Why would God send people to hell?

Question:

I’ve been wondering all my life and i think it’s time to ask but, why do people go to hell? I thought God loved and forgave everyone, so it just doesn’t make sense to me. and i know the whole thing that if you commit suicide that you go to hell. but why? if God forgave us for everything, why wouldn’t he forgive us for taking our own life??

Answer:

In order to understand this answer, you must realise that God is not sitting up there waiting to zap us, or burn us up in hell for each and every thing we do wrong.  The Bible says that God is love, not just loving, but in His being He is love.  He therefore loves each of us and very much wants each of us to accept Him, and live with Him in Heaven forever.  Here are some passages that confirm that:

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

2 Peter 3: 9     The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 Timothy 2: 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

In fact, God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for my sins and yours, so that we can have eternal life with Him.  But read the following verse carefully, and you will see that it depends on us, each of us has a free choice, and we can choose either everlasting life or everlasting death (“perish”), which you call hell.  But the choice is ours.  This entails firstly believing in Him.  This means that we have to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came to die for our sins, and that He gives us the free gift of eternal life.

John 3: 16   For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

And you’re right, God forgives us, but there are some prerequisites to this forgiveness:
1.   Confession,  not to a priest or anyone here on earth, but to God Himself.
2.   Turning away from our sins, This is realising that it was our sins that brought Jesus to the cross, knowing that our sins are keeping us away from God, and then asking Him to help us forsake these sins.
3.   Forgiving others as we expect God to forgive us.

1 John 1: 9   If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Chronicles 7: 14   if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And then of course if we have accepted Jesus as our Saviour, and we’ve accepted the great gift He wants to give us, we must get to know God, for that is really the ticket into heaven.  Only if we know Him will we be happy and enjoy heaven, and only then will God let us be there.  So we have to get to know Him and be obedient to His will for us.

John 17: 3   And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Matthew 7: 21   “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

So there you have it.  God gives us the freedom of choice to choose either heaven or hell, eternal life with Him or eternal death, destroyed in the lake of fire.  It is our choice.  If we choose to believe in Him and give our lives to Him, every sin can be wiped out and our life in heaven with Him is assured.  But if you look around you at the state of the world, it is very obvious that only a small number of people are truly totally surrendered to God.  So why is it that we think that we can ignore God, but still expect Him to forgive us and let us into Heaven?  If everyone here is just forgiven and lands up in Heaven, Heaven will be the same as earth is now, violence, destruction, death.

Finally, the Bible does not state that a person that commits suicide is going to hell.  That is God’s decision.  God alone knows the state of a person’s mind when he or she commits suicide, and only He will decide whether they go to heaven or not, not any person here on earth.  We only know a very small part of what has happened in a person’s life, but God has all the details, so I am quite happy to leave all the details of His judgment to Him.  I hope this gives you so peace of mind.

As to the question of Hell as a literal and eternal place (where some believe a person endures torment and torture in a literal place inhabited by the Devil), this is a very interesting Bible study in itself.  The Bible does not teach this.  If you’d like us to give you some further information on this topic, please send back another e-mail and we’ll send you the verses.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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