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If God died to save people, why does He send others to hell?

Troy was visiting our Anchorsaway class as an agnostic after being asked by a Christian student who regularly attended class. This class we were studying the death and resurrection of Jesus and then Troy asked his question: "If God died to save people, why does he send others to hell?" I broke my response into two parts: Why did God die to save people? From what did God save people?

God loved all whom He created. It was his desire to have a love and trust relationship with each and every one. A true love relationship demands free choice. In Genesis 3, God gave man a choice, to love God through obedience or to break away from God and His plan for mankind. Adam and Eve chose to do their own thing which was sin. God was grieved. Because of God's holiness (righteousness), he could no longer have a personal relationship with Adam or Eve and all who followed them. Romans 3:23 make it clear that we all have sinned and Romans 6:23 says that the penalty for sin is death.

Because of God's great love for mankind, He wanted the relationship to be restored. For that to happen, the penalty for sin had to be paid for by a perfect, righteous, sacrifice. Only God is perfect, never to sin, and so God would have to pay that price by sacrificing himself. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting lift" (John 3:16). Without the righteous sacrifice, we would all be lost with no hope of ever going to heaven when we die. "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit"(Romans 8:3-4).

God is a God of great love. He is the very definition of love. His love is pure, not to be forced on anyone. If any of His those He created choose to believe that Jesus died and rose again as payment for all sin, they will be called his child and will have the assurance of, when they die, of going to Heaven to live with God forever. Notice it has nothing to do with good works that you can do to earn your forgiveness. Because of how God loves, he will not force all to love Him so he gives us all a choice. For those who do not choose to believe that God is the Savior, God will give man the desire of his heart and when he dies, he will live forever in a very dark and loveless existence separated forever from God. That place is Hell. 

Keep in mind that "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance."





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