Questions Christians Hope no one will Ask #9
- “Why should I think that heaven really exists-and that God sends people to hell?”
C.S. Lewis once famously wrote “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” While perhaps this thought is too simplistic, it kinda hits the nail on the head for the majority of our world.
There are many ways to answer this question, and let me recommend Dan’s new book on Heaven if you are especially interested in this topic…of which we all should be, if not for ourselves (perhaps we just accept heaven as reality without further investigation) then for the folks who might ask this question. The quickest, simplest answer though is because Jesus clearly taught about Heaven & Hell. I realize for those in the world, that may not suffice, and for those you need to start in a different place of why we recognize Christ’s authority and the clear historical accounts that prove His life. (more proof I’ll add then any Greek, Roman, or other historical figure that no one doubts lived). As we’ve mentioned before He was either a liar, lunatic, or Lord…and the evidence if actually looked at, fairly considered overwhelmingly shows Him as our Lord. However, I’ve even heard other self-professed Christians ask this question before, especially questioning Hell.
So, let’s take this opportunity to open up our bibles (something we should always be in the habit of doing) and see what Jesus the Christ has to say to answer this question. It a literal sense you can say to someone…don’t take my word for it…listen to Jesus. Read: John 14:2-3, Matt. 22:29-32, Matt. 10:28, John 3:13, John 6:38, Matt. 5:29-30, Matt. 23:33, Luke 6:22-23, Luke 10:15, Luke 10:20, John 17:3-5, 24, Matt. 13:41-43, Matt. 25:31-34, 41, 46 and of course Luke 16:19-31 which I believe to be a true account, not a parable.
What about the whole God sending people to Hell thing though…in short…He doesn’t, people choose Hell. What??? Who would choose to go to Hell? Again C.S. Lewis put it in perspective when we wrote “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who sat to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, ‘Thy will be done.’” God does not want anyone to go to Hell (Study: John 3:16-17, 1 Tim. 2:3-4, 6, 2 Pet. 3:9, Rom. 6:23), however, He also doesn’t force anyone to believe in the free gift He offers. The question is have you accepted that gift?
Remember the more we study & discuss, the better chance we have of fulfilling the instruction of 1 Peter 3:15 “Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect”. #GloryToGod