Q: How Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?
Selected from our Questions and Answers program
A: The Bible doesn't say that a loving God sends anyone to hell, and yet they do go to hell. But they don't go there because God sends them; it's the only place for those who have rejected Jesus Christ and have no capacity for God whatsoever. When you say that He's a loving God, you've only described one part of God. God also is righteous and just and holy. And if you think that you can violate all the different attributes of God and then depend on His love to save you, you're entirely wrong. Because you cannot insult and blaspheme against God. He's told us that we're sinners and cannot come into His presence, that we do not seek after God, that we're alienated from Him. Do you think He's going to bring you into His presence when you have ignored Him and turned your back upon Him? No. He is a holy God. He had to give His Son to die on the cross for our sins, and if you're going to reject the only way He could work out for your salvation then you must understand that this is the place for you. Don't say that a loving God sends people to hell. Say that there is a holy God, and when you do not meet His standard you cannot go into His heaven where He is. That ought to be very obvious to you. In your home I'm sure that you have a standard and there are certain people that you would not let come in. God does the same thing. You have to meet His standard if you're going to heaven. There's only one place for the lost who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ and that's with the devil and his demons. Don't say that a loving God is going to send you to hell — He's not. The thing that's going to send you to hell is that you're a sinner and you don't want to admit it. That's the problem with the human family. It's a self will, a desire to want to go their way. Yet God has provided a way for you to come. And any time you want to make the turn, a loving God will save you.
When all seems lost, God can make a way. That’s the theme of Ruth, chapter 3. The instructions Naomi gives Ruth as she comes before Boaz are also a beautiful picture of how we can come before the Lord Jesus and claim him as our Kinsman Redeemer.