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If God is love, then why do people go to hell?

Submitted: 3/19/2008
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Question: Hi, if God loves us so much, more than our parents, more than anything, how can he let us go to hell? Even if we do things that we are not supposed to and know that it is not right, if he loves us how can he let us go to hell, even if we deserve to? I know that know matter what I do, my parents would not send me to hell. So if he loves us so much and you beleive in him how can he let you go to hell? I know people say that it is your choice, you have to choose, but still how can a father let his child end up in hell, if he can stop it? I know we have free will, but still, let your child end up in hell when you can save him? Please respond ASAP. Thank you

Answer: The questions you ask show that you do not understand the love of God, the purpose of God, or the justice of God. God's love is redemptive. It does not pretend as though sin as not occurred; it confronts sin and provides a way out of it. God's purpose is to have companionship with a holy people who will dwell with Him throughout eternity. Therefore, those who do not respond to His offer of salvation from sin are on their own. He is not responsible for their decisions or the ultimate destiny of their lives.

Because of God's justice, every act of disobedience must be repaid. This is why we can trust that He is a good judge. After all, what kind of judge let's guilty people go simply because they exist. That is not justice; that is having contempt for justice. Therefore, because God is just, He requires that the guilty pay the price for their crimes, which is death (both the first dead and the second dead). But because God loves, He has made a way for the penalty for our crimes to fall upon Him, allowing us to go free. This is real love.

You seem to be thinking that just because we exist, we should not have to be responsible for our actions but should be allowed to just continue on forever. We realize that you may consider this to be love, but it is not the kind of love that God knows.

We assure you that in spite of what you have reasoned in your own mind, God really does love us more than our parents do. In fact, any parent who fails to warn his children of the consequences of sin does not love his children very much at all.