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“How could He?”: damnation and a “loving” God

“I don’t see how a loving God could send someone to Hell.” 

This is the statement many who choose not to put their faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for salvation from the consequences of sin use to excuse their disobedience to that Gospel, but there is a problem with it. 

This statement assumes unwillingness on God’s part to help mankind, but God is willing. 

The problem is us.   

Thanks to Adam, we all have things in our lives that do not match God’s will or character, and that sin separates us from God (Romans 5:12).  He does not push us away from Him as the Enemy would have us believe.  Sin does the pushing, not God (Isaiah 59:2). 

God is not unwilling to forgive sin.  He is simply unable to ignore sin and remain true to Himself.  You see, God is holy and unable to have fellowship with anything unholy (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

This poses a problem because we are incapable of doing anything good enough to counterbalance or “undo” the effect of sin in our lives (Isaiah 64:6).  It literally owns us.

If God were unwilling to forgive sin, as the Enemy would have us believe, He would have simply left well enough alone and allowed us to endure the consequences of our sin and spend eternity separated from Him, but He is willing and made forgiveness possible through His Son Jesus (Romans 6:23). 

Fully God and fully man, Jesus was tempted in every way we are, but never sinned (John 1:14; Hebrews 4:15).  Sin never owned Him like it does us, so His blood was free to apply to the debt of others (Colossians 1:20).  When He died on the cross in obedience to God the Father, He bought our freedom (Revelation 1:5; Ephesians 1:7). When He rose again on the third day, He conquered death and made it possible for us to enjoy that freedom in the presence of God for all eternity (Hebrews 2:14). 

According to the will of God, Jesus made forgiveness possible and bridged the gap between us and God created by our sin (John 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24).  All we have to do to take advantage of this rescue is accept God’s forgiveness by walking away from self-rule and sin and surrendering control of our lives to Him (Romans 10:9-10; Romans 1:5).  When we do, Jesus’ blood covers us, and we are able to enter into God’s presence, where He intended for us to live all along, and remain forever (Hebrews 9:12; 10:19).

We have the right to refuse the rescue from sin God made possible through Jesus, of course.  We can pay the debt we owe for sin with our own blood and remain separated from Him forever (Hebrews 9:22), but if we do refuse, that’s on us, not God. 

God has done more than His part; He did everything.

It is pure arrogance to think we humans have the right, wisdom, or perspective to come up with our own definition of love, measure holy God against our standards, and pass judgement on Him.  

God is love (1 John 4:8)!  He is the definition, not the defined, and He demonstrated His true nature when He offered us, a traitor race, rescue through the sacrifice of His own Son (John 3:16). If we reject love by rejecting this, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then we forfeit the right to complain about its absence in our lives.

If we are lost, lonely, and doomed, it is only because we choose to remain lost, lonely, and doomed.   

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