If someone asked the question “how could a loving God send anyone to hell?”, how would you answer? There are lots of presuppositions behind that question. It suggests that God isn’t just in sending people to hell. It suggests that hell isn’t a fit punishment for anyone. It suggests that a God that would subject anyone to such a cruel fate isn’t worthy of our worship. It makes man judge over God.
Another question to ask is this: how could God be a God of justice and mercy if people didn’t go to hell? For the victim of sexual abuse, would heaven be a safe place if the unrepentant rapist was there? For the children, would heaven be a safe place if the child molester was there? Would there be harmony in heaven if members of the KKK held their rallies there? Would heaven be a place where we truly set free of sin if we still had to lock our doors in fear of the thieves, the liars, and murderers?
“And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” – Matthew 25:40-41
From this scripture, I’d argue hell isn’t even a place made for us. Alas, it’s a place where the justice of God will be meted out. Scripture also makes it clear what our standing before God is by default. Outside of Christ, we’re described as “haters of God”, “children of wrath”, “having no righteousness of our own”, “dead in sin”, and so on. By our sinful nature, we don’t want God. Why would someone that hates the law of God even want to go to heaven to be with Him for eternity? We don’t.
Not only that, but think about this: we’re made in the image of God. Like God, we have the ability to be rational about our positions. So, think about the law you have set forth in your own home that you’ve been blessed with. Would you allow people into your home if they refused to obey the rules you’ve set forth? What would it take for you to kick someone out of your home?
My advice to anyone with questions about God’s justice is to look at the ground we stand on as part of creation. Outside of God, there is no such thing as justice, morality, or the like. There is only what is. It’s all completely neutral. We’re free to confess these foolish words with our lips, but none of lives as if this is true. I’ll close with words from a man much wiser than myself.