How Can a Loving God Send One of His Creatures to the Lake of Fire?
By - Pastor Daniel Inghram, National Capital Bible Church.
The question often asked is how can a loving God send someone to the Lake of Fire? The answer is that God is more than a loving God. He is also a righteous and just God.
All sin violates God’s perfect righteousness. Man’s sin in the Garden severed the relationship that God originally designed. While God still loves us as His creatures (Rom 5:8), His perfect righteousness requires justice for the offense. Separation from God forever in the Lake of Fire is the ultimate punishment for sin that severed the relationship with God. However, there is an alternative for us—everlasting life with God in Heaven.
Only a loving God would provide the way for us to be reconciled to Himself and rescued from the Lake of Fire. We are not in the position to decide the way; God holds that position. God’s way is through His Son's sacrificial death on the cross. The Lord Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross for our sins satisfies God's perfect righteousness and justice (1 Pet 3:18). It is the only way of reconciliation that God will accept. Accepting God's way—believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation work on the cross—is the only way of everlasting life with God in Heaven, and it must be accomplished individually. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31).
A loving God does not choose to send someone to the Lake of Fire; that individual chooses to go to the Lake of Fire of his own free will. God has given us the freedom to choose Heaven or the Lake of Fire. When someone rejects God's perfect way of reconciliation and rescue, then he follows his own plan that ultimately leads him to the Lake of Fire. Thus, the question is not, how can a loving God send someone to the Lake of Fire? The question is: why would someone choose separation from God forever in the Lake of Fire rather than everlasting life with God in Heaven? “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).