Faith/Spirituality Forum: Is it fair for good people to go to hell
Is it fair for good people to go to hell QUESTION from Martha on February 9, 2003 do atheists go to hell even if they are good people who lead relatively sin- free lives? is that fair?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on February 16, 2003 Dear Martha:
Yes, it is fair. It is not possible for God to be unfair.
Those who go to hell do so by their own choice. If they reject God with their dying breath, God is not going to force Himself on someone. What kind of God would force us to love Him? How can love be love if it is forced?
We each have a choice to love and accept God or to reject Him. God respects our decision.
In the same manner a parent loves his child and wants to be in followship with his child, if that child grows up decides he doesn't want to be around his parents and leaves for places far from the parents, the parents cannot stop him. They still love him, but they cannot stop him. The child has made his own decision to reject his parents. No matter how good a life the child leads, the fact remains that he as rejected his parents.
Thus the child cannot receive his inheritance, not because the parents withheld it, but because the child will refuse it.
This is what happens to all souls who go to hell. They have rejected God and refused His inheritance. They made their bed, and then must lie in it.
But it does not have to be so. We need to pray for all people who have rejected God. Pray for their souls. Pray that they will somehow come to a knowledge of God's love and will accept that love. If they do accept it, then they may spend eternity with God. If they reject it, then they will spend eternity without the light and warmth of God's love -- again NOT because God withdraws that love, because He never does that, but because the person will for eternity refuse to accept that love.
As the famous painting of Jesus knocking on the door, there is no doorknob on the outside for Jesus to use to open the door. The door is on the inside. We must open the door to God.
Similarly, those in hell are not locked in from the outside. They are locked in hell from the inside. They lock themselves in.
Is is fair? Yes. God loves us so much that He respects our decision to reject Him and will not force us. There can be nothing unfair about it, because it is the natural consequences of our own choices.
If one does not want to spend eternity without the light and warmth of God's love, they can do something about it..... CHOOSE GOD.
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