Why would a loving God send anyone to hell?

It is suggested that you read through the article first to get the overview of the answer and then read it again, slowly, clicking on the underlined hyperlinks to read the Biblical sources in the column to the right. As always, it is suggested that you read the selected verses IN CONTEXT to get the full meaning of each passage.

Why would a loving God send anyone to hell? Especially nonbelievers who have never heard of Him? The answer is, because He is also just. But to understand what this means, let's lay a groundwork for it.

To begin with, why is there a place called hell anyway? The Bible clearly reveals that hell was not made for man but for the devil and his fallen angels. When God first created Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden there was NO possibility that they would end up in that place. God did not create man for death; He created mankind for life and planted the Tree of Life in Eden to insure that life would continue.

What happened? Man disobeyed God and opened himself up to death and hell, although God had specifically warned him against disobedience and told him the consequences. Instead of obeying God, Adam and Eve listened to satan's lie, "You will not surely die!" If man had not disobeyed in Eden, there would be no men in hell today.

Why did God allow man to be tempted? If God had not given Adam and Eve a choice, they would have been little more than androids, soul-less creatures with no choice but to serve God. Giving them a choice meant risking rejection, but God was willing to do that to have man's love freely given in return.

When man sinned, what did God do about it? Did He just consign all souls to hell, and say, "Too bad, you sinned. Goodbye"? No, He put a plan into action that could have potentially keep EVERY soul from hell and death.

What did this plan consist of? First of all, God gave man a promise. When He cursed the serpent (satan), God said, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (seed) and hers; he (Jesus) will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15). Then He provided a covering for man's sin until the promised savior would come.

As the plan of God unfolded, it went through many stages until the time was right to send the Savior. At that time, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, of a virgin, grew up in Nazareth, taught and healed the people. Then He gave His life on the cross to pay for the penalty of man's disobedience from way back in Eden until this day, and far into the future, until the reign of the evil one comes to an end. He was then resurrected by the mighty hand of God, and now is our Intercessor in Heaven.

I still don't understand how a God of love could send anyone to hell, no matter what they did!

When someone offends you, they call you names, or cut in on you in traffic, or back stab you, how does that make you feel? It puts you on the defensive, doesn't it? It makes you want to strike back at the one who hurt you. Why do you feel this way? It seems that there is an outrage inside of us when someone else crosses our sense of right and wrong. We feel that person should be punished. And even more so, when we or one of our loved ones are physically harmed in some way. And when someone we care about is robbed, or murdered, or raped, we have such an outrage that we want revenge. We then assign the perpetrator the title of "criminal" and want him or her to suffer for what they've done. Hollywood has created a lot of revenge movies on this theme, and most who watch them are cheering for the "hero" who kills the motorcycle gang that has destroyed his family, or something similar.

When we say God is "just" we are saying several things about Him:

  1. There is a code of honor that He follows that separates right from wrong.
  2. He is impartial in applying this code.
  3. He will punish those who transgress this code.

Hell, although designed for satan and demons, is where punishment for sin is given to those who are evildoers. We can see where justice demands this action. But what about mercy? How can a God of love do this?

If God did not punish those who harm others, what kind of loving God would He be? Supposed that someone harmed your child, what kind of parent would you be if you didn't step in and stop it? What if you just said, "Because I am a parent of love, go ahead and hurt my child"? We would be outraged, and rightfully so, at such behavior. What if after the child was harmed, we just sat by and let the criminal get away with it? What if we said, "Since I am a loving parent, you are free to go now and harm others"? Again, that kind of behavior is not loving at all.

You see, love must be balanced by justice to be meaningful. Love without responsibility for actions is permissiveness which leads to pain. No loving parent would fail to warn their child about playing in traffic, or playing with fire or drinking household chemicals. No loving parent would let their child put a plastic bag over her head. Evil acts have evil consequences, and love demands that evil be punished.

(Don't forget, of course, that salvation is by grace through faith, and is open to all that believe, no matter what they have done in the past. Jesus Christ's death paid the penalty for all sin for all time for all mankind. And anyone who truly repents and accepts the gospel will be freed from the punishment of hell.)

Think about Hitler. The blood of 11 million people is crying out to God for justice because of Hitler's murderous attempt to destroy the Jews. In his day, Hitler was responsible for the death of 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews. Should this outrage be unavenged? Since God is a God of love, should He say, "Aw, Hitler, you've been a bad boy. But come on in to Heaven anyway"? Of course not!

And Hitler is not the only tyrant that has bloodied the earth with his evil. Throughout history there have been many dictators who have murdered, raped, destroyed, pillaged and ravaged nation after nation. Should a God of love ignore this?

Ok, you might say, I'll buy that. They're all evildoers who deserve hell. But what about those good nonbelievers who have never heard of Jesus? Should they go to hell too?

First of all, who said that everyone who has not heard of Jesus is going to hell? To my knowledge, there is no verse that states this concept. If you know of one, please share it with me.

What is the criterion that determines whom God sends to hell? It's very simple. The only people who go to hell are those who choose to go there! How is that unjust or unloving? Would a loving God force someone to spend all of eternity with Him who didn't want to be there? Would a just God do so?

If someone has never heard of Jesus, how does God judge that person? If "there is no other Name given under heaven by which man can be saved", what if a person has never heard of that Name?

First of all, let me say that this is God's domain. He, and he alone, knows the heart of each individual. We really can't second-guess Him on this issue. The Bible states that "Man looks on the outward appearance, God looks on the heart."

Second of all, if a person has never heard of Jesus, how could that person reject Jesus?

Thirdly, we all live under the law of conscience. God has given us that facility to help guide us in choosing right and wrong. If a person who has never heard of Jesus lives by the dictates of an uncorrupted conscience, why would God reject him or her?

Fourthly, God only holds us accountable for what we know. We faithfully walk by the light He has given us. How can we walk by light we have not received?

Finally, since God is just, He can be trusted to make those decisions fairly.

One more question remains. What should we then do? God has called all man kind into a loving relationship with Him. We can then freely choose whether to accept His love and salvation or not.

The first thing we all must do is make that decision. If we reject God, the matter ends there as far as our responsibility lies for the unsaved. If we don't belong to God, we ourselves have nothing to share about Him with others. The truth is not in us.

If we do accept God's loving plan of salvation, what then? First of all, we must study God's Word to thoroughly understand it, from beginning to end. We cannot and must not trust in what we think we know about God. The only source for true information is from God Himself through His Word. We also need to keep in communication with Him through prayer and fellowship with other believers.

Secondly, we are told to be His witnesses "to the uttermost part of the earth". Here is the crux of the problem: the reason that there is a question in the first place is that Christians have not taken the Word to all of the world. Some are desperately trying to do so, of course. Some are financially supporting missionaries. Some are witnessing when it's convenient. Some are too shy or too uncertain of their own faith. Some are lazy. And some are disobedient. And, unhappily, some are fraudulently pretending to do so, but taking the money of others deceitfully. Where do you fit in?

Hell originally created for the devil/demons:
Matthew 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'"
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.
The Tree of Life
Genesis 2:8-9 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:22, 24 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."...After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Revelation 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
See also: Revelation 22:2, 14,19
Man's disobedience
Genesis 3:6-7 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Romans 5:12a, 18a Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men... through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners
satan's lie
Genesis 3:4-5 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
Proverbs 30:6 Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
1 John 2:22  Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist--he denies the Father and the Son.
Why God allows man to be tempted
Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
Deuteronomy 13:3b ... The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
James 1:2-4, 12 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything...Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
It's your choice
Joshua 24:15 "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (god of money).
God's Plan
Psalms 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Amos 3:7 Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
Ephesians 1:9-12 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
God's Covering for Sin
Genesis 3:21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Psalms 85:2 You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.
Romans 4:7-8 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
Jesus' Mission
Romans 1:2-4 ...the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
I Peter 20:10-11 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
Revenge
Deuteronomy 32:35 [God says] "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."
1 Samuel 24:12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you.
Hebrews 10:30  For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."
God is Just
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Psalm 9:7-8 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.
Isaiah 3:10-13 Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. .. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
Code of Justice
I Kings 8:31 "When a man wrongs his neighbor and is required to take an oath and he comes and swears the oath before your altar in this temple, then hear from heaven and act. Judge between your servants, condemning the guilty and bringing down on his own head what he has done. Declare the innocent not guilty, and so establish his innocence."
Proverbs 16:2 All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
Malachi 3:18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
God is Impartial
Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
2 Chronicles 19:7 "Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery."
Romans 2:11 For God does not show favoritism.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism..."
1 Peter 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.
God Punishes the Wicked
Proverbs 24:12 If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?
Romans 1:19-20 "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Colossians 3:25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.
Matthew13:41-42 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Harrm
Genesis 42:38 But Jacob said, "My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow."
2 Kings 8:12 "Why is my lord weeping?" asked Hazael. "Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites," he answered. "You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women."
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done.
2 Peter 2:13a They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done...
Non-Christians accepted by God in the NT
Matthew 2:1-11 (English-NIV) After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.
Matthew 8:5-11 (see also Luke 7:2-9) When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, `Go,' and he goes; and that one, `Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, `Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 9:40 "[Jesus said] for whoever is not against us is for us."
Acts 10:1-4 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.
God Looks on the Heart
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
1 Kings 8:39 ...then hear from heaven, your dwelling place. Forgive and act; deal with each man according to all he does, since you know his heart (for you alone know the hearts of all men),
1 Chronicles 28:9 "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever."
Galatians 2:6 As for those who seemed to be important--whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance--those men added nothing to my message.
Rejecting Jesus
John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
1 John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.
The Law of Conscience
Genesis 20:4-6 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, "Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Did he not say to me, `She is my sister,' and didn't she also say, `He is my brother'? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands."
Then God said to him [Abimelech king of Gerar] in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her [Sarah, wife of Abraham].

Job 27:6 I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
Acts 10:34-35 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. "
Romans 2:14-15 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
Accountability
1 Samuel 2:3 "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed."
Luke 16:15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
I John2:8-10 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.
God can be trusted
Genesis 18:25 "Far be it from you to do such a thing--to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
Psalm 96:10-13 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.
Isaiah 11:1-5 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD-- and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
The Truth
John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
Romans 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
I John 1:6-8 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
Study God's Word
Proverbs 1:1-7 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-- let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-- for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Communication by prayer and fellowship
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
I Thessalonians 5:15-24 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
1 John 1:3, 6-7 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ...If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Be His witnesses
Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation."
Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Romans 10:12-15 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Knowledge of God
Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
I Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
God's Attitude towards the Outsider
Exodus 23:9 "Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt."
Levtitcus 19:33 "`When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God."
Deuteronomy 10:18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
Deuteronomy 27:19 "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
Isaiah 58:6-7 "Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"
Matthew 22:9-10 [The Kingdom of Heaven is like a King who said] 'Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'
So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Conviction of Sin
John 16:8-9 When he [Holy Spirit] comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;
1 Thessalonians 1:4-6 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Burden for Lost Souls
Ezekiel 34:4-6 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
Matthew 18:14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.
Luke 15:4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?"
Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
What the asker knows about God's work in the lost
Isaiah 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
John 10:16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.
Salvation is Specific
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
Romans 10:9-13 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
Revelation 3:20-22 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
All references NIV unless otherwise stated. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved.
For further thought and study:

What might this question reveal about the asker?

  1. It may reveal a lack of knowledge about God, who He is, what He does and how He feels.
  2. It may reveal that the Holy Spirit was been convicting the asker and that the asker is trying to deflect by accusing God of sin.
  3. It may also reveal that God has given the asker a burden for lost souls that he/she is not acknowledging. Instead of bringing the message of salvation to those he/she should be ministering to, he/she is blaming God for their lost condition!
  4. It may reveal a lack of knowledge about man's free choice in the matter - that God will not force anyone to spend eternity in Heaven if they choose not to.
  5. It limits God's ability to work in people's hearts to what the asker knows about them.
  6. It creates a problem by generalizing salvation instead of making it specific to each individual as God does in His Word.

 

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