Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Good day Bible Scholars! I am really excited about today’s topic. We are going to talk about whether or not God wants some people to go to hell. This is a . . . well . . . hot topic for many Christians. Some Christians would suggest that God certainly does want people to go to hell – most notable the enemies of the Christian faith. Others would argue that God does not want anyone to go to hell. The whole idea of hell gives us the willies. We are forced to confront the reality that people who reject God’s salvation through Jesus Christ are condemned to spend eternity in a lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15.) This is a fearful place to go. The question that Christians have struggled with is whether or not God wants people to go there. If God is infinitely merciful (Hebrews 8:12) then he would never want anyone to go to hell. If God is infinitely just, (Deut. 32:4), he must want some people to go to hell since some people offend that justice.

Let’s try to settle this discussion. What does the Bible say about this specific question? Let’s take a look.

1 Timothy 2:3-4
God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved.

2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Reviewing these verses, I think it is pretty clear that God does not want anyone to go to hell. 2 Peter 3:9 seems to be pretty clear about this. Cased closed. Thanks for joining us today.

WAIT!! We have more. Check these verses out:

Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Proverbs 16:4
The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

John 12:40
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

Romans 9:18
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.

These verses seem to indicate that God does want people to go to hell. In fact, in some cases, God actually hardens hearts and sends out delusions to prevent them from entering into the blessed covenant with Jesus Christ. We can clearly infer that since God is doing the deluding (2 Thess 2:11-12), God must want some people to go to hell.

What are we to make of this? No wonder Christians are confused. If God is infinitely merciful then the first verses are true. If God is infinitely just, the second set of verses are true. If God is both we have a contradiction ....err…. Houston, we have a problem.

Let us pray. “Oh Lord, you have befuddled us once again. Our brains are just so small and so rational that we are unable to see the infinite irony that is your existence. We yearn to know – is we goin’ to hell or is we goin’ to heaven? Lord, show us your merciful side because we’re just really, really confused down here. In your name, AMEN.”


  1. To get Christianity, two things must be considered. Jesus's teaching came out of the Old Testament and became something new. It left the old behind. View the Old Testament as an early, chopped up, reassembled scripture of another faith. That is why those who listened to Jesus were so astonished. "Is this a new faith? - and he speaks it with such power!" - that, and the fact that he trashed the old rules multiple times. His standard was much higher than the Old Testament - even without following it.

    Then you have the Nobody-taught-me-this-Apostle Paul. He got the second comming straight from visions. Paul taught and developed a whole theology around the just-around-the-corner second coming - and it would happen before Paul died. That is what he taught. Ooops. Really big ooops! He sort of died. If you get the biggest thing in Christianity wrong - maybe, just maybe, the rest of his stuff is wrong also?!!

    That is a long way to get to the gospels - the only legitimate place to learn the teachings of Jesus.
    Guess what? Jesus never said that people were going to hell FOREVER. He said hell is forever - not that man shall be there for ever. (excluding the moral of Lazarus - were he compared two lifestyles - not hell. Jesus said, "judgement according one's deeds" - that might not even include a stay in hell - maybe a more subtle correction is needed!

    Jesus described a place like hell that exists forever. But we cannot find a place in the gospel where he sends people there forever. Or, even talks about an forever-stay. It ain't there!

    People who threaten you and me with eternal hell fire are greedy people who want power and control over us. But there is no back-up by scripture - not that that ever stopped them.

    Then you have this weird greek thing. Jesus did not say hell. He used a place name of a village outside of Jerusalem - a dumpsite where all unclean things and trash were dumped. That is why we have a sulphurous fires and worms that never die in his descriptions. He is descrbing a dump with methane fires and maggots. This made no sense to the Greeks, so they used their own "Hades" and adopted it to the gospels. That is how we got hell, when Jesus really described a dump outside of Jerusalem.
    Cheer up! No eternal hell, even for the worst of us. At least Jesus never taught it.

  2. Hmmm . . . So the Bible is not the infallible word of God after all?

  3. God and Jesus are not fallible.
    But when Paul had 16 gramatical errors in one chapter - the infallible thing sort of goes out the window.
    But scripture is still a valuable guide as we seek, knock, and look for the Source of all sources. The promise is that we SHALL find.