For the best possible explanation of this anomaly we turn to a quote from the late Jan Crouch during a stage drama she narrated many years ago. We truly feel there isn’t much more that needs to be said on this topic and we hope this clears up any questions. Feel free to draw from this the next time you come across someone else who is wrestling with this topic.
Also, check out our site under the tab labeled “Media” then “The Glory of the Resurrection” as we add scenes from this play, including (eventually) this one.
“As the story unfolds, a devil of a snake feeds man a line … and an apple ... and gullible Adam swallows them both. The one act of rebellion sets in motion a dramatic and erratic courtship between God and man. Though the characters and scenes change, the scenario repeats itself endlessly: God, still the compassionate creator, woos His creation. But man, the creation, alternately reaches out to RUN in rebellion.
‘We are free either to love God or not. He invites us to love Him. He urges us to love Him. He came that we might love Him. But in the end, the choice is yours and the choice is mine. To take that choice from us; for Him to FORCE us to love Him would NOT be love. God explains the benefits of His love, He outlines the promises and articulates very clearly the consequences. But then in the end He leaves the choice to us.
‘Hell was NOT prepared for people. Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels. For a person to go to hell then is for a person to go AGAINST God’s intended destiny. God has not intended us to the terrors of judgement but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Hell is MAN’S choice, NOT God’s choice! Consider this as an explanation of hell:
‘Hell is the chosen place of a person who loves self more than he loves God. Who loves sin more than he loves his Savior. Who loves THIS world more than he loves GOD’S world. And judgment is that moment when God looks at the rebellious, any of us, ALL of us and says, “You’re choice will be honored by me!” [In other words when God sends someone to hell he is basically saying, “You have made your choice ... you didn’t choose me or my ways and now I will honor that choice and give you what you wanted: hell.”]
‘Hell is the ultimate expression of a just Creator. Why? Listen to this: to reject the dualisted [sic.] outcome of history is to say that there is no hell. It leaves gaping holes and any banner of a just God. To say that there is no hell is to say that God condones the rebellious, unrepentant, and those that don’t accept His Savior. To say there is no hell is to portray God with blinded eyes to the hunger of the world and the evil in this world. To say that there is no hell is to say that God doesn’t care that people are beaten and massacred; that He doesn’t care that women are raped and that families are wrecked. To say that there is no hell is to say that God has no justice, no sense of right and wrong, and eventually to say that God has no love. For true love has to HATE evil. So hell is an ultimate expression of a just [blameless and honorable] Creator.”
Jan Crouch, “The Glory of the Resurrection” April 1996
Makes sense. God has given us a choice and therefore cannot be held responsible for our decision. Through his generosity, we have immeasurable means and resources because of Jesus to not only escape punishment but to have an abundant life.
It's been said there will be no one in hell who didn't want to be there. Conversely the same is true of heaven. God will never force you to believe in Him or obey Him.
It's interesting when people are asked what they believe about hell and what their ideas are on the subject. It will illicit a wide variety of responses as well as a great number of parodies and false concepts regarding the “second death” as Scripture refers to it in Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:14 and 21:8. Everything from Hollywood movies to children’s cartoons have been used as propaganda to discredit the truth.
The best way to think of it is that it’s eternal separation from God. Period. It's everything God isn't. There is no peace, joy, comfort, rest, and worst of all … no love. Forever. Jesus described it as a very angry place. A place of great fear, regret and torment.
So the real question is, why would someone go there if God made a way out? Because our first response to God's pleading is to run. We erroneously believe it's difficult to live a life pleasing to God and our natural mind will always resist or reject the thought of it. We miss out on an amazing life with Him by being convinced life is more enjoyable without Him. Satan's job is to lull us to sleep and blind our hearts to the truth. It's what he does. As we see in God's Word though, Satan is a liar and is in fact the FATHER of lies.
Another thing Jesus taught us is that the truth isn't always pleasant but it represents freedom to those who choose to take heed. We close with another quote. This one from an amazing evangelist and teacher, Reinhard Bonke.
“All what we know about hell -- or let me rather say ALMOST all we know about hell we know from Jesus. And if you read the Gospels you will be surprised that Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. And suddenly it struck me why He did this. Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven not to threaten people but to WARN people. You may threaten an enemy, but you will warn a friend. And Jesus spoke to all human beings as a friend. One thing is sure: Heaven is a reality and Hell is a reality. The Word of God clearly states it.” Rev. Reinhard Bonnke
Why would the Lord be so insistent about this subject if it wasn't important? Perhaps a more appropriate question would be: why wouldn't we take heed?
We implore you to accept the Lord’s offer. He is standing at the door knocking. Please invite Him in to stay. A life with Him is never easy and there are sure to be messes and slip ups. We're not perfect and He knows this. But it's in the day-by-day, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other moments that we learn and grow in Him.
Pray this prayer from your heart: “Lord Jesus, please come into my heart. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead because you're more POWERFUL than death. Help me to live for you and never leave my side. In Jesus' name, Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer we would love to know about it. It's important that you fan the flames of your faith so to speak and be on fire for Jesus in a good way. Get connected with a local church and begin a daily habit of prayer and reading your Bible. We have a Bible reading plan under the “Devotions” tab. Tell others about your new decision to serve Christ. Don't hesitate to ask if there's something you need or have questions. Thank you for visiting. God bless you.
The works in these posts are written by either Randy S. Gerardot or Gregory C. Jones, web masters for betheone.co. Guest writers will be credited individually for their work.