Question: What do you say to the religious person (Muslim) who asks, “How can anyone believe in a God who would let a murderer go to heaven and me a good Muslim be cast into hell?”
Answer: I had a Muslim taxi driver ask me this question. I told him this was a great question. I was trying to be nice but was actually stalling for time to think about how I was going to answer. I then asked him do you know the two greatest commandments. He said no. I said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) According to the Bible, rejecting God and His Son is extremely bad and committing murder is horrible. I then asked him which is worse, to reject God and His Son or to commit murder? He didn’t answer. I told him if the greatest commandment was to love God, then the greatest sin was to reject God; greater than even committing murder. Both are extremely bad but from God’s point of view rejection of Him is greater. If you turn your back on God and His Son you cannot be forgiven. However, God can forgive a murderer. Jesus died for all sinners. I asked him, does that make sense? He said yes but he didn’t like it.
God desires to forgive anyone who places their trust in Jesus Christ and that even includes a murderer. God’s great mercy extends to everyone who wants to follow Jesus. Yet, God will not forgive someone who rejects him. Rejection of Christ, God’s Son is the same as rejecting the God the Father. Jesus speaking in John 15:23, “He who hates Me hates My Father also.”
Question: Why do you believe in hell? Why would Christianity hold such a horrible teaching?
Yes I do believe in hell. Here are my reasons and why Christianity cannot change:
- The Bible teaches about it. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I am under the authority of the Bible.
- Jesus taught more about hell than anyone else. Am I going to call Jesus a liar?
- Hell provides for ultimate justice. Stalin, Lenin, Mao Tse-tung, Khrushchev, and Hitler murdered over a 100 million people (1995 Guinness Book of Records). They will receive the punishment they deserve for all eternity.
- Punishment in hell preserves the holiness and justice of God. If God just winks at moral wrongs and simply forgives people without a penalty, then He is an unjust God and not worthy of worship.
- The Christian Worldview is a systematic belief that tries to explain reality. If hell is real then Christianity cannot get rid of the doctrine. Either hell exists or it doesn’t. Jesus taught hell is real and therefore is part of Christianity.
Do I like the doctrine of hell? It is not about whether or not I like this teaching. It about whether it is the actual destiny of non-Christians. It is about truth and not about feelings. I don’t like thinking about hell or even talking about it. Hell is not something anyone would dream up. It is a doctrine that is a stumbling block for many people who are investigating Christianity. I believe hell exists after death because the Bible clearly teaches it.