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I can't believe in a God who would send someone to hell, or who wouldn't

I can't believe in a God who would send someone to hell.  I can't believe in a God who wouldn't send someone to hell.  Which is it?
Tom Spence

Sometimes people tell me that they can’t believe in a God who would send anyone to hell.

Sometimes people tell me that they can’t believe in a God who would not send somebody to hell.

There is a rather simple but fully explanatory term for both groups of people.



That’s a little harsh, isn’t it?

Maybe, but I still believe it to be accurate.

People choose what they believe or don’t believe. I choose not to believe in a God who would send anyone to hell is more accurate.

I choose not to believe in a God who won’t send someone to hell has more fidelity with the truth.

The fact of the matter is that most people want to size up who they think God is before they choose to believe in him.

It makes sense, sort of makes sense, at least in our self-centered, self-gratifying world. I’m not going to buy a car that I don’t like or don’t want or isn’t the right color or brand or whatever other criteria we have discerned to be important to us.

Why not size up our God the same way?

You surely can if you make your god out of sticks or stones or anything with the OU Sooners logo on it.

But it doesn’t work so well with the one true God. His thoughts and our thoughts are not an exact match. The way he does things and the way we think they should be done, don’t always square with each other.

God is God. We don’t get to text in our votes and pick our God as he auditions for us.

We are told God is Spirit.

We are told God is love.

He is holy, righteous, just, pure, and jealous when we make up our own gods.

He just says, “I Am.”

We need to take him at his word and stop trying to figure out if he is qualified for the job.

God is God. We can choose to believe in him or not believe, but we need to stop attaching qualifiers to our belief.

But what if somebody really deserves to go to hell? I mean the person that needs to go to hell, do not pass Go and do not collect $200, just go to hell. What if he grants mercy or forgiveness instead?

How can a loving God send anyone to hell?

These are interesting discussion questions but should have nothing to do with your belief in God.

The universe has one true God. He wasn’t hired after an exhaustive search. We didn’t get his resume off of or use the Deities Direct Recruiting Service.

He is God. We either believe in him or we don’t.

That must be our starting point. After that, if we want to understand him more, we accept the Mind of Christ and are born anew with God’s Spirit.

But as far as saying I can or I can’t believe because only serves to say, “I don’t want to believe in a God that I don’t completely understand. I choose not to believe in God unless I can whittle him down to size and fit him in my box of understanding.”

The rather technical answer to that line of thinking is this.

See if you can follow.


I hope that wasn’t too technical.

God sent his Son so that we could know the God of the universe.

God sent his Son in the flesh so that we could grasp a God we cannot see.

Jesus came so that we can know God the Father by knowing his Son, believing that God raised him from the dead, and deciding to follow Jesus and be born of God’s Spirit.

What are we to do when we don’t understand God?

Trust him.

Obey him.

Love him, and those he told us to love, which just happens to be each other.

If you do these 3, you will end up worshiping him as well, not ritually, but in Spirit and in Truth.

Truth. It’s good stuff. Get some.

Quit being a liar.

Want to challenge your thinking more?

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