How could a loving God send people to hell? According to the eminent Christian apologist C.S. Lewis, the doctrine of hell is “one of the chief grounds on which Christianity is attacked as barbarous and the goodness of God impugned.” Hell is understandably one of the most offensive and disturbing Christian doctrines to those who stand outside the faith.
I must say, however, that after researching and reflecting upon the doctrine of hell, I’ve come to agree with Timothy Keller, who notes that “if Christianity were the truth it would have to be offending and correcting your thinking at some place. Maybe this is the place, the Christian doctrine of divine judgment.”
Indeed. You see, Christianity is the truth and hell is a real place – but the common perception of hell as a fiery torture chamber is incorrect. I believe the definition of hell offered by the aforementioned Mr. Keller is instructive and illuminating:
“Hell….is the trajectory of a soul, living a self-absorbed, self-centered life, going on and on forever.”
Hell is eternal separation from God, and whoever ends up there does so because that’s where they prefer to spend eternity. Theologian J.P. Moreland puts it like this:
“God is the most generous, loving, wonderful, attractive being in the cosmos. He has made us with free will and he has made us for a purpose: to relate lovingly to him and to others….and if we fail over and over again to live for the purpose for which we were made – a purpose, by the way, which would allow us to flourish more than than living any other way – then God will have absolutely no choice but to give us what we’ve asked for all along in our lives, which is separation from him.”
What I find difficult to understand is why anyone would choose to defy their maker and attempt to make themselves the center of the universe? If you choose to spend eternity this way, you will have the most painful and profound sense of regret – forever.
As Pastor Brian S. Lewis says, “God created you not because He needed someone to judge and condemn, but because He wanted someone to love and bless.”
You can spend eternity in His loving embrace – where you will be loved and blessed far beyond your wildest imagination – forever.
If you have not yet placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and you want to be saved, read this.