“Will God send me to hell for not believing in Jesus?”

Judge

This is a fair question, but a question that seems to be built upon a common misunderstanding. Allow me to explain. God does not send people to hell because they “do not believe in Jesus,” rather people send themselves to hell because they stand guilty before a holy, righteous, and just God after having freely rejected their only means of salvation. The only means of salvation is Jesus’ atoning death on the cross for mankind’s sins provided by God. Jesus’ death was necessary (Heb. 9:22) because all people have sinned (Rom. 3:23), and thus stand guilty before a holy, righteous God. To sin (whether it be through lust, greed, idolatry etc.) is a choice people make (Jam. 1:13-16) that violates the moral law that God has written on our hearts and placed within our consciences (Rom. 2:15). And because sinning is a violation of an eternal, infinite God and his laws it requires eternal punishment (Mat. 25:46); punishment that entails eternal separation from God. God is righteous in his judgment (Psa. 7:11) and this means that he cannot simply ignore sin. For God to merely ignore sin and thus allow people a free pass into heaven is a violation of true justice, and if this were to happen then we could accuse God of being unjust, yet he is just (Deu. 32:4). As mentioned it is important that we realize to sin is to deliberately and freely reject God. This rejection will not stop at the grave (an understanding that many people seem to have), but will rather continue into eternity. People who send themselves to hell do not want to be in the presence of God, and God has honoured their decision.

So, will God send me to hell for not believing in Jesus? No, but we will send ourselves to hell if we freely reject his means of salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross. Whether we face eternal separation from God, or eternal intimacy with him is ultimately up to us to decide.

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7 responses to ““Will God send me to hell for not believing in Jesus?”

      • If God demonstrated that He wants the best for me (and everyone) then I would agree. Unfortunately, it does not appear that is the case, especially when taking the Old Testament into account. I wouldn’t want to be close to a God who is willing to kill everyone and start over if things aren’t going to His liking. That’s a weak choice for an all-powerful being.

  1. • Hi, I’m taking a thinking series online course in apologetics but totally new to it and to online stuff (not sure yet how to set website). I enjoyed your article and generally agree with you about our choices. Anyway here is my comment on Hell and the goodness of the judgment that I hope you will reflect on and enjoy. Although God would want all of us to come to Him, God is really good and just even in the judgment as you’ll see near the end.
    Christian Gauthier wordpresssite with only a couple blogs – ourhope:heisrisen
    What does eternal punishment really mean? I agree people have to choose, and Hell is very real and eternal torment is a very critical issue. In fact, think of renowned people for whom Hell was a big factor alongside Evolution and suffering (in one direction Charles Templeton -Farewell to God and Brian Baker -From Faith to Reason, and in the opposite direction ex-atheist Anthony Flew -There IS a God and Greg Boyd’s ex-skeptic father – Letters from a skeptic). Note that although the logic of Creation eventually convinced Flew, he could not believe in Jesus because of eternal conscious torment. As we can see, Hell is therefore a life and death very important subject. Although an oversimplification, please consider what is the Eternal Punishment by answering 6 questions prayerfully:
    1-How long do you believe the judging goes on in the “eternal judgment”? Heb 6:2
    A- Basically Judged & Re-Judged each & every day every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or finally judged just once…but last judgment is permanent, eternal, for the rest of eternity
    2-How long do you believe the saving goes on in the “eternal salvation”? Heb 5:9
    A- Basically Saved & Re-saved each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or fully/finally saved once…but it is permanent/irreversible, for the rest of eternity
    3-How long do you believe the redeeming goes on in the “eternal redemption”? Heb 9:12
    A – Basically Redeemed/re-redeemed each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or fully Redeemed once… but it is permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity
    4- How long do you believe the condemnation goes on in “eternal condemnation”? Mk3:29
    A – Basically Condemned/Re-Condemned each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity
    B- Or finally CONDEMNED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity
    5- How long do you believe the punishing of Hell goes on in the “eternal punishment”? Matt 25:46
    A – Basically Punished/Re-punished each and every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
    B- Or finally PUNISHED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/eternal/for the rest of eternity
    6- How long do you believe the destructing of Hell goes on in “eternal destruction”?2Th1:9
    A – Basically Destroyed/Re-destroyed each & every moment Forever, for the rest of eternity?
    B- Or finally DESTROYED ONCE… but it is permanent/irreversible/for the rest of eternity/eternal

    Were you consistent? Think! Unless you can answer A to #1-3 (for the just), you are inconsistent to answer A to #4-6 (for unjust) because these sentences with word “eternal” are exactly the same. So, if B to #1-3, then you should at least consider B for #4-6. If not, why not? The point of 6 questions is to show that our view and understanding of eternal comes from outside ideas/texts – not the word itself.
    Now, note powerfully that the DURATION can be exactly the same – i.e. all 6 imparted ONCE (redeemed/punished/destroyed fully once) but all permanent, irreversible, for the rest of eternity, hence all ETERNAL. WOW! It would appear that the eternal punishment can be imparted once and is not necessarily equal to eternal torment, when looked at consistently for both just & unjust. Now I think that the common atheists’ cruel monster arguments and the free will arguments both try to explain a misinterpretation of the word eternal.
    Could I attempt to prove this? Could this be the plain consistent meaning for eternal in entire scriptures including Mt 25:46 and especially for all “eternal life” texts. I`d have to say Yes! Although we have a measure of life now, Scripture indicates that eternal life is FULLY GIVEN ONCE at the applicable resurrection/ judgment… when mortality is swallowed up, when we will be MADE ALIVE (finally/fully ONCE but only) at His coming (1Cor 15:22-23), when we receive (once)… in the AGE TO COME, ETERNAL LIFE (Luke 18:30). Notice that in Lk 18:30, Jesus was asked “what” to do to inherit eternal life and Jesus answered “when” – in the age to come. So let’s spell out eternal in Mt 25:46 in a more consistent manner (i.e. the same for both just/unjust).
    “And these shall go away into eternal punishment (a just complete permanent horrific destruction imparted once at the just judgment of God – as per example of judgment of wicked at flood and at Sodom), but the righteous into eternal life” (a permanent life also imparted once at His coming, in the age to come).
    Again, WOW! Once it is understood that the gift of eternal life is basically imparted ONCE in the age to come (per John 6:40 … at last day when raised to life from the dead), we can see that the eternal punishment is also a last day everlasting destruction actually FROM GOD’s CONSUMING APPEARING IN GLORY, a second death, a permanent/eternal destruction to ashes.
    With the above I have shown that eternal conscious torment is not necessarily found in Mt 25:46 (#1 verse quoted in support of eternal torment), unless we want the meaning of eternal to be inconsistent between the just and unjust, based on outside inputs, or verses, most of which are quite figurative (worms, Rev).
    In closing, since Hell is such a big issue for many people like Flew and atheists, I think we Christians should make sure it is fully re-studied with a proper understanding of the word eternal, starting with studying the 6 questions above to fully see our inconsistencies.
    Finally, let’s think about justice: Just like before Flood, evil and injustice is now everywhere (downtown, ISIS, Boca Haram, famines, abuses, war, etc), and our Creator will have once again to restrain evil by cleansing this earth and make it completely new, where there will be no more pain, suffering, evil, death, sin, and especially no sinners writing in pain in Hell, as fully destroyed once. Earth will be re-created “very good”, just like it was in Eden with no traces of evil, death or sufferings, or Hell once the punishment is complete. Just like the ark, there is again only one way to live on. The wages of every sin (big or small) is death. The choice is ours: repent & life in Christ or permanent death. Choose to live – it’s pretty simple – love your neighbor (created in His image) and love Jesus Christ the Creator and Savior.
    Blessings, Christian

  2. Pingback: Will God send me to hell for not believing in Jesus? | Truth in Palmyra·

  3. “And because sinning is a violation of an eternal, infinite God and his laws it requires eternal punishment (Mat. 25:46); punishment that entails eternal separation from God.”

    This is a common argument in the evangelical world, derived largely from Anselm and originating in a feudal society, in which the severity of punishment was proportionate to the social status of the aggrieved party. It was always a childish argument.

    As I said in my other comment, you’re grasping at anything that will allow you to hold on to your belief system. If that necessitates the eternal suffering of billions of your fellow human beings – well, I guess they’re just acceptable losses.

    This is psychopathy.

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