Taking Grace for Granted?
*Tuesday = Truth-day* — The Bible says that the Father is loving. The New Testament says the same about Jesus. But can they really be loving while at the same time sending people to hell? After all, Jesus teaches more about hell than anyone in the entire Bible. Does that contradict His supposed gentle and compassionate character?
First of all, GOD doesn’t just cast people into hell because they don’t accept certain beliefs. In the beginning of creation GOD was with man and woman, who were made in His image. They loved doing what He asked and were in right relationship with Him and each other. Then enters sin and rebellion. The image bearers begin to think they are the center of the universe – no longer in right relationship with GOD.
Things we call “social pathologies” – war, rape, envy, jealousy, pride, etc. – are effects of the first instance with the fact that we’re not rightly related to GOD. So what should GOD do about it? If He does nothing, then He’s letting us know that evil doesn’t matter to Him. Wouldn’t this shock us to think that GOD didn’t have moral judgments on these situations?
Hell is not a place where those who were pretty good people just didn’t believe the right stuff. Nor is it filled with people who have repented and GOD wasn’t gentle enough to let them out. It’s filled with people who, for all eternity, still want to be at the center of their own universe and continue to deny GOD. They don’t accept GOD’s grace now, where it’s freely given, then they won’t receive it after death when GOD’s grace is removed and Hell is all that’s left.