If God loves everyone, why do some go to Hell?

  As most can probably recite, John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In 2 Peter 3:9, Peter says “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” So if Jesus died for everyone, and doesn’t want anyone to “perish”, why will some spend eternity in Hell?

               To understand the answer, you must understand Hell. Hell was not created for humans – it was created for Lucifer (Satan) and his followers, who had rebelled against God and pursued selfish desires. Hell was created as the ultimate punishment for Lucifer, and the angels who followed him, who turned their back on a Holy & Righteous God. Certainly, God did not desire for them to sin and they would have been welcome & loved if they hadn’t turned their back on Him – but they chose their own desires.

               Man, in his original creation, was a perfect man, created in the image of God. Adam & Eve daily walked with God in the Garden of Eden, in a way that is unfathomable to our finite minds. When they chose to sin by disobeying God, death accompanied that sin and entered the human race (Romans 5:12), creating a sin debt that must be paid. Sin and death were not a part of man’s original creation, but now affects everything. Because the debt of sin was passed upon all men, their souls were no longer able to spend eternity with God. The only other destination for all men was Hell (Hebrews 9:27); but Jesus, not wanting anyone to “perish”, stepped in to history to pay our debt, or our sin debt – to give us the ultimate gift of eternal life. But like any gift, it must be received. Without receiving Christ’s payment for our sins, we bear the full and complete responsibilities for our failures to a Holy & Righteous God.

               Last Christmas, I gave each of my children several gifts, as an expression of my love for them. But if they left them under the tree, completely wrapped, and never opened them, what good would it do them? I would have researched, and traveled, and purchased the gift for them – in vain. Yes, the gift was 100% free to them, but if they did not accept it, it will have done them no good. The same is true for Salvation. Christ shed His blood for everyone, but if you reject this free gift, and pursue your own selfish desires, the destination is the same for all of us – Hell – a place created for Satan, but is the only destination, if you have turned your back on His free gift and pursued our own selfish desires.