God is Love: The Reason Why There is a Hell :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard

Scripture References:

Matthew 7:21-23; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 12:13-21, 16:19-31; John 5:28-29; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-18, 5:6-11; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27, 10:31; Revelation 20:11-15

There are just some things that are getting harder to find these days, such as ethical politicians, honest elections, intelligent leftists, happy liberals, competent leadership, and sound Biblical preaching on the reality and horror of hell.

All right, stop right now and get rid of the notion brewing in some of your minds that when it comes to the topic of hell, you either want to avoid or deny it because it interferes with your conception of God and how He could be loving and yet condemn someone to hell. The idea of hell might be to you as it was to the late atheist Christopher Hitchens, the product of a “sick mind” and nothing more. You might consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ and have problems dealing with the reality of such a terrible place and the fact that it is a product of His creation.

As a minister of the Gospel, I do not want to leave you in a state of disbelief or anxiety, and I certainly do not want you to go there at the end of your life, so let us examine this topic that is for the most part forgotten or denied by most of society and, unfortunately, by many pastors and churches.

There is enough deception going on when it comes to the nature of God and how He handles the wicked. We cannot rely on private opinions, feelings, or a false sense of security in thinking that we are not so bad as to suffer the wrath of God and the day of judgment. We cannot dwell on the false hope that while people such as murderers and vile criminals certainly deserve hell, we will be spared the same punishment due to some imagined belief that our “good works,” thoughts, service, or random acts of kindness will balance out the scales of eternity in our favor.

The Bible shatters that illusion by saying that our concept of “righteousness” is like a “filthy rag” in the sight of God (Isaiah 53:6; 64:6). The Bible also says that everyone, regardless of background, nationality, education, whether malevolent or benevolent, reprobate, or religious, will face Almighty God to give an accounting of their lives (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 12:13-21; John 5:28-29; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27).

Our convictions and beliefs are corroded with the rot of evil, and apart from the Sovereign intervention of God Almighty, we are blind and unable to confront and rebuke the obvious wrongs that are in plain sight. Our sinful nature has caused this world to careen into the storm of evil we have lived with for the past few thousand years. Our wickedness has brought about the despicable conditions that have allowed suffering and sorrow into this world.

Suffering is not “God’s problem,” as some skeptics like to proclaim, but the consequence of our disobedience, hatred, and rebellion against the guidance and grace of God. Our “free will” gave us “freedom” to go against God’s will, and the results are evident for those with eyes to see.

There is no way that the Sovereign and Holy LORD is going to let us into His heaven in the condition we find ourselves and let us not think otherwise, as if we can bypass or get around the standards of the LORD. Arrogance and pride are the bad fruit of our “choice” to rebel against Him. Let us not make our situation any worse by telling God that we “deserve” anything from Him, or that we are somehow “entitled.” The Bible says that we are totally drenched in sin and look for the quickest routes to depravity both personally and as a nation (Romans 1:18-32, 3:10-18, 23).

God does not take any joy in the death of a wicked person, and counsels both people and nations throughout the course of history to repent and turn to Him for forgiveness and restoration (Ezekiel 18:19-32). He will not, however, let us enter His presence in an unrepentant and wicked frame of mind and heart, especially after we take our final breath. Here is why the doctrine and reality of hell must be brought back into the pulpits and the hearts of all who are tired of life, sin, and despondency and want renewal. Here is why the Gospel is “good news.”

We must all face the reality of death and what happens afterward. There simply cannot be just “an end” to things and have it been left at that. Murderers, rapists, perverts, thieves, charlatans, despots, dictators, tyrants, pedophiles, occultists, and others who have committed the most heinous of crimes who were never brought to justice, much less suspected of varied evils, cannot go unpunished. Their victims must have justice.

Wrongs need to be made right, and if these deviants merely go to their graves with the satisfaction of knowing they “got away with it,” then life truly has no meaning, purpose, or sense of justification in the end. The idea of hope dies with everyone, and the living go on in despair if this is all that exists within the cold universe. If God is non-existent and there is no reward or retribution for anything, then we are products of not only random chance but empty meaning as well.

But, if God is real and He is Holy as Scripture teaches, then there must be a place of final justice as well as eternal reward. The courtroom of eternity will not excuse or look over the fact that “we did our best” or that “God will let us slide and give us a slap on the wrist as we go into heaven.” God’s righteousness will not tolerate anyone getting away with anything, and there will be no place for getting off with any kind of technicality or the appeals of slick lawyers and some kind of “plea bargain.”

The only thing we can plea for while on this side of the grave is to plea for mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive us of our sins and save us from the final judgment that will cast untold numbers into a very real hell. It is only through Jesus Christ that we have any hope of salvation, true peace, and the ability to enter God’s heaven.

Hell is a necessary part of God’s eternal plan to bring all history to a conclusion on His terms. Hell will bring Him glory and honor from those who have trusted in Him for salvation and provide the final, irrevocable, and unavoidable justice that will satisfy and comfort every person who has had to suffer and survive in an atmosphere of evil that looked to have no end.

God’s perfect love will NOT allow ANYONE who harmed His children, or have spent their lives mocking and denying Him, or who have preyed upon, molested, or abused the innocent to be spared. He will not pardon anyone who took it upon themselves to wreck the faith of others by ridicule, deception, and denial of His Word (Matthew 18:6). Anybody who relied upon themselves for redemption will be cast out of His presence (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Hell is the perfect creation of God to dispose of anyone who rejects and hates Him (Matthew 25:41). Nobody has returned from hell to dispute that fact (Luke 16:19-31), and nobody ever will until the final moment of recorded history when the Lord Jesus Christ sends the judged and sentenced wicked of all time into the Lake of Fire forever.

If hell did not exist, then the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was for nothing. To have the unredeemed be welcomed to spend eternity with the redeemed would be a type of hell for those who placed their trust in Christ for salvation. God’s love eternally spares the righteous from having to face such a scene. Unpunished wickedness on the part of God would be a vicious cruelty for anyone who had to face their murderer, rapist, or sexual predator for eternity. God’s love is shown by casting out the unregenerate into darkness so that the righteous in Christ can walk in His light (1 John 1:7).

It is my belief that the memories of those we knew and loved who rejected Christ and went to hell will be wiped away from our minds after the Final Judgment is set and the doors to the Lake of Fire are closed forever (Revelation 21:4). For those of us who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation, we will be heirs of untold heavenly riches, be free forever of sin and sickness, free forever from the devil and his demons, free forever from heartache and sorrow, and we will be with our loved ones forever, and will see our LORD face to face and fellowship with Him always.

Why would you want to throw that promise away? Why would you want to reject the One True Friend you need? Why would you want to choose to walk away from grace and mercy that only He can give? As someone who has served Him for many decades, I can testify that His love never fails, His promises are true, and His peace is forever. I pray that you will come to Him for salvation today.