Hi believers, why has God chosen eternal damnation for people who don’t believe in Jesus?
I don’t believe in Jesus but I do good works in my society. Why is this not enough to get me into Heaven and, WAY MORE IMPORTANTLY, why will my non-belief consign me to Hell when other Christians, even those who have murdered, get to go the other way?
I am going to make the assumption that this is a legitimate question and not a straw man. If it is some farce, you’ll blow right through it and not read it, but if you are serious about your question, then I hope this provides a clear enough answer to your query.
The question you have posed is, “Why does God send people to hell for not believing in Jesus?” Though this sounds like a really good question, it carries some misnomers. If I may, I would rather have the question rephrased, “Why do people who do not believe in Jesus go to hell?”
I could plainly and quickly answer your question, but I would rather have God’s Word respond. You see CS, I (in and of myself) have no authority, but the Bible is the very Word of God.
1. Man is a Sinner
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
This means, each and every human being on the face of this Earth (apart from Jesus Christ) was and is a sinner (someone who at one time or another disobeyed God). Because our original fore-father, Adam, fell into sin, we (the descendants of Adam) also have a sin nature.
12 Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Have you noticed that no one ever had to teach us how to be selfish? I have four wonderful children, but not once did my wife and I ever teach them the word, “mine.” (Well maybe we did, but not directly .) Selfishness, pride, greed, lying, cheating, stealing, etc. is hard-wired into everyone of us. It comes so naturally, that many times we don’t even see it in ourselves. This is what God calls sin.
2. God is Holy
11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
The word “holy” is bounced around so much, that many times, we use the word without getting a real understanding of the meaning. Here is what Merriam Webster has to say,
ho•ly \ˈhō-lē\ adj
ho•li•er; -est [ME, fr. OE hālig; akin to OE hāl whole — more at whole] bef. 12c
1 : exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
2 : divine 〈for the Lord our God is holy —Ps 99:9(AV)〉
3 : devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity 〈a holy temple〉 〈holy prophets〉
4 a : having a divine quality 〈holy love〉
b : venerated as or as if sacred 〈holy scripture〉 〈a holy relic〉
Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary., Includes Index., Eleventh ed. (Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
You see, the first definition given to us is that since God is holy, He is worthy of complete devotion as one who is perfect in goodness and righteousness. God is the creator of everything. He wrote all the rules, physical as well as intellectual and spiritual. God is the very definition of goodness and righteousness, by His very nature. Because of His righteousness He cannot allow one single speck of sin into Heaven. If He did, He would no longer be righteous.
3. Sin Must Be Paid For
Because God is purely righteous and good, He must obey His own laws. One law He has is that sin must be paid for.
11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die….
23 For the wages of sin is death…
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
This death is more than just a physical death, which is separation of the soul from the body, the man from his loved ones, the person from the only life they ever knew. This death is eternal separation from God, Who is holy.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
4. Man Needs a Savior
Now since all of this is directly from God’s Word, and God Himself has placed His Word above His very name (Psalm 138:2), then everything points to one very hard and cold fact: Man needs a Savior.
WE ALL ARE SINNERS
WE ALL DESERVE AN ETERNAL SEPARATION FROM GOD
So, how can a sinful man escape an eternity in hell? The single answer is that he needs someone, who is without sin to pay for that sin he has committed.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
1 John 2:1-2
1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 4:9-10
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
That word propitiation: it means ” a sufficient sacrifice.”
CS, if I as a human being were able to live a perfect sinless life, then I would be allowed to go to Heaven. If I decided to die for YOU and YOUR SINS, I could do that and you would then be able to go to Heaven. The problem is I, as a human being, could only pay for one other’s sins. There is only ONE SINGLE BEING in all of existence who could pay for the sins of the entire world, and that would be God Himself.
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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
There is no other way to the Father.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Buddha cannot save you. Muhammad cannot save you. Your very own good works cannot save you (Ephesians 2:8-9)!
CS, we all deserve hell. But God loves you so much that He willingly gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for YOU. God won’t force you to accept Him. The choice has to be yours and yours alone.
Now, what will your decision be?