How can a loving God, condemn me to hell? I hear this question quite often. My answer, “He doesn’t!”
Picture this: you are drowning in a lake, and a boat comes to rescue you. The captain of the boat extends his hand and offers you safety. But you survey the people currently in the boat. You see them backbiting and quarreling amongst themselves and you think, I don’t want to be around people like that and you refuse to enter. Or perhaps the people in the boat saw you drowning and made signs to tell you that you were drowning. They told you, you had to swim better if you wanted the captain to save you. Or maybe you think, if I get in the boat, the captain will have all these rule I must follow and I’d rather drown on my terms than be brought to safety and have to submit to someone else’s rules.
All the while, the captain is waiting patiently for you. He pulls up alongside of you and continues to offer you safety. His hand is eternally extended toward you. But the captain will never force you into the boat.
So when you drown, was it the captain’s fault? Or was it your choice?
God did not send His Son, the Good Captain, to drown you. He was sent to rescue you. To extend His hand and offer you safe passage through this life and into the next. Yes, sometimes the people in the boat can be jerks. Sometimes they misrepresent the Good Captain. But they too were once drowning and have not had a true revelation of the grace that was extended to them.
So if you are outside of the boat, I invite you in. The Captain is amazing, loving, and kind. He will give you everything you need – forgiveness, joy, peace, hope, resources. If you are in the boat, remember, a drowning man doesn’t need you to tell him he’s drowning. He needs to know there is a better option.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”
John 3:36 NIV