Important Messages

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Is Hell Unfair?

I recently told a friend of mine that I knew I deserved to go to hell and that God would be perfectly just and good for sending me there. He was bummed out that I truly felt that way since in his eyes I am a genuinely caring, loving person who treats people well and cares for my family. He told me that it would be unfair for millions of loving and caring people, including myself, to end up in hell for eternity. The following is how I tried to explain myself to him.

First, I didn't ask for this life, it is a gift. In the eyes of the world, I would agree that perhaps I am a good human being. I try to treat people kindly, respectfully, care for my family, serve others and give to others in need. My friend as well is a genuinely nice person, a good friend to many, caring, thoughtful, funny and smart. Both of us, in the world’s eyes, deserve to live a long, happy life and don’t deserve to suffer unnecessarily. So why would I think when I die I would be deserving of hell? Hopefully, the following analogy helps.
In regards to the question of hell being an unfair place to send basically nice people, think for a moment about skydiving. Imagine if you jumped from the plane and your parachute failed to open. What would happen? Most likely, you would have been turned into a human pancake and it would not have been a pretty sight. Think of a water balloon hitting a wall or a raw egg falling to the floor except this would be with a human body. It would be a horrific sight. In light of what a good person you were, this ending to your life would seem completely inconsistent with the type of person you were. You didn't deserve that. But why did it really happen? The real reason you died was not because your parachute malfunctioned, the real cause of your death was that you violated the Law of Gravity. Without a proper device attached to rescue you from violating this Law, you were helpless to prevent the Law from doing what it always does, namely, pulling objects towards earth at an acceleration of 32 feet/second2. The Law of Gravity was not being unfair; it was just acting according to its nature. 

Other natural Laws such as the Law of Electricity act according to their nature. We don't stick forks in electrical sockets because we know the power of the Law of Electricity and what will happen if we violate it. The Law of Electricity is not angry or mad or mean or unfair to people who choose to stick forks in sockets, but if we violate it and are not properly protected, it will do what it always does and we will suffer the consequences. The Law will be completely and perfectly fair to us by dealing with us according to its nature. Because we know the power of these Laws we respect them enough not to go around violating them without the proper protection.
Now think of God’s Moral Law. This is the Law written on every human being’s conscience that tells us that it’s wrong to lie, steal, commit adultery, murder, take God’s name in vain, etc. It doesn't matter where you grew up or how you were raised, this Law is on every human being's heart. God's Moral Law is infinitely more powerful than the Law of Gravity or Electricity and is revealed to us in the Ten Commandments. Just like there are consequences for violating natural laws, there is a consequence for violating God’s Moral Law. When we violate God's Moral Law, the Ten Commandments, and are not properly protected from its power, we will suffer the consequences. As we’ve seen, gravity can make us a pancake, electricity can electrocute us, and the Moral Law causes spiritual death, which is hell. In all of these cases, the Laws are acting perfectly fair towards us. And we have all violated this Moral Law, not once, but countless times throughout our lives. For example, taking God's name in vain, dishonoring our parents, lying, stealing, coveting, hatred in our heart, and lusting over others, are all violations of the Moral Law. So it is perfectly fair for us to go to hell when we die and are subject to the consequences of the Moral Law just like it's perfectly fair for us to be electrocuted when we stick a fork in an electrical socket.
So now, understanding that hell is the consequence for violating the Moral Law, imagine if I told you that I knew I would deserve to be crushed to death by gravity if I jumped out of an airplane without a parachute. Would you be sad that I thought that way? No, you would think I am being realistic. You would know that being crushed would be the natural consequence of jumping out of a plane with no parachute. If I decided to jump out of a plane without a parachute, I assume you would encourage me to put on a parachute which could protect me from the consequence of violating the Law of Gravity and prevent me from being turned into a human pancake. What would probably bum you out would be if I decided to jump without a parachute especially when I have a perfectly good one available to me. If I then jumped and fell to my death, you would never think to yourself that the Law of Gravity treated me unfairly. You would pity me for making such a foolish decision.
Now, as humans, we all respect the Law of Gravity. Some of the ways we show our respect for the Law of Gravity is by using elevators rather than just walking out a window on the 10th floor, wearing parachutes when we skydive, using bungee cords when we bungee jump and using ropes when rock climbing. In other words, we do not violate the Law of Gravity without having the proper protection.
Because of its consequences, we should have infinitely more respect for the Moral Law than we do for natural laws. Because we’ve violated it, we should make sure we are properly protected from it so it doesn't carry out its proper function when we die and are subject to its consequences. The Moral Law is not being unfair when we die and go to hell, it is just doing what it is supposed to do, acting according to its nature. What bums me out big time is when I see people, friend and strangers, reject the infinite protection provided through Jesus Christ that will prevent the Moral Law from carrying out its function when they die and stand before God on Judgment Day.
My plea to you today is to tell you that God loves you and has provided a way for you to be protected from the consequences of violating the Moral Law. The Bible says that God demonstrates His love for you in that while you have sinned by violating His Moral Law, Jesus Christ died for you and bore the consequence of violating the Moral Law for you. Jesus Christ took the consequence you deserve upon Himself, dying on the cross, suffering under God’s wrath, so that you might not have to. That is the only unfair deal about heaven and hell. Namely, God Himself takes your penalty upon Himself, which He didn't deserve so that you can be forgiven and granted entrance into heaven. To receive this gift, the Bible commands you to repent (turn from your sin) and put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you. Just like you would trust a parachute before you jumped out of a plane, put all your trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you before you die and step into eternity. If you do this, you will become a new creation in Christ, with a new heart and new desires. You will have a relationship with God and you will have a place prepared for you in heaven when you die. Then, grow in your relationship with Him by reading your Bible everyday and obeying what you read and find a bible believing and teaching church where you can be taught the Word of God.

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