Question 2 (continued) - Do you know that God doesn’t want to control you OR do you know that God wants you to freely choose Him because you need Him and love Him?
Last week, we looked at the reasons why we voluntarily choose God - because God gives us free will and God has what we need for an ideal life. This week, we will further look at Question #2 with two related questions.
a) If God is a loving God, how can God send people to hell to suffer? Why not give everybody faith in Jesus so everybody will be saved?
b) How can people choose Jesus if they haven’t heard of Jesus/the Gospel?
Let’s unpack them…
a) People who say that God is “love” forget that God is also “just and holy”. Because of His holiness, God cannot tolerate sins. Sin must be punished and sinner must die (Rom 6:23). Yet God knows we cannot do anything to save ourselves. All of our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rags (Isa 64:6). We are desperately hopeless due to our wicked, deceitful and selfish heart (Jer 17:9). There is no one who does good, not even one (Rom 3:12). Jesus begged God to be the sacrificial lamb for our sins so that He can die in our place. There is no greater love, no other way.
Also, God wants a meaningful relationship with people so God created people in His image and after His nature. God gives us freedom to choose Him or to be independent from Him. Adam and Eve had chosen independence because they disobeyed God’s instruction. However, God never stops loving people and wants people back “as One” with Him.
God is fair and His judgement is holy. God will judge the heart, not the appearance that can fool people. Here is what we can be sure from Scripture.
- God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (Eccl. 12:14).
- Jesus said: the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day (John 12:48).
- But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken (Matt 12:36).
- The Holy Spirit will testify with our spirits that we are God’s children (Rom 8:16).
b) Let’s answer this question by logically thinking of 3 major groups of people on Judgement Day.
- Infants who die before they can commit sins or make decisions on anything. The Bible does not address infants’ fate directly. Many scholars believe God will not punish them in hell simply because they would not understand why they are put there.
- People who can’t make a decision to accept or reject Jesus because they haven’t heard of Him. For all people including these and others, God reveals Himself and His glory thru His creation (Rom 1:20) and puts in people’s heart a conscience to know good and evil (Rom 2:14-15). These people will be judged by their conscience.
- People who have heard of Jesus and rejected Him will definitely be judged and will die according to Rom 6:23 – the wages of sin is death...