Post Author: Bill Pratt
God wishes every person to avoid hell and be saved from it (2 Pet 3:9). Christians do not believe God sends people to hell. Hell is freely chosen by those who reject God.
God gave every person the power of free will and the most important decision we will make with that power of free will is whether to embrace or reject God. Since heaven is a place where we spend eternity with God, then for those who reject God, there needs to be a place where they can escape him.
If you are a person who wants nothing to do with God in this life, then wouldn’t it be hell for you to be in heaven with God forever?
C. S. Lewis summarizes this issue well, as usual. He says, “The door of hell is locked on the inside.” All those who go to hell will to be there and to stay there. He adds, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in hell choose it.”
Why doesn’t God force everyone to ultimately choose him so that all people go to heaven? After all, some might say, that is the right thing to do.
The problem with this solution is that God created free human beings, and if he forces them to do anything, then he is violating their freedom. If God forces people to choose him, it comes down to a kind of “divine rape,” a coercion. God’s love demands that he offer people a place where they can freely reject him, forever.