Today I will begin a discussion on the goodness of God. We will first deal with the issue of hell and its association with God. Next time we will address the topic of evil as regards God’s interaction within and direct control over His created world.
I have heard assertions that a good God could not sent an individual to hell. In order to address this accusation regarding hell, we must first gain an understanding of what heaven is and is not. For those who are welcomed in, it will be a wonderful place. However, contrary to popular belief, heaven is not the man-made conjured up bliss where we get everything we always wanted and are living in self-indulgent ecstasy, that is unless all you want is to honor and glorify God. It is a place centered on God and His honor and glory. Those who spurned Him on this earth would not feel at home in such a place even if they would be allowed to enter.
So what hope is there for those who don’t choose Christ? We were all made in the image of God with an eternal soul. Our souls will not ever cease to exist. Those who don’t choose life in Christ will still exist eternally, but they will be separated from God in hell, the only place God created that is completely devoid of his interactive presence. It is a place designed to confine Satan and the other angels that He expelled from heaven following their rebellion. It’s not so much that God sends someone to hell, but hell is the only other option for those God leaves to their own desires. Out of love, God will not force anyone to choose Him, nor will He endlessly pursue someone who is hard-hearted and wants nothing to do with Him and His eternal kingdom or someone whom He has given over to the wickedness in his or her heart.
Hell is basically a quarantine of unrighteousness. Without any connection with the goodness and life-sustaining power of God, hell will be filled with nothing but pain and suffering, because it is completely devoid of God’s goodness. Anything good in our present world is only good because of its association with God’s interactive power and presence. The earth, as we know it, will be thrown into the lake of fire with God’s influence and attention removed for eternity. Any suffering and pain that those in hell experience will be a direct result of the removal of any connection with God, who presently not only created but is sustaining our universe. He is currently the source of any good in this world. Once His presence is removed, all that will be left will be pain and suffering from rampant wickedness beyond anything that this world has known.
So the answer to the question is that our good God does not send people to hell. From the moment of conception, mankind’s sinful nature has each individual on the fast track to hell, and it is only by God’s grace, mercy, and love that any of us is saved. God desires for everyone to receive eternal life, but multitudes will not accept it.