reply to post by arpgme
When I saw this thread, I joined ATS just to post a response.
"How can a loving God throw people in hell just because they don't want to be controlled by Him?"
There are a lot of ways to answer this and I will give just a few. First, as a follower of Jesus Christ and a devoted student of the Bible, which I
am convinced is God's Word, I will state simply what I understand the Bible teaches.
Ugh!! Where do I start??
The quick answer: God doesn't send people to hell, they CHOOSE to go there and it grieves God when they do so.
The long answer:
God is the creator and owner of everything, so He has the right to set the rules. Fortunately for us, God is a loving God and has invited us to spend
eternity with Him in heaven. For the immediate time (this earth) He gave us rules (His Law) FIRST because He loves us. In the same way that a parent
gives rules to their children for their own benefit and protection, God gave us His Law. God doesn't want to spoil our fun, He wants us to have fun,
but He also wants us to live a safe and healthy life, the same desire that a parent has for their children. SECONDLY, God gave us His Law so that we
will know what He expects of us. However, what we tend to do is think that we know better than God, so we ignore God's Law and make up our own
rules. God expresses His love for us by providing us with good guidelines, but we snub Him and go the other way. This is what the Bible calls sin.
We offend God and refuse to return His love. We become prideful, thinking that we know better than the Creator of the Universe. Sin disqualifies us
for heaven. Heaven is a perfect place and if God were to allow sin into heaven, then heaven wouldn't be heaven any more. It would be just like this
messed up earth.
God has also told us that because of His justice, He would punish sin. It's His right to do so, after all, He created everything and He gets to make
the rules. The punishment for sin is hell. But God doesn't want anybody to go there, so that's why He came in the form of Jesus to pay the price
for sin. So in Jesus, God preserves His perfect justice while also offering us a pardon.
So God gives us every reason to turn to Him: punishment if we refuse His pardon (through Christ), versus eternal blessings if we accept it. It's a
no-brainer, yet people will pick and whine because it's too exclusive, too this, or too that. Ultimately, people view their self-destructive
behaviors (sin) as the fullness of life and refuse to turn away from them and accept the pardon. In so doing, they are choosing the only alternative
to heaven, which is hell.
God doesn't send people to hell. They CHOOSE to go there.