In Answer to the Question: How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

 

tattoo_it_on_your_heart_rachael_m_colby_how_can_a_loving_god_send_people_to_hell

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. II Peter 3:9 (NKJV)

Fernando Ortega – Come Ye Sinners

God does not send people to Hell. Hell is where we are all automatically destined for. God created hell for the devil and his angels, but when Adam disobeyed God and ate of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, sin entered him and since then, all mankind is born with a sin nature. God is Holy and cannot accept sin. God gave us a free will. We make reservations for our stay in eternity by the choices we make on Earth. Jesus, God incarnate, donned human flesh, and came to earth on the ultimate rescue mission. He dwelt among us, took our place on the cross and paid the price, so we could be free from the penalty of sin- death, Hell and separation  from God for eternity. God doesn’t send people to Hell; they choose to go there by refusing the escape provided.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (NKJV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

Companies, organizations and the military have standards they expect their employees to adhere to, or they will be disciplined or dismissed from their positions. When I purchase something, a meal, a car, equipment- I have expectations of it. If it does not meet them I am probably going to say something and ask for the problem to be fixed, or return the item. Our country has laws to govern us, and if we choose to break them there is a penalty. Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. It is every citizen’s responsibility to know the law and line themselves up with it.

Parents have boundaries for their children because they love them and want to protect and guide them. There are consequences for children if they disobey their parents’ rules. So why are some people surprised or offended, and question God because He has standards for us to live by and for entry into Heaven? Mankind tries to dictate what God’s standards should be; they try to fashion God into a god, who will pander to their own selfish, sinful desires.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV)

God is love and He is gracious, but He is also perfectly holy, righteous, and just, and he couldn’t be any of these without established holy standards. The maker of something knows the purpose of his creation, how it runs best and how to fix it when it’s broken. Jesus is God, (John 1:1-4). He is our creator, (John 1:10-12). He cannot lie. He warned of Hell, but made a way for us to know Him and make Heaven our home.

…so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Matthew 13:36- 41 (NKJV)

The standard for entry into Heaven, if you are to earn your own way, is to be perfect- absolutely sinless and holy. The only one who qualifies as such is Jesus Christ.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; Romans 3:10 (NKJV)

So much for being a good person, or our good deeds outweighing our bad gaining us entry into Heaven. As the preacher said, “We are saved for good works, not by them.”

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

Our culture today is striving to redefine right and wrong, and success and failure, by declaring everyone a winner; everyone gets a trophy, no one fails. Even if they miss the mark, and if they do fail- they still get promoted.

Love tells the truth and equips for the future. We do others no favor by not allowing them to reap consequences for shoddy work or wrongdoing.

Making excuses for bad behavior and giving sin a new title doesn’t change reality- sin is still sin.

Love lets others see their failure and offers a helping hand so they can overcome their weaknesses, strengthen their skills and learn how to get back up and go the right way.

God loves us. He has standards. He offers everything we need to thrive on Earth and in eternity. We can’t redefine God and his standards to fit our whims. He is God, and He defines Himself.

God has done everything to provide us with a way out. It is up to us to accept it.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (NKJV)

For those who choose Him, Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you.”

Suppose someone has a deadly disease and is terminally ill. The good news is there is one cure, but it is of no benefit to the stricken person if they do not receive it. It does not matter whether their reason for neglecting or rejecting the cure is them not believing it will work, wanting to try others’ methods or their own way, or it not being appealing or comfortable for them. Neither is their believing that it’s not their fault they contracted this disease from someone else an excuse for not taking the treatment. The fact that they inherited the disease does not make the disease any less deadly. They still need to seek and choose to receive the remedy for themselves before it is too late, or the disease will eventually have its way with them. For medicine to work effectively, the patient must also take the whole prescribed dose. Starting an antibiotic and not finishing the prescribed amount can result in relapse or the patient getting sicker than before. The visible effects and the progression of a terminal disease may be more pronounced in some than in others, but if untreated, the end result is the destruction of their body and eventually death. 

Likewise, sin is an inherited disease of the soul and spirit-and it is terminal. Mankind inherited Adam’s sinful condition as a result of his disobedience in the Garden of Eden.

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18 (NASB)

Our sins, the wrong things we do,  are symptoms of our sinful nature. The prognosis is decay of the individual from the inside out. For a time it may seem to affect some more than others. Our sinful nature quarantines us from God and Heaven. Left untreated, our sin will lead to our eternal separation from God and torment of our soul in Hell.

The Bible tells us Hell is a literal place of everlasting punishment, torment, and fire, and I believe it. Matthew 18:8-9

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand,‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels… Matthew 25:41 (NKJV)

But I don’t believe the torment in Hell is invoked by a little horn headed guy with a pitchfork prodding people. I believe elements of the torment in Hell  include being eternally gripped by fear, with no peace and no escaping endless oppression from the spirits of condemnation, bitterness and hate. There is no hope in Hell; just darkness. It’s a place where the irrevocable fire of regret fuels an unquenchable thirst for everything Christ is, and offers to those who receive Him on this side of eternity. I believe the hardest thing to bear in Hell is the grief of realizing Jesus embodies everything, everyone ever wanted and needed, loving and desiring Him, but being eternally separated.

Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” John 8:24 (NKJV)

I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3 (NKJV)

God provided the only antidote for our sin- forgiveness through repentance and the acceptance of the shed blood of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross as atonement for our sins. Jesus- the perfect sacrifice or scapegoat.

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. John 3:16 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. II Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (NKJV)

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NKJV)

He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I John 5:12 (NKJV)

Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 (NKJV)

The ball is in your court. God loves you but he has given you a free will, and He will not violate it. What will you do with Jesus? Will you accept Him and His provision? Or will you reject Him and continue in pursuit of your own way? Will you give Jesus a chance to prove Himself, His love to you?

Questioning God’s love is indicative of not knowing Him as intimately as He wants you to. This is the greatest love story. God is love and when you truly know Him and His Word you won’t question His good intent for the beloved crown of His creation- us. Jesus isn’t just my fire escape- He’s my passion.

Love says, “Hey, you’re going the wrong way.”

Jesus says, “This is the way, walk in it.”

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ John 3:7 (NKJV)

if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24 (NASB)

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

Crowder – Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains)

Resources for Further Study:

Can The Existence and Nature of Hell Be Defended? (Free Bible Insert)

http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/can-the-existence-and-nature-of-hell-be-defended-free-bible-insert/

What the Bible Does (and Doesn’t) Say About the Life (or Death) of the Soul

http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/what-the-bible-does-and-doesnt-say-about-the-life-or-death-of-the-soul/

Link to posts about Hell-  by J Warner Wallace author of Cold case Christianity

http://coldcasechristianity.com/?s=Hell

Link to posts about Heaven-  by J Warner Wallace author of Cold case Christianity
http://coldcasechristianity.com/?s=heaven

 

© 2016 Rachael M Colby

Good God

Everything that happens to us isn’t from God. When I am hurt by others’ sin, or bombarded by trials, I can choose to blame God, or navigate the storm with Him. When I stumble and reap the consequences, I can either make excuses, or take responsibility for my sin, repent, and let Jesus help me. I choose; bitter or better.

We live in a sin filled, fallen world. I have been through some deep waters. Everything is not as it ought to be, or as I wish in my life. Much of my circumstances are out of my control, but I can take comfort knowing nothing can happen that God doesn’t allow. God isn’t in Heaven saying, “Oh my God! I can’t believe this! Now what?” Life can blindside us, but nothing takes Him by surprise. He has a plan.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” ‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Notice, Jesus says, “…in Me you may have peace.” He is our refuge, our comfort. His peace is not contingent on circumstances; it is there for us when we hide our hearts in Him.

 

We use manure to enrich the soil. It nourishes plants so they flourish and bear fruit. God also uses the “manure” in our lives, the trials, in the same way, when we yield to Him. God works everything for our good and His glory in the end, when we get our hearts right and wait on Him.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”   Romans 8:28 NKJV

Lord,

When life is more valley than mountaintop

More potholes than open highway

More stormy sea than smooth sailing

I will

Cling to your promises

Cleave to your word.

I crave Your presence,

Lord.

“For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.”         ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭36:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have found, it’s by way of the place called broken that I am mended. I am made whole as I place my battle weary, sin scarred heart in the hands of my Maker.

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified. ‭ Isaiah‬ ‭61:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Rachael_ M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_That's_What_Heaven's_For

 

This world is not my home. It’s just the road to where I’m going. Death is just the door to eternal life. Heaven is my home. I’m His ambassador on Earth, but a citizen of Heaven. 

 

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

© 2016 Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart

***This post was written in response to a message someone sent me on Twitter. My hope is this post will help bring them, and those facing trials and heartbreak to The One who can comfort, restore and redirect their lives.

Below are links to my friend Robin Farnsworth’s site, spencersmom.com. Robin is a fellow writer, sister in Christ and one of my heroes. She is currently in the process of writing her memoir.The posts contain her stories of and resources for dealing with:                                                            Loss of a child                                                                                                                             Battling cancer                                                                                                                                                   If someone you love has dementia or Alzheimer’s.                                                                               The Greatest Hope of All

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

Jesus is Not a Ball & Chain

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Get_HappyDear Jay,    

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far away, (really), I felt like you speak of in your brave and honest prize winning essay, “Jump.” I achieved what I set out to do, and the dreams I hadn’t yet attained were within reach. I eloped at eighteen years old. Most people skip town; I skipped the country. I had a houseful of new furniture, a 1965 Mustang, a modeling career underway and my eyes set on Europe. But I awoke many nights feeling weighted down, and like the wind could blow straight through me. Frustration and confusion badgered me, for in spite of all the things I filled my life with, I felt hollow. I wondered,  what is missing, why is happy so elusive?

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.   Ecclesiastes‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.   ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Then I lost everything.

Then Everything I was looking for found me, and I wasn’t empty anymore.

This is what I discovered:

Everything the world has to offer – Jesus = 0

He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.   ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?”   Luke‬ ‭9:25‬ ‭NKJV

Nothing + a relationship with Jesus = Everything I need.  

I am not perfect. Life is often fraught with trials. But Jesus is my firm foundation, a rock to stand on. He is my reference in the stormy seas of life, a safe harbor, my anchor.

Jesus is Not a Ball and Chain

Jesus is not a religious obligation to me; although I am obliged to Him. Knowing and spending time with Him is not a chore or another thing on my to do list. Serving Him, serving others is a privilege. His Word, His standards, are not cumbersome or chafing. I don’t view them as a bunch of rules of do’s and don’ts. Jesus is not a Kill Joy; but knowing Him will bring you joy. Certainly, God requires us to adhere to the standards set forth in His Word, or we will bear the natural consequences. But I know that what He has set in place is out of love and for our benefit. He is our creator and knows how we run best, and it’s in that light in which He has established His Word for us to live by. Jesus is not a ball and chain. He is my shelter.

You see, the burden is light when you are in love with Christ.

When we are lost

He is The Way

When we are broken

He is the restorer

For the sick in mind, body or soul

He is the healer

He is the light in the darkness

He is joy in the midst of sorrow

A clear sounding voice in the midst of confusion and turmoil

He is peace in the storm

He makes a way when there is none            Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Pursuing_Satisfaction

When we are empty

He is our true fulfillment

We are complete in Him.

If we miss God, we miss our purpose. Life without purpose is unfulfilling.  God gifts us with different talents and abilities, and has a plan for each of us. But he created us for the purpose of having a personal relationship with Him. I want all of Jesus and I want Him to have all of me. I want His plan for my life.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”   ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-16‬ ‭NLT‬

But we can’t say “I’ll have just a little Jesus on the side and I will run the rest of the show.” Life doesn’t work very well like that, and Jesus doesn’t work like that. It’s all or nothing. He will play second fiddle to no one, or anything in our lives. He wants to be our first love. Jesus calls you to Himself, just as you are.Yes, Jesus wants your worst.But He loves you too much to leave you that way.

Jesus said, “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NKJV

“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭16:11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   ‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ 

You can know Him.  You can cast your cares, your sin, yourself, on Him. 

“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”   ‭‭John‬ ‭10:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart

Knock, Knock

Tattoo_it_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Red_Door_Knock_Knock_KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

“Jesus”

“Jesus who?”

That’s a problem if you said, “Jesus who?” It’s no joke. Jesus wants you to know Him. He wants a personal relationship with you.

I let Him in in 1987. It’s been quite a ride. I’m glad He’s driving. Life can be tough, whether you are a Christian or not. We can go through the muck and mire of life with or without Him. I chose with Him. We can rest assured when we rest in Him.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.     ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”     ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there”

“It’s Jesus. Let me in?”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”     ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What an invitation! To dine with The King; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I get to walk with Him in between. Sometimes He carries me.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

“Distraction, Fear, Doubt, Compromise, Selfishness, Willfulness, Love of Money, Greed, Lust, Pride, Anxiety, Anger, Unforgiveness…”

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus? What are you doing out there? I already let you in.”

“You did. But I gradually got pushed out by all that other stuff you let in. Can I come in? I’d like to help you clean house.”

KNOCK, KNOCK…

(Let Him in)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.     ‭‭I John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”     Mark‬ ‭8:36‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.     ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.                    ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

© 2016 Rachael M Colby | Tattoo It On Your Heart