Question:

How do we handle verses like Revelation 20:15: “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire”? How could a loving God send anyone to Hell?

Answer:

How could a loving God send anyone to a lake of fire (referred to as hell) where they will suffer day and night (v. 10)? A place with only an entrance, but no exit. Unrelenting torment. No escape possible.

The ultimate issue is not that He has rejected them. Instead, they have rejected Him. When His Son died on a cross, there was no person for whom He did not die and no sin for which He did not pay. His resurrection on the third day was God’s announcement to the world that the payment for sin was final and complete. Anyone, anywhere can be forgiven.

Those who trust Christ make the choice to accept what His Son did on their behalf. Those who reject that free gift of forgiveness and eternal life have also made a choice. They have said to God, “I reject your sin payment for my sin problem.” Therefore God has no choice but to punish them for their own sin. God is not only loving; He is just. A just God has to punish sin.

Instead of asking, “How could a loving God send anyone to hell?” we ought to ask, “How could a just God make it possible for anyone not to go to hell?” The answer is because He loves us. That love doesn’t change for anyone. Those who go to hell do so not because He turned His back to them, but because they turned their back to Him.