July 27, 2011
When one thinks about the consequences of a child’s disobedience to parents, punishment comes to mind. It could be in the form of corporal punishment, restriction, “grounding”, etc. Some parents may not correct at all, but the possibility is there. However, no sane parent would ever “send a child to hell.”
The same is true of God. John’s Gospel says, “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12,13 ). God will not condemn any of His children to hell. Just as an earthly father would not deal unjustly with a child, neither will the heavenly Father deal unjustly with any of His children. The key phrase here is “His children.” Only those who reject God’s offer of becoming one of His sons or daughters will be sentenced to eternal doom.
For the record, I do not know why so many religions believe that their god is the architect of a place of torment. Maybe it is because most religions deal with the issues of right and wrong. Maybe it is due to the fact that some religions deal with subjects such as justice and obedience to a “law” of some kind, and the result of breaking that law would be a punishment of some sort. I can only expound on what the Bible says in reference to Christianity.
Paul’s letter to the Romans states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). In the second epistle of Peter the author writes, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The Bible ascribes eternal punishment to God. Just as there are consequences for breaking a man-made law, there are consequences for those who reject the “greatest gift,” Jesus Christ.
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