In a discussion with my father in law earlier this week, he asked me if I thought God loved us unconditionally. Of course, I replied with a resonating “Yes”. A former Lutheran of weak faith now involved with a self-serving bible bashing religious sect, he promptly followed with “So if God loves you unconditionally, how can He judge you? How can a God that loves His children unconditionally create a hell to send them to?”
The answer to that is simple. He did not create a hell for His children. God created hell for those who choose evil over Him, for those who seek spiritual death rather than eternal life. Because God gave us free will, it is up to us to decide where our spirit will rest after it leaves our bodies. It is up to us to seek light or darkness.
God’s judgment is not based on His love for us, it is based on our love for Him. Those who do not love God will be thrown out into the lake of fire for all eternity while believers who love God and accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior will inherit a place in His kingdom.
Since God has given all the people of the earth sufficient evidence that He exists, no one person is safe from His judgment. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Still, people choose not to know him.
“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25)
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘there is no God.'” (Psalms 14:1)
“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
God wants all people to be rescued from their sins and know His truth. “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
He desires all to repent and come to know him. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
However, the Bible also reveals that God does not force Himself on people. He allows people to reject Him even though He doesn’t like it. God is love. “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16), but God allows people to reject His love, and to remain in their sins.
There will be a judgment of all people, where all people will be presented before God’s throne. “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.” (Revelation 20:11-13).
God’s word continues warning those who do not abide by His commands that they will be cast our in hell. “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15).
God told the Israelites, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). That’s the choice before all of us: the blessing or the curse, life or death, God’s love or God’s wrath.
It seems illogical to some that God could be loving and wrathful at the same time. However, much of God’s character is beyond our comprehension. God’s wrath and His love are compatible, even if in a way that we do not currently comprehend.
Even though we don’t fully understand it, the decision is still before us. God says that we all deserve his wrath and judgment, even at this very moment. Jesus plainly said, “Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). But He welcomes everyone to turn to Him for forgiveness, even at this very moment, so that instead of being condemned by him we can be forgiven and reconciled to him. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)
Since a relationship with Christ is based on faith, and that the concept of heaven is based on acceptance of Jesus as lord and savior, it is clear to me the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)
If you have not already accepted Christ as your lord and savior or, if you are involved in a religious cult that denies Jesus Christ as all God and all man, I invite you to contact us so that we may pray with you and guide you toward God’s everlasting light. Eternal life starts with a simple prayer. Then comes a joyful walk that leads to the gates of heaven where your father awaits.
One day every tongue will confess, one day every knee will bow. One way or another, God will judge you then either embrace you and welcome you into His kingdom or, cast you into hell. It’s your choice! A life in God’s light or all eternity in darkness.
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And for your strength, your wisdom and your forgiveness,
We ask you will continue to look after us
Our families, our friends and those in need.
Lord we ask that you inspire us to reach out
To those around us not yet rejoicing with you,
And pray that you will lead them to your Kingdom
Where we all belong.
Father we gladly await your judgment
And ask you to help us be more like you,
Living according to your word and your ways
Knowing it is our mission, our destiny.
God we thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre