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Why would a good God...? (1)

Why would a good God...? (1)
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 118:1

There are many Scriptures that declare God to good, wholly good, and that praise Him for it. Romans 2:4 says that it is God’s goodness and kindness that is what should lead us to turn to God in repentance. However, the problem isn’t over whether the Bible says God is good – but questions sometimes arise in people’s minds because of what they see or experience. So, let’s explore some of these questions by asking, “Why would a good God..?”

Why would a good God send people to hell?

The Bible is clear that at the final judgment, “…He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Mt 25:41). Hell is presented as real in the Bible, Jesus Himself speaking about it more than anyone else. Some people see this as contradicting the idea of a loving and good God. But let’s think more carefully about it.

The concept of hell isn’t random or arbitrary. In other words, God didn’t just invent it with qualities He thought we’d hate or that would make us suffer. Second Thessalonians 1:9 describes it this way: “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” In other words, hell is existence without God’s presence – without ANY of God’s positive characteristics. We aren’t in the direct presence of God now, but we still indirectly benefit from God’s positive characteristics (that’s why we have some love, joy, peace, pleasure, etc. – even though not in their perfect forms). It will not be possible to have or experience anything good in hell because all goodness has its eventual source in God, and His presence won’t be felt in hell.

Perhaps the most important thing to understand here is that God doesn’t actually send people to hell – they choose it. Life on earth is our time to choose if we want to be with God in eternity (with all His perfect good characteristics) or go away from God in eternity (and all His perfect good characteristics). Not everyone realizes that this is what they are choosing, but it is what they are choosing. Note: God is good to allow us this choice. It wouldn’t be good for God to force us to be with Him. And taking away our ability to choose (free-will) would just make us robots. What kind of relationship would that be with God?

So, God wants us to choose to be with Him so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die, to forgive our bad choices (sin), and to demonstrate how much He loves us and wants us to be with Him now and forever. He is saving us from hell. NOW THAT’S A GOOD GOD!     dd