Heaven or Hell-It’s our Choice
In intellectual circles the topic of hell is regarded as primitive and foolish. It’s not logical. “A loving God wouldn’t send people to hell.” So we dismiss it.
But to dismiss it is to dismiss a core teaching of Jesus. The doctrine of hell is not one developed by Paul, Peter, or John. It is taught by Jesus himself.
And to dismiss it is to dismiss much more. It is to dismiss the presence of a loving God and the privilege of a free choice. Let me explain.
We are free either to love God or not. He invites us to love him. He urges us to love him. He came that we might love him. But, in the end, the choice is yours and mine. To take that choice from each of us, for him to force us to love him, would be less than love.
God explains the benefits, outlines the promises, and articulates very clearly the consequences. And then, in the end, he leaves the choice to us.
Hell was not prepared for people. Hell “was prepared for the devil and his angels.” For a person to go to hell, then, is for a person to go against God’s intended destiny. “God has not destined us to the terrors of judgment, but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Hell is man’s choice, not God’s choice.
Consider, then, this explanation of hell: hell is the chosen place of the person who loves self-more than God, who loves sin more than his Savior, who loves this world more than God’s world. Judgment is that moment when God looks at the rebellious and says, “Your choice will be honored.”
To reject the dualistic outcome of history and say there is no hell leaves gaping holes in any banner of a just God. To say there is no hell is to say God condones the rebellious, unrepentant heart. To say there is no hell is to portray God with eyes blind to the hunger and evil in the world. To say there is no hell is to say that God doesn’t care that people are beaten and massacred, that he doesn’t care that women are raped or families wrecked. To say there is no hell is to say God has no justice, no sense of right and wrong, and eventually to say God has no love. For true love hates what is evil.
Hell is the ultimate expression of a just Creator.
The parables of the wise and loyal servant, the wise and foolish bride’s maids, and loyal and wicked servants all point to the same conclusion: “Everyone must die once and be judged” Eternity is to be taken seriously. A judgment is coming.
Our task on earth is singular—to choose our eternal home. You can afford many wrong choices in life. You can choose the wrong career and survive, the wrong house and survive. You can even choose the wrong mate and survive. But there is one choice that must be made correctly, and that is your eternal destiny.