There's something none of us truly want to talk about. And why would we want to? We’re too busy making our dreams become reality, ensuring our future, and increasing our plans for entertainment from the week’s toils. We don’t have time to consider things like punishment or hell.
Unless of course, it’s about that guy. The rapist. The murderer. The woman whose child died after she left him in the car on a hot day. The middle-aged science teacher who’s been molesting his students. The high schooler who uses her school as his target and plans to kill everyone she sees. Yes. Let’s talk about those people. The ones we can’t understand. The ones who capital punishment was intended for. Because by all means, without confinement or some means punishment, we couldn’t leave the house. In fact, there’s no certainty we’d even be safe inside the house.
But why? Why the need for justice? Why the outcry for judgment? That’s obvious. Protection. But on a deeper level, love. The victim was a mother, a father, a daughter, a son, a person. Someone who was loved. Their loved ones rightly sought retribution. They desired a just judgment because of love. Because of protection. And because given the circumstance, they could not do what was done to another human being. Their love demands a judgment.
What about God? How much more does He love that daughter or that father? How much more does He require justice? The ultimate judge. Void of sin. He has no hint of darkness or evil. Everything He does is right. All His ways are perfect. All His judgments are fair. God gave us the ability to do something He can’t. Sin. It’s impossible for God to do wrong. And yet according to His perfect statues, He only accepts those without spot or blemish into His kingdom.( Ephesians 5:27)
Many pose the question, “How could God send people to Hell?” I pose the response, “How could God send people to heaven?” The hell part I get. But the heaven part puzzles me. You have a God who before the foundation of the world not only knew the world would hate him but planned reconciliation. Would you formulate a plan to create a world you knew would eventually lead you to a physical death? One that resulted from being beaten unrecognizable, tortured, mocked, and betrayed? All that for love?
What makes me so special? What sets me apart? I loved the world. I loved myself. I hated anything that had to do with God. And you knew that. But somehow, knowing that didn’t stop you. I put you far from my mind. I sneered at those who made mention of you. And yet, that didn’t stop you. I became your foe and rallied with those who buried your existence. And yet, that never stopped you.
You still came. You paid the penalty for my punishment. You let me go, scot-free. You changed the laws of justice. You rendered a judgment upon yourself because of love. Because you could never do what I’ve done. And now, what I’ve done warrants hell only when love is refused.
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