Does God Really Send People to Hell?
- Full Text: Read full text below
- Format: Folded Gospel Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5" x 5.5"
- Pages: 6
- Versions: KJV, NKJV
The full text of this gospel tract is shown below in the KJV version. It is also available in NKJV. Select the one you want to order using the “Version” buttons above.
"God is good and loving. A good and loving God will not send any of His creatures to the lake of fire." Many people really believe this statement is true and quote it as if it were found in the Holy Scriptures. Let us consider what the Bible actually says about God sending people to hell or the lake of fire.
God is Good and Loving
The first part of the statement indeed is wonderfully true. God is good (Psalm 100:5; Luke 18:19; John 10:14) and God is love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8,16). God in His love has provided sinful man with a way of escape from an eternity of judgment in the lake of fire. He has punished His only begotten Son on the cross as the Substitute for sinners. Thus God has made it possible for every man, woman, and child to be saved from eternal punishment, simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as one's personal Saviour and accepting His free gift of salvation. At the same time, God does not force salvation upon us. He will not drag people kicking and screaming into heaven. "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth [or remaineth] on him" (John 3:36).
God Allows Man to Reap the Natural Consequences of His Deeds
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Galatians 6:7). Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of gardening knows that one doesn't sow thistle seeds and expect carrots to come up. Jacob sowed lying and deceit (Genesis 27:18-29) and reaped the same in return (Genesis 29:15-30). King David committed adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11), and even though he repented of these sins and God forgave him (Psalms 32 and 51), the natural consequences remained. He had trouble in his own family—including adultery and murder—for the rest of his days.
We see the same thing all around us today. Lung cancer, mental impairment, and AIDS are a few of the many natural consequences of smoking, alcohol abuse, and illicit sex, respectively.
People who end up in the lake of fire will be there as a natural consequence of their actions. This can be seen by analogy with one drifting down the Niagara River in a canoe. Someone on the shore calls out a warning of danger ahead and throws out a life ring. If the warning is heeded and the help accepted, well and good. However, the response may be (1) unbelief—"You are jesting"; (2) macho—"It sounds like fun"; (3) self-reliance—"I can paddle to shore on my own"; or (4) neglect—"It's a long way yet to the falls." God today is warning sinners to repent, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved. Is He unloving in not rescuing those who despise His warning and refuse the help He has offered them? Certainly not. Therefore, those who reject God's gracious offer of salvation will receive the natural consequences of that rejection. There will be eternal "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 22:13) at the realization of what they are missing (see Luke 16), and the constant memory of their foolishness in despising, rejecting, or neglecting God's offer of salvation.
God Gives to People What They Have Always Wanted
"He gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul" (Psalm 106:15).
"Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (John 3:20). Sadly, there are many today who desire to remain in spiritual darkness. They do not want God's penetrating light to shine upon their lives and bring the hidden things of darkness out into the open, or to the upper reaches of their consciences. They do not want God messing with their lives. Since these people desire to remain in spiritual darkness, God will grant them exactly what they desire—they "shall be cast out into outer darkness" (Matthew 8:12), eternally separated from God, the Source of all light.
"Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:13,14). Just as there are many who desire to remain in spiritual darkness, there are many who have no interest in quenching the thirst of their minds and desires for the pleasures and excitement and adventures that can be found in this world. To their deluded minds, the living water would be insipid, lukewarm, the end of all their enjoyment. Since these people desire to remain thirsty, God will grant them exactly what they desire "And [the rich man] cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame" (Luke 16:24). These people will enter into eternity with all their fleshly and worldly cravings and will have absolutely no way to satisfy them.
God's Punishment of Man is No More Severe Than His Punishment of His Own Son
When the Lord Jesus suffered for our sins on the cross He experienced spiritual darkness, separation from God (Matthew 27:45); He had intense thirst (Psalm 22:15; John 19:28); and He cried out in anguish of soul (Psalm 22:1; 69:3,10,20). Would it be fair to the Lord Jesus Christ, after all the suffering He endured to save sinners, for God to go ahead anyway and save those who despise and reject the Saviour?
In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, we do not find one hint that the rich man thought it unfair or unloving of God to have sent him to hell. He only wanted to warn his five brothers "lest they also come into this place of torment" (Luke 16:28). Dear reader, if you are not yet saved, I appeal to you to heed God's warning to you and accept His free offer of salvation—TODAY! Otherwise you may live forever to regret the day that you despised His warning and refused His offer. "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).
—Paul L. Canner
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