Summary: How Can a God of Love Send People to Hell? – Sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


• (1). God of Love.

• (2). God of Holiness.

• (3). God of Justice.

• (4). God of Forgiveness.



• You probably know the old story of the primary school teacher,

• Who saw one of her pupils drawing a picture with a crayon,

• Unable to figure out what the picture was,

• She asked the boy what he was drawing.

• Without pausing to look up, he said, "A picture of God."

• The teacher smiled and responded,

• "But nobody knows what God looks like."

• Without looking up, the boy carried on drawing with crayon,

• And said; "Well, they will when I'm finished."

• TRANSITION: Many people have their own ideas and interpretations;

• Of who God is, and what God is like!

• So in order to address the question of a loving God sending someone to hell,

• We need to define a few terms and correct a few wrong assumptions.

• We must define God and those terms from a biblical point of view,

• Otherwise I am just giving my point of view;

• Or arguing a case from someone else’s point of view.


• How Can a God of Love Send People to Hell?

• The short answer to that question is he does not!

Quote: C.S. Lewis:

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”

• The short answer to that question is he does not!

• If we say in life; “My will be done”;

• Then that decision excludes God in this life and the next.

• Ok, let’s look at the longer answer;

• And define some of the terms in the question.

(1). God of love.


• One day a son asks his father:

• "Daddy, will you run the marathon with me?"

• The father answers yes and both run their first marathon together.

• Then one day the son asks his father:

• "Daddy, will you run the Ironman with me?"

• Now the Ironman is the toughest challenge;

• It requires a 4km (2.5 miles) swim,

• 180km (112 miles) biking and 42km (27miles) running.

• Once again the father says yes;

• You can check out the video on YouTube to see how they got on!

• Youtube:

The story of Rick and his Parents Dick & Judy:

• When Rick was being born there was a problem;

• Rick experienced a lack of oxygen deprivation to his brain ,

• As a result Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.

• Dick and Judy were advised to institutionalize Rick;

• Because there was no chance of him recovering,

• And little hope for Rick to live a "normal" life”.

• Dick and Judy had other plans;

• And were determined their son would be included in community,

• In sports, education and one day, the workplace.

• Team Hoyt is an inspirational story of a father, Dick Hoyt, and his son, Rick,

• Who compete together in marathons and triathlons across the country.

• TRANSITION: it illustrates a fathers love for his son,

• And that love is expressed not just in emotions but in action!

• When Jesus wanted to illustrate God’s love and compassion;

• He told the story of a father.

• The parable of the Lost Son (or the Prodigal Son) found in Luke chapter 15.


• In the story the Father allowed the son to walk away,

• He allowed him to do his own thing.

• He allowed him to leave home, to make mistakes and to even waste part of his life!

• The son put himself outside of the father’s rule and influence,

• And reaped the results of his own foolish actions.

• TRANSITION: But when he came to his senses,

• When he repented and headed back home,

• He discovered a loving father waiting for him,

• A father willing to forgive and forget and to welcome him back into the family!

• The Father’s love is seen in allowing the son freedom to choose,

• Love has to be two way, it is a relationship not a dictatorship!

• The Father’s love is seen in forgiving the son of his mistakes and foolishness;

• And welcoming him back into the family.

• The parable is teaching that God is like the Father in the story.

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