Dear Pastor Andy, is it possible that no one will go to hell? OK, hear me out. God has infinite love, wisdom, and mercy. He is everything good. As Christians, we know this. The thing I can’t comprehend is that God would ever allow his any of His creation to be eternally damned. How does that make sense? If someone is sent to hell, and they suffer for years, how could God not accept their repentance? And if someone is sent to hell, that means Satan has won. And if God is all-powerful, then Satan cannot win permanently, right?
I know this isn’t in the Bible, and yeah, this is an unconventional idea. All I’m asking for is a well-reasoned response. I’m not criticizing Christianity or any religion.
Actually, you’re right that it’s not in the Bible, however it is in fact a belief that many who call themselves Christians have, and it’s also very wrong. Now hear me out:
- Jesus talked about separating the good from the evil, children of God and children of Satan, and a place where many will go where there will be gnashing of teeth, torture, and fires some thousand times hotter than anything we can imagine here. So to say that there’s no hell or that nobody will go there is to call Jesus a liar.
- Most of all, if there’s no hell, then Jesus’ death on the cross was in vain, His resurrection was pointless, and there’s no reason to believe in, follow, or witness about God (an atheist’s point, I’m sure). Paul said that if Jesus hadn’t been resurrected, then we’d all still be dead in our sins and our ministry would be void (and we’d be worse off than atheists, for we’d be preaching something that puts us deeper in debt).
- Satan can’t win because he’s already lost. Jesus whooped him on the cross and in His resurrection.
You are correct when you say that God doesn’t wish for any of His creation to perish in Hell, for Hell wasn’t even created for humans, but for Satan and his demons. In fact, God’s love for all His creation is what led Him to die for us in the first place. But with that same love, God also gave us a choice: spend eternity with or without Him, but our decision must be made in this life.
I heard a joke once (not in the Bible) that might help you better understand:
A whole bunch of people died at once, and they were in some sort of waiting room. All those who wanted to go with Jesus went to the right side, all those who wanted to go with Satan was on the left, and in the middle of the room was a fence. So while everybody dispersed among the two, one guy didn’t want to choose – he was being stubborn and decided instead to get up on the fence. So a bunch of people left with Jesus, a bunch of people left with Satan, and this guy was left on the fence. About 6 minutes later (like the 6 reference?), Satan returns, looks at the guy on the fence and said, “come on, you’re with me.” The guy replied, “No, I didn’t choose anybody, I chose the fence.” Then Satan replied, “Ah, but you see, I own the fence.”
So back to what I was saying, if someone says that they’re a Christian, but doesn’t believe there’s a hell, he really needs to reconsider what he believes, for such is a contradiction of the Gospel – to them it’s not Good News because Jesus didn’t save them from anything, you see?
Check out these Biblical references for Jesus’ mentions of Hell:
- Matthew 5:22
- Matthew 5:29-30 / Mark 9:43-47
- Matthew 8:12
- Matthew 10:28
- Matthew 13:42
- Matthew 13:50
- Matthew 18:9
- Matthew 22:13
- Matthew 22:33
- Matthew 24:51
- Matthew 25:30
- Luke 12:5
- Luke 13:28
- James 3:6
- 2 Peter 2:4
- Revelation 20:10-15
- Revelation 21:8