Listen: 53 Question 5

This is a question that troubles many people.  It seems out of character for the Lord, who is love, to send someone to Hell.  We read in both 1 John 4:8 and 16 that, “God is love.”  We also read in 1 John 4:10 that, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  The love of God is made known in the sending of His Son to pay for our sins by His death on the cross.  The love of the Lord Jesus is unquestionable.  Speaking of His death, the Lord said in John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Speaking of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 that, “the Son of God…loved me, and gave himself for me.”

In these few verses, we understand that the love of God, and His son, Jesus, is known in the fact that God sent the Lord Jesus to die for the sins of people like you and me.  We are all sinners, by nature and practice.  Because of our sins, we all stand guilty before the Lord as we read in Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”  We all deserve to be punished because of our sins.  The love of God caused Him to punish His own Son while he hung on the cross, so that we might have forgiveness of our sins; so that we might have eternal life.

2 Peter 3:9 tells us that, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  It is not the Lord’s desire than anyone should perish as we read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  The Lord wants everyone to be saved.

Besides being ‘love’, “our God is holy” as we read in Psalms 99:9.  Because of His holiness, the Lord must judge sin.  Those who refuse to come to the Lord Jesus Christ are left without a savior; they have no sin bearer and must bear the full weight and consequence of their sins.  The Lord “loveth righteousness and justice” as we read in Psalms 33:5Psalms 116:5 says, “Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.”  Many people speak of the love and mercy of the Lord without considering His righteousness.

When considering God’s judgment of the nation of Israel, Daniel wrote in Daniel 9:13-14, “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.  Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.”  In their punishment, Daniel vindicated the Lord.  He confessed that they did not obey the voice of God.  He understood that the Lord is righteous in all His works…even their own judgment.

The Lord loves everyone; He desires that no one perish.  He gave His own Son to pay for our sin debt.  In effect, the Lord has done all He can to prevent sinful man from spending an eternity in Hell.  Ezekiel 33:11 says, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?”