The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:13-15)
Many people simply can’t correlate the scriptural teaching of hell with a loving God. How can God allow people to suffer such a horrible fate if He really loves them?
Many people surmise their own idea of who God the Father is and what He is like from their own thinking and from their own experiences. But we must go to Word to understand God. It may take our finite minds eternity to explore all of His ways and understand the infinite God completely!
Notice Psalm 50:16-21: But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction and cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, and your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you, and set them in order before your eyes.
One part of God’s character is justice. Psalm 89:14 reveals: Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face. His love for us is based on justice. God cannot forgive sin just because He loves us. If that were so, then why did Jesus go to the cross? Why did Jesus have to come as the incarnate Son of God if God could simply forgive the sin of mankind? God’s forgiveness of our sin must be just and fair. He can’t break the rules He set up to govern the universe. That would disqualify Him from being God. God’s love is based upon His justice.
God must be just to His own moral law; He must be just to His enemy Satan; and He must be just to man. Our redemption is amazing. Satan never thought that God would go to such an extreme to redeem us from hell. For God to be just, even towards His enemy Satan, He must deal with sin properly. Every sin must be judged. It must have a just, legal payment. When Satan succeeded in his scheme to cause man to sin, he thought that mankind would end up with his own judgment, hell, and that there was no way God could justly set mankind free from this penalty. But Satan miscalculated the love of God for us!
In redeeming us, God assumed the liability for our wrongdoing, and chose to pay the just penalty for us sin for us! The penalty for eternal spirit rebels is incarceration in hell and then the final judgment of the lake of fire! When Jesus went to hell for us and legally paid our sin debt, the indictment for sin was removed from us, and the trial date cancelled!
Now, every person who accepts Jesus Christ’s legal payment for their sin by bowing their knee to Him can be set free from sin and it’s eternal penalty. Now that is amazing love!
The sad part is that those who refuse Jesus just and legal payment for their sin must endure the sentencing at the great white throne judgment and eventually be placed in the lake of fire. Those who seek their own way in life without bowing their knee to the Son of God in obedience and faith in Him must bear their own sin and its penalty. We have an obligation to tell the sinner that God has cancelled their sin debt in Christ and that they do not have to go to hell!
If a person chooses to refuse Jesus’ eternal sacrifice, then God has an obligation to His own just to allow them to go to hell even though He loves them so.
Let’s wake up to our responsibilities today to share this good news with those we come in contact with. Ask the Father to open up conversations about their eternal destiny with the people you associate with today. Their eternal well being is at stake!