Why Would a Loving God Send People to Hell?

There are three important pieces to discuss here. First, why do people go to eternal punishment at all? Second…what is that punishment? And third: What happens if someone never had a chance to hear about Jesus, whose voluntary and perfect sacrifice is the only thing that can save us?

Why do people go to hell? Short answer: We don’t get to live in a perfect world because we’re not perfect people…us even BEING THERE would ruin a perfect world and make it not perfect anymore.

Then, what exactly is this “hell” that people keep talking about? While there may disgreements as to the minutia, the Bible is pretty clear that hell is the abscence of God…and, because God is absolute goodness, perfection, and love, hell is the abscence of…well, THOSE things. Not a good place to be.

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It’s sometimes irksome to hear, “Well, God doesn’t SEND people to hell…they choose to go!” But, hear me out: There’s a certain truth contained in that. While no one is generally raising their hand and saying that yes, he or she would love a one-way trip to eternal torment, there is the notion that we are given a knowledge of good and evil in this life (Romans 2:14-15), as well as the basic knowledge that there is a creator (Romans 1:18-20)…and, as a result, we can either choose to align our lives with the value set that we know to be upright, true, and good, OR the opposite. We have knowledge of good and evil and can choose which set of values to pursue.

In the same way, we can either choose to seek out who the creator actually IS so we can thank Him, OR we decide for ourselves that it all must have happened by chance, and that it’s not even worth our effort to FIND OUT if that assumption is wrong…because the attitude of such a person, in that case, essentially is, “Who needs gratitude?” And that’s, of course, a huge insult to God, who gave us absolutely everything.

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