FAQ 7: Heaven, Hell, Other Options?

Here’s a second post from Dan Pence, retired pastor who often teaches at our church


Why does god condemn all to hell if they don’t accept him. How can good people be cast in with those who are so obviously evil.

The solution is found as we start to grasp the perfect holiness and love of God.

God is equally holy and love. Romans 11:22 refers to the “kindness and severity”

of God.

Part of the meaning of “holy” is “to be separate – cut out.” God is separate from

anything sinful or in conflict with his character. He does not tolerate sin, disobedience

and rebellion against his authority. Sin is counter to who God is.

“God is Love.” (1 John 4:8) That is the other side of God’s perfect being. His love

is self-giving and leads him to do what will lead to our well-being and holiness.

We struggle with this concept because we have no experience with perfect

holiness and love apart from God.

The Bible is clear. Romans 3:23 states that “all have sinned and fall short of the

glory of God,…” None of us is “good” in comparison to God’s character and desire for

us. We are only good in comparison to each other. In reality, some are better than

others but none of us is holy as a result of our own good works. Our sin separates us

from God. We are saved by God’s grace and love. We can be “justified freely by his

grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24) We gain

access to God’s grace through faith in Jesus’ power to save us by his death and


People condemned to hell have rejected the salvation that is offered through Jesus

Christ – the only one who can save any of us. (Acts 4:12) Judgment and condemnation

to hell is not a whimsical move on God’s part. It is the natural expression of his

holiness because some have rejected his love.

Salvation centers on our continuing belief in, love for and obedience to Jesus

Christ. It is this relationship with God’s son that is crucial and can turn us all into “good

people” in God’s eyes.

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