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If God is love, how can people go to hell who
have never heard about Christ?

By John Bueno

Hell was created for the devil and his angels. (See Matthew 25:41.) The whole process of redemption effected on the cross shows that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (See 2 Peter 3:9.) God is also holy and cannot tolerate sin. We condemn ourselves by willfully sinning. By sending His Son to offer up His life, God has provided a way of escape from the just consequences of our sins and has called us to let people know about Jesus Christ and His atoning blood that brings reconciliation between God and man.

If the message of salvation is not communicated to a lost world, it will not be God’s fault, but ours who are charged by Him to relay the message. Ezekiel declared that if we fail to do all we can to warn men of their sins and their need for repentance, their blood will be required at our hands (Ezekiel 33:6). God has commissioned us, His church, to deliver His message of salvation to the world.

Much of God’s just judgment in eternity is a mystery. It isn’t possible to know and understand what God hasn’t revealed. (See Romans 11:33.) Rather, we must believe and obey the truth God has given to us. Nothing takes away our responsibility to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all creation. Our part is not to question and speculate, but to recognize God’s holiness and love — that He is both just and merciful. Ultimately God is the judge. Our responsibility is to do everything possible to let the world know about Christ and His salvation. We must trust everything else to God’s sovereign will.


John Bueno is executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions.

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