Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Bible study group was discussing how and why God could justify sending good people to hell. We all agree that someone like Adolf Hitler ought to be in hell. But we also agreed that we know many non-Christians who are better people than many Christians.
It seems so unfair for God to send some bad people to heaven while some good people end up in hell. How can this be?
Thank you, Kelly
We have to stick really closely to the Bible to deal properly with your question.
From my perspective I feel that most people believe they will go to Heaven or Hell based on how good or bad they were on earth. While most people think it will be close, they do believe that they’ll make it to Heaven. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:27-28).
In Romans 3-7 Paul shows us how all have sinned and are guilty. In Romans 1-2 Paul shows us why good men and women aren’t good enough for God’s heaven.
Good people need forgiveness for their sins just like everyone else.
Christians have their sins forgiven at the cross. Because of God’s grace and mercy Christians will never face their sins again. Not so with those who died without a Savior.
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