Summary: Many have been led to destruction believing the lie that a loving God would not send anyone to hell. This sermon counters the lie.
Series: Lies Satan Tells
A LOVING GOD WOULD NOT SEND ANYONE TO HELL
Without a doubt the most unpopular of all Christian beliefs is the doctrine of hell.
"There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ’s moral character, and that is he believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment" (Bertrand Russell, atheist, "Why I Am Not a Christian," p17).
Before we address the statement that “a loving God would not send anyone to hell,” we must break it down. I think it is interesting that when this statement is made that the adjective “loving” is always used to describe God. It is true that God is a God of love and Scripture teaches us that God “is” love and therefore He can never act out of His love. We must be careful not to define God or His love with our Americanized ideas.
The American description of love is some “feeling” that is passive in nature and never abrasive. It is very touchy/feely.
The American idea of God is a grandfatherly type that is nothing more than a "yes man" who wants to meet our every desire. This is not the love and the God of the Bible.
A. God is Perfect in His Holiness
First, and foremost, God is holy. Holiness is God’s basic character. Isaiah describes God’s holiness as does John the Revelator....
-Isaiah 6:1-3 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory."
-Revelation 4:8 "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come."
I think it is interesting that the angels were not saying, “love, love, love” or “good, good, good,” but “holy, holy, holy.”
B. From God’s Holiness flows His other attributes.
II. BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY HE LOVES US WITH A PERFECT LOVE
(God’s Perfect Love Demonstrates His Holiness)
A. Because God Love Us with a Perfect Love,
He Gives Us Freedom of the Will (Ability to Chose)
B. Because God Gives Us Freedom of the Will,
He Gives Us Freedom to Receive or to Reject Him
- Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live"
-Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
III. BECAUSE GOD IS HOLY HE IS ALSO JUST IN ALL DECISIONS
(God’s Perfect Justice Protects His Holiness)
A. Because God is Just He must Perfectly Judge Between Right and Wrong
B. Because God must Judge Between Right and wrong,
He must issue just and fair judgments for our choices
1. Heaven (Life)
2. Hell (Destruction)
-2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
-Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live"
a. Hell was created for Satan and his rebellious demons
-Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
b. Man who rejects and rebels against God chooses instead to follow the god of this world, Satan
c. Man who rejects God receives the same judgment as the one he chose to follow
"Hell is God’s great compliment to the reality of human freedom and the dignity of human choice" -G.K Chesterton
"No person who ever gets to heaven will be able to point his finger at himself and say, “Look what I have done to get me into heaven.”
No person who ever finds themselves in hell will be able to point his finger at God and say, “You sent me to hell" Dr. Jimmy Millikin.