Posted: February 6, 2014 at 3:04 a.m.
DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I don’t have a problem believing God is kind and loving (in spite of all the bad things that happen in the world). However, I can’t believe that a loving God would ever send anyone to hell when they die. Jesus is too loving to do that.
DEAR N.McG.: It may surprise you to learn that no one in the Bible spoke more about the reality of hell than Jesus. He declared, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Those are sobering words, and we need to take them seriously. Hell is real, and not one word about it in the Bible would ever make you want to go there. Those who thoughtlessly say that they look forward to going there because all their friends will be there simply haven’t realized its horror. If there is no hell, then we live in an unjust world in which tyrants and abusers and other evildoers will never pay for their evil deeds. The Bible calls it a place of “outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:30, KJV).
But it’s important to realize that Jesus spoke about hell’s reality out of love. Yes, hell is real, but God doesn’t want you to go there! This is why He provided a way for us to be with Him in heaven forever, by sending His Son into the world to die for our sins.
Don’t ignore hell’s reality, but most of all, don’t ignore God’s love for you. By a simple step of faith turn to Jesus Christ and trust Him alone for your salvation.
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
Weekend, Pages 32 on 02/06/2014