What Are Our After Life Beliefs?
After Life Beliefs can be discussed in 2 aspects:
Part 2: Hell
How can God, who is love, send men to hell to suffer eternally? Since He loves every human being, shouldn’t He allow everyone to go to heaven?
God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek 18:23). Like the prodigal son’s father, He wants everyone to turn from evil and live (Lk 15:11-24; Ezek 18:31,32; 33:11). How can God not love you? Out of His love, He even gave His own son to us so that we may have eternal life (Jn 3:16,17).
While God offers everyone love and forgiveness, He does not force His love on those who do not want it. Because He loves us, He wants us to be free. We are given free choice to accept or deny God’s love. God does allow everyone to go to heaven, but not everyone chooses heaven. If a person chooses to sin and refuses to repent, he chooses to reject God’s love. By rejecting God’s love, he chooses hell because hell in essence is the absence of God’s love.There is no other choice, since the only place where God’s love
does not exist is hell.
If so, can God forgive those who don’t believe in Him? How can God not forgive them or is there anyone really so evil as to deserve the eternal punishment of hell?
God does not intend to send anyone to hell. Instead, He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). We should not think of hell as God’s vengeful punishment. Hell is a choice. People choose hell by rejecting the grace of God. When we sin, we choose to be separated from God, and this separation is exactly what hell is—eternal separation from God, His love, and His joy. Our very action of sinning is its own punishment.
When addressing the question of whether anyone deserves hell, Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli explains, “Hell’s punishment fits sin’s crime because sin is divorce from God. The punishment fits the crime because the punishment is the crime. Saying no to God means no God. The point is really very simple. Those who object to hell’s over-severity do not see what sin really is. They probably look at sin externally, sociologically, legalistically, as ‘behaving badly.’ They fail to see the real horror of sin and the real greatness and goodness and joy of the God who is refused in every sin. We all fail to appreciate this. Which of us fully appreciates God’s beauty? The corollary immediately follows: which of us fully appreciates sin’s ugly horror?”
If God makes everyone go to heaven, including those who do not want God or to be forgiven by Him, then human beings have no free choice. God does not force anyone to be in heaven, although His grace of forgiveness is available to all. We need to make the choice to accept this grace.
God loves you. He manifested His love by sending His only Son to die on the cross so that He may open the new way for us to be reconcile with Him. How can God not save us who are His creation? God loves us, He had redeemed us with His blood.
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