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  • Writer's pictureMitch Horton

Why Does Hell Exist And How Do We Keep From Going There At Death?

Many people simply can’t correlate the scriptural teaching of hell with a loving God. How can God allow people to suffer such a horrible fate if He really loves them?

Many people surmise their own idea of who God the Father is and what He is like from their own thinking and from their own experiences. But we must go to Word to understand God. It may take our finite minds eternity to explore all of His ways and understand the infinite God completely!

Notice Psalm 50:16-21: But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, and have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes.

One part of God’s character is justice. Psalm 89:14 reveals: Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face. His love for us is based on justice. God cannot forgive sin just because He loves us. If that were so, then why did Jesus go to the cross? Why did Jesus have to come as the incarnate Son of God if God could simply forgive the sin of mankind?

God’s forgiveness of our sin must be just and fair. To forgive our sin, He can’t break the rules He set up to govern the universe. He doesn’t forgive us just because He is God and He wants to forgive us. That would disqualify Him from being God. God’s love for us is based in absolute justice, so that He as the Sovereign Ruler of all can be just and fair even to those who oppose Him. He forgives us, and He loves us, and invites us fallen creatures into relationship with Him based upon perfect justice. God, through Christ, paid our sin debt for us, and now we are freed from sin by faith in Jesus and His full sin payment on our behalf! No that is amazing love! God Himself paind our sin penalty on our behalf!

God must be just to His own moral law; He must be just to His enemy Satan; and He must be just to man. Our redemption is amazing. Satan never thought that God would go to such an extreme to redeem us from hell. When Satan succeeded in his scheme to cause man to sin, he thought that we would end up with his own judgment, hell, and that there was no way God could justly set us free from this penalty. But Satan miscalculated the love of God for us!

In redeeming us, God assumed the liability for our wrongdoing, and chose to pay the just penalty for us sin for us! The penalty for eternal spirit rebels is incarceration in hell and then the final judgment of the lake of fire! When Jesus went to hell for us and legally paid our sin debt, the indictment for sin was removed from us, and the trial date cancelled!

Now, every person who accepts Jesus Christ’s legal payment for their sin by bowing their knee to Him can be set free from sin and it’s eternal penalty! Now that is amazing love!

The sad part is that those who refuse Jesus just and legal payment for their sin must endure the sentencing at the great white throne judgment and eventually be placed in the lake of fire. Those who seek their own way in life without bowing their knee to the Son of God in obedience and faith in Him must bear their own sin and its penalty. We have an obligation to tell the sinner that God has cancelled their sin debt in Christ and that they do not have to go to hell!

If a person chooses to refuse Jesus’ eternal sacrifice, then God has an obligation to His own justice to allow them to go to hell even though He loves them so. Those who die in sin simply cannot enter heaven, for it is a pristine, perfect environment. Since nothing impure can enter God’s presence, Hell is the only option for those who leave this life as eternal spirit rebels, with an unpaid sin debt.

This brings much meaning to Jesus’ words in John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish [in Hell] but have everlasting life.

We should thank God every day for His great mercy given to us in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins! And let’s wake up to our responsibilities today to share this good news with those we come in contact with. Ask the Father to open up conversations with the people you associate with today. Their eternal well being is at stake!

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