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Chapter 24: How Could He?

I have set out in this book to speak only where the Bible speaks, say and conclude only what the Bible allows.  And in that sense I’m almost satisfied.  Almost.  There’s a reason why 76% of the American population claims to believe in Heaven, but only 6% of that same population claims to believe in Hell.  We simply can’t reconcile how a truly loving God could ever allow the existence of such a terrible place.

It’s important to be reminded of a few truths whenever this nagging question emerges.

  1. Hell was designed for Satan and his angels, not for people.
  2. God is eternal, and making us in His image, He gave us an immortal, eternal soul.
  3. He made mankind eternal so that we could live forever with Him.
  4. We chose to rebel and separate ourselves from Him.  Given our eternal nature, that would mean eternal separation.

If that was the pitiful state of humanity, let’s test our own sense of morality and ask, what would a loving God do to fix things?  Though He wants to, He can’t live for eternity with us because of the irreconcilable conflict between His perfect nature and our decision to choose a sinful nature.  So to remedy the hopeless situation we put ourselves in, out of no obligation besides His unfathomable love for His human family, God offered a way out.  A substitute.  He offered One who didn’t owe any debt of sin for Himself – the only acceptable alternative.  I can’t take on your debt if I’m in debt myself.  Jesus wasn’t in debt.

Jesus would bear the sins that separated us from God, and bury them in Hell.  What would a loving God do?  Exactly that.  He would offer a way out that costs us nothing but the choice to accept.  Understanding that truth, now pause to consider our arrogance for just a second:

  • We screwed up God’s design.
  • We intentionally chose to rebel against Him.
  • We chose an eternity with Satan over an eternity with Him.
  • God offers to fix things for us, and sacrifices His own perfect Son on our behalf.
  • He says to us, “Even in your sinful rebellion that hurt Me, I am offering you the nail scarred hand of my Son.  Take it, and let me lift you into paradise.”
  • We respond by pushing Christ’s hand away, pouting, and questioning how God could even think about letting us go to Hell if He really loved us.

Astounding haughtiness! Egotistical conceit that knows no limits!  Pride that should drag us to the pit of eternal Hell!  And yet there remains one force that can still outreach it all – the love of the Father.

Many times I will hear atheists taunts or read unbelievers write mocking statements like, “You Christians have been watching the sky for Jesus to return for 2,000 years!  Did He forget the way?  What’s He waiting for?”

Here’s a thought.  Maybe He’s waiting for them.  Maybe His delay is nothing less than yet another further demonstration of the long-suffering patience of a God desperate to provide us every chance to choose eternity with Him over eternity in Hell. 

The author of Hebrews begs us, Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in rebellion (Hebrews 3:15).  Why?  Because today could be the last day the offer is made to you, to me, to all of us.

Several years ago I...