“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.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce
Heaven, Hell or Nothingness?
I have a good friend who firmly believes that when we die our bodies decay and that’s the end of it, no afterlife just nothingness, end of discussion. Another friend is a professing atheist, but when pushed with a little questioning will confess agnosticism. By far the most common attitude on the afterlife in my sphere of friends, co-workers and acquaintances is apathy.
I find that many people, upon questioning, have not given the afterlife much thought. I usually hear things like, ‘My life is great and I just don’t have time to go to Church or read the Bible right now.’ This is usually followed up by the standard, ‘but I’m sure God will let me in [to heaven], after all I try my best to be a good person.’ When I have these type of conversations I often find myself questioning the afterlife. What really happens? Then I go running to my brothers and sisters in Christ for reassurance that I do have the truth and we search the Scriptures that confirm, YES, God, through Jesus, does promise us an afterlife in Heaven with Him! (See John 14)
So why would God send anyone to Hell?
- Hell was not made for humans but for Satan and his followers (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Peter 2:4-22; Revelation 20:7-15).
- God is righteous, holy and just and therefore must punish Satan and sin; He cannot allow Satan and his minions to accomplish their evil through us and they will face final judgment (Revelation 20).
- Since Adam and Eve’s original sin happened, through Satan’s deception, this ‘genetic disease’ has been passed down to us.
- Only the blood of an innocent for guilt worthy of death can cover sin and avert judgment—Jesus’ blood sacrifice and defeat of death would be the only permanent way for humans to get back to the intended relationship with God.
- God doesn’t send people to Hell, people choose Hell over life with God.
- Those who choose Satan’s way will do so through God given freewill—the only way real love can be proven.
- We all have a choice and the choice is not without available evidence to all (Romans 1:20).
Let’s look at it this way:
Have you ever had someone pursue you romantically that you were not interested in and you had no desire to get to know. You didn’t even like the crowd that person ran with. They just wouldn’t take no for an answer. Everywhere you go they kept on showing up. Then there are those love letters, so many that it made you sick. If this were the last person left in this world you would not want to be with them. Over the years this person would still attempt to contact you from time to time, but you just ignored their efforts.
Can you imagine that in the afterlife you would change your mind and want to be with that person or live in their house? I think not. And this is how it will be for those who reject Jesus. Even though he pursues us there will be many who want nothing to do with him or any of his crowd. That is how I used to feel about Christianity. I am so thankful that Jesus never quit pursuing me because now I have the peace that passes all understanding in knowing where I will be and whose house I will live in when I pass from this life to the next.
By the way, some of you may have an understanding that mathematically if there is such a thing as eternity then time, as we know it, could not exist. So we cannot make a comparison of time in this life to time in the afterlife. We cannot say that God is unfair. God does not make mistakes and any person who would ever want a relationship with Him in this life will not miss the opportunity to do so, and those who want nothing to do with God in this life will not change their mind in the next.
I have heard it said before that Hell is locked from the inside. I think it was Anne Graham Lotz who said “God is a perfect gentleman, he will not force anyone to come to Him who does not, by their own freewill, want to.”
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment…— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 2 Peter 2, 9 (NIV)
For further reading I highly recommend: The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis
Let me know what you think:
- Does it matter where you spend eternity? Why?
- Do you spend time getting to know the owner of the house you will live in forever?
Join us next week as we start a new topic in our Case for Christianity.
In these posts I am going to continue to present logical reasoning and sound scientific evidence not found in the public school textbooks.
This blog is part of a series. You can start the series by going back to the September 1, 2014 Introduction called A Case for Christianity: Why do we need one?
Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus as Lord. 1 Peter 3:15