and they are freed from the presence of God.
God has revealed himself in Jesus of Nazareth and he extends the solution to human predicament, by dying for our sins and resurrecting on the third day. All we need to do is to repent, confess with our mouth that He is our Lord and believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10).