Robert Morris — A Tough Question
Turn to Romans 1 and Isaiah 5, and we're gonna begin a new series called "The End... What Happens Next". While you're turning, Romans 1 is where we'll begin and then we'll end up in Isaiah 5. I'll just tell you a funny story, I asked my daughter permission to tell this story. My daughter is wonderful, godly young lady, but she's blonde. And I'm not talking about the color of her hair either, because it can be lots of different colors I've found, but she's brilliant, she's actually brilliant, but she just says things. You know what I mean? She just says things every now and then.
So I was driving her to work this last week one morning because her car was in the shop, and she just got extremely upset. She said, "Look, look at that. Look at that. Look dad, look, look, look at that". And I said "What"? She said, "That lady in that car is using sign language to the other lady, the driver is using sign language, dad". I said, "What is wrong with that"? She said, "Dad, blind people are not supposed to drive"! Anyway, I explained that to her and so... okay.
We're beginning this new series called "The End" and we're gonna be talking a lot about Heaven and Hell and eternity, and the judgment, and the second coming of Christ even. But this first message I entitled, "A Tough Question", "A Tough Question". And here is the tough question I want to answer. How could a loving God send anyone to Hell? Have you ever heard that question? Maybe you've even wondered it. Most of the time when it's asked, it's asked in an accusatory way. You know like, "How could a loving God send anyone to Hell"? Now, sometimes it's asked by well meaning people that would say, "I don't understand this", and so we're gonna delve into that.
There are only two points that I have in this message I'm gonna tell you to answer that question, here's point number one, God is a just God. God is a just God. Now let me tell you what I mean by that. I mean that there will never be an unjust judgment from God. God will never give an unjust judgment to any person, and this actually brings up another question that I want to answer to help us understand the first question, and that is, "Would God send someone to Hell who has never heard the Gospel"? Have you ever heard that question? Have you ever thought about that? If Jesus Christ is the only way, what about a person that lived before Jesus? What about a person that lives somewhere remote and never ever hears the Gospel? Lives on this earth, never hears the Gospel, would God send that person to Hell? Remember now, God is a just God. God will never give an unjust judgment to any person.
So, Romans 1:18-20, "For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness because what may be known of God" listen very carefully, "what may be known of God is manifest in them", remember the word in, "for God has shown it to them". In them and to them. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without an excuse".
Let me make this statement, since the beginning of time, God has testified of Himself to every person so that no person has an excuse for an unrighteous life. Since the beginning of time God has testified of Himself to every person. Remember, God's a just God. See, when we ask these questions so many times we try to answer them with human logic. Please, please, please, never answer a biblical question without the Bible. The Bible has the answer to all of these questions and we try — we argue, we debate, and we have all this human logic that does not help at all to answer a biblical question. A biblical question must be answered with the Bible. God has testified of Himself to everyone and He does it according to this passage internally and externally. He will testify inwardly, and outwardly.
Think about this, every person has a conscious, every person has a conscious, that conscious came from God. That conscious talks to us from the time that we're very small. God testifies of Himself in us and to us externally. You cannot look up at the sky at night and not wonder at some point in your life if there's a God. You can't. God's creation testifies of Him, and God reveals Himself to every person. I want you to think about this, how many of you had an experience something like this during childhood. Somewhere in your childhood you had a wondering or a seeking hunger to know God or know about God. Can I see your hand? You'd say somewhere, I just remember, or maybe when you got a little bit older. Listen, that's God. No person will ever, ever, be able to say to God, "No one told me", because here's what God's gonna say, "I told you. I revealed myself to you. I put a hunger in your heart for me, and you turned away from me, and you led a rebellious life".
And, I wish I had time, I could do a series on this one point right here, but let me clarify something else about this, every person, the Bible teaches, and I could have given you more scripture rather than Romans 1, every person though, every person who seeks God will find God. Let me read you a few scripture, we'll get to Isaiah 5 in a minute. Proverbs 8:17, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me". Jeremiah 29:13, "And you will seek me and find me, when you search for me with all your heart".
Matthew 7:7-11, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives", everyone, it doesn't just say believers. "And he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What man is there among you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish will he give a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father who is in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him"? He's talking to the whole world here. And then Acts 17:26-28, "And He has made from one blood every nation of men", in other words, we all go back to Adam.
You ever met someone who had the same last name and you say, "Well, we're related somewhere"? That's crazy, you're related to me. You're related to the person you're setting beside, or behind, or in front of that you've never met. Does not matter what ethnicity they are, what race, what culture, what nation, does not matter. We all go back to Adam. "He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings". Watch now why God did that. "So that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being". There was a song, popular song years ago about that, that's the verse it came from. This grope, the word grope in the Greek means to make an effort despite difficulties. If a person will simply make an effort, God will reveal Himself to Him.
So no person will ever receive an unjust judgment from a just God. No person. Here's the second point, God's a loving God. God's not only a just God, God's a loving God. So, here's the question, "How could a loving God send anyone to Hell"? Okay, in order to answer that question, we must answer it from a biblical perspective and from God's perspective, and it's possible that you've never even thought about it from that way. God did not create Hell for people, as a matter of fact He sent His Son that no one would have to go to Hell. Whether people knew about Jesus, even before He came, or after He came, Jesus came to pay the price for every person. So that if a person would seek for God, they would find God and their sins could be forgiven through the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us," now listen, this is God. "Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance". Okay, to answer this question, I want to give you some stories, and I want to show it from a different perspective. Can a loving God, how could a loving God send anyone to Hell? Okay, a different perspective, alright. I want you to just stay with me for a moment. I want to take it from the perspective of the inexcusable rebellious rejection of a loving God. The inexcusable, they were without excuse, rebellious rejection of a loving God, and let me tell you four stories from the Bible, alright?
The first story is found in Isaiah — you don't have to turn to these, just write if you want to read 'em later — Isaiah 14 and Revelation 12. It is the inexcusable rebellion of Lucifer and a third of Heaven. Lucifer was the worship leader in Heaven, and he was so beautiful and so persuasive he convinced a third of the angels to rebel. Now, here's something I want you to remember about this, they weren't born in the ghetto. They didn't have a bad father. They were never mistreated, there was never sin anywhere in Heaven, and God never did anything, anything to warrant their rejection. Never. But they rejected God and rebelled against God.
That's before we were even created. Satan was hurled to the earth, the Bible tells us, like lightning. I personally believe that that's when Hell was created. I'm just telling you, if you think someone on this earth can throw a fastball, you ought to see God. I believe Satan was hurled to the center of the Earth. Many theologians believe this, and Hell was created for the Devil and his angels. Now, that part, we know it was created for the Devil and his angels because Matthew 25:41 says, "Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels when they rebelled against God".
Now, just for a moment I want you to think about this, have you ever been rejected? Anyone here ever been rejected? Okay, did it hurt? It's actually the greatest hurt that we ever experience. Isn't it? It's the greatest hurt. Okay, why do we think it didn't hurt God? We think of God as a clinical, emotionless, sterile being, and yet we were created in His image. Let me just ask you a very simple question, where do you think you got your emotions from? You got 'em from God. We can grieve the Holy Spirit. Joy, is a fruit of the spirit, anger, God has emotions. So, He was rejected. it's an inexcusable rejection of Lucifer and the angels, so then God creates man, but He creates man in His own image. You know what that means? It means He has a will, He has a choice, and Adam and Eve, this is four stories, Genesis 3, Adam and Eve reject God.
Now we're not talking about a God they don't know, we're talking about a God that He walks and talks with them every day. We're also not talking about that there was any sin or rebellion in the world, we're talking about a perfect environment. God created them in a perfect environment. They had perfect marriage, perfect health, perfect bodies, perfect love, perfect hearts, perfect conversation, everything perfect. The inexcusable, the inexcusable rejection, rebellious rejection of a perfect, loving God. Adam and Eve rejected Him. Third story is Jesus, I'm going to come back to this story, but Jesus came to this earth and was so rejected that we killed Him.
And the fourth story is found in Revelation 20, and again I'm just kind of hitting a whole bunch of stuff. Revelation 20 tells about a 1.000 year reign, it's called the millennial reign where Jesus Christ rules on the earth for 1.000 years and Satan is bound for 1.000 years. Here's the sad part, at the end of that 1.000 years Satan is released from the bottomless pit — pardon me, he's cast later to the bottomless pit. He's released from where he's been bound for 1.000 years and he leads people in rebellion against God. After Jesus has reigned on the earth for 1.000 years people still reject Him. It's amazing.
Why would anyone reject God? I don't know, but they do it every day. They do it every day. Do you understand when you read the prophets you are reading the stories of brokenhearted men begging people to come back to God. All God wanted was a family, and did you know this, that's all He gets at the end of time. That's all God gets. All He gets is a family. The Heavens and the earth, what we see right now, they're destroyed by fire. Now, God creates a new Heaven and a new earth, but everything here is destroyed, it all goes. The only thing that lasts is a family. And if you want a family, they got to have a choice.
So God created you with a free will. I'm going to make a statement here, the greatest gift God ever gave you in creation, obviously the greatest gift God ever gave is Jesus Christ, but the greatest gift God ever gave mankind in creation was the free will. He gave you a choice. You have a choice. I don't know if you ever thought about this, but when you stand in front of your dishwasher and it's washing dishes, you don't celebrate, unless you know, it's been broken for a long time or something and you just got it fixed. But every night you don't stand there and just celebrate, hoot and holler, because it has to. It has to, it's a robot, it's a machine. But if your husband washes dishes you celebrate. He doesn't have to, he has a free will. Is that right?
Listen, when someone who doesn't have to, loves you, it's meaningful. When someone who has to loves you, it's meaningless. Let me say it another way, would God send someone to Hell? No, He wouldn't, but people send themselves to Hell all the time. People do it all the time. See, you have a choice, you need to understand that. Your eternal destination is made by you, not God. We just want to blame God, and "Well God", and "what about the person who doesn't know"? He does know. He's a just God, He's a loving God. We just have all these human error that was given to us by Satan to turn our hearts against God, and I'm telling you, it's your choice, it's your choice where you spend eternity. You have a free will.
You know, it's like having a guy chained to a chair and you say, "you know, I just appreciate you spending this quality time with me". And the guy says, "Sure, any time". You're not chained to a chair, nobody forced you to come to church. Nobody's gonna force you to accept Jesus Christ. No one's gonna force you to read the Bible or pray. The only reason you'll ever do that is because you voluntarily choose to love God. It's completely up to you. Let me show you now, Isaiah 5. While you're flipping over to Isaiah 5, let me just say this, it is true that God chose us before we chose Him, but He chose everyone in the world. It does not say "For God so loved the believers", it says "God so loved the world". 2 Corinthians 5, "God was in Christ Jesus, reconciling the world".
We talk a lot about the election, the choosing and all that, and people don't even understand doctrinally what the election is talking about. But let me tell you this, God chose everyone, but the only people in Heaven are the people that chose Him. Okay, now I know this is a long passage, but it's very, very important. This is going to shake you what we're about to read. Isaiah 5:1, this is Isaiah, this one of those broken hearted prophets.
"Now let me sing to my well-beloved". He's talking about Jesus, God. "A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard". Vineyard are people. "My well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill. He dug it up and cleared out its stones". Now I want you to watch some things He did for this vineyard, cause you're gonna see it again in a minute out of Jesus' own mouth. "And He planted it with the choicest vine". Remember, Jesus said "I am the vine, you are the branches". "He built a tower in its midst, and He also made a winepress in it". Tower referring to the pulpit or the church, and the winepress referring to the Holy Spirit. "So He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, please, between Me and My vineyard. What more could have been done to My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why then when I expected it to bring forth good grapes did it bring forth wild grapes"?
And you can read the whole passage later, but look down at verse 11. "Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them! The harp and the strings, the tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands. Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; their honorable men are famished, their multitude dried up with thirst". Now watch 14 very carefully, you're gonna see something doctrinally you may have never heard before, or never known. "Therefore Sheol," and Sheol is the Hebrew word for Hell, "Sheol has enlarged itself". Hell has enlarged itself, "And opened its mouth beyond measure; their glory and their multitude are their pomp, and he who is jubilant shall descend into it. People shall be brought down", people are now gonna go to Hell. "Each man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled".
Okay, listen to me very carefully. Hell was not created for people. It was created for the devil and his angels, that's Matthew 25:41, I believe it was created at the fall when he was hurled like lightning out of Heaven. Okay. But here's what God says, "I planted this vineyard, I gave it every opportunity to succeed, but men chose sin instead of me, and because of that Hell has now enlarged".
Now, don't get hung up on the word Sheol. I am upset at Bible translation by the way, I'm bothered by it, because they took Hell out of it, and it's foolishness to me, it's foolishness. Because Sheol, the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, New Testament written in Greek, and in the New Testament you'll see Hades, you'll see the newer versions, now the old King James, although I don't use it, I use new King James, but the old King James uses the word Hell. And here's what bothers me, Hades is the Greek word for Hell, and Sheol is the Hebrew word for Hell, but why, when you're translating the Bible into English, why do you put a Hebrew or a Greek word back in there?
And listen to this, Hell was enlarged by necessity, not by design. Hell was enlarged because of an inexcusable rebellious rejection of God. Now this next passage I want to read you, and I'm not having you turn to it, I just want you, you can watch it on the screen, but remember, a vineyard, a winepress, a tower, remember all that? I want you to read what Jesus Himself says, and remember Hell was enlarged because this vineyard turned against its owner.
Matthew 21:33-39 says, Jesus said, "Hear another parable; There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country. Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another". That's the prophets. "Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' So they took him and cast him," or led him outside, "of the vineyard and killed him".
This is the third story I told you I'd come back to, the inexcusable rebellious rejection of Jesus Himself. I named this "A Tough Question" and you think that the tough question I'm answering is how can a loving God send anyone to Hell, can I tell you something, that is not a tough question. When you understand theology and scripture that's not a tough question. So, that's not actually the tough question. The tough question is not how can a loving God send anyone to Hell. The tough question that I can't answer is how can anyone reject a loving God? How could anyone, including you, because it's your choice, reject a loving God?
I hope this message has helped you to understand that God does not send anyone to Hell. God created us in His image, and gave us all a free will. Where you spend eternity is entirely your choice, and you are watching today because God loves you, because God wanted you to know you have a choice. So I want you ask you to choose Jesus Christ right now. Choose Jesus as your choice. Choose eternal life in Heaven as your choice. Right now, in your heart just tell the Lord, "Lord, I receive you, I thank you that you died on the cross for my sins, and I receive you as my Lord and Savior". And if you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or if you need prayer for something else in your life, we would love to hear from you. Contact us, we'd love to help you.