“For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil cannot dwell with You.” – Psalm 5:4 (HCSB)
People often ask how a Good God can send people to Hell.
Heaven: More Than a Reward
Heaven and Hell are more than mere places. Heaven is eternal communion with God. Hell is eternal separation from Him.
Although Heaven is a reward, it’s purpose goes beyond pleasure. The pleasure gained from Heaven is a direct result of the perfect communion we gain with God. It is a symptom of the cause. God’s ultimate goal is a relationship with us, and when that relationship is made perfect, it is impossible not to be blessed beyond imagine.
However, the reverse is true for Hell. Hell isn’t meant so much as a place of eternal suffering as it is a result of being completely and totally separated from God for eternity. Should a person reject God, God will not force them to enter into the eternal communion that occurs in Heaven.
Shining Glory of God
In Exodus 33 we learn that entering into the immediate presence of God has some interesting effects. God warns Moses that anyone who sees His face will die. God allows Moses to see His back. The result? When Moses came down from the mountain, Moses face was glowing from the exposure to God’s awesome presence.
God is pure righteousness. He is often compared to light in the Bible.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:4-5 (NIV)
Think about it. When a light is turned on is it possible to stop the darkness from leaving its presence? Darkness cannot exist in the presence of Light. Likewise, sin (or unrighteousness) is destroyed in the presence of God.
Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. – 1 John 1:5 (HCSB)
The Psalmist doesn’t write, “evil MAY not dwell with You.” Rather, “evil CANNOT dwell with You.”
Evil is anything that falls short of God’s righteousness. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3:23 (NIV),
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord involves confessing our imperfection. It is admittance and then rejection of our old behavior (or repentance), our old self. The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:9 (NIV),
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Contract & Purification
Submitting yourself to God and the Lord Jesus Christ is the terms of accepting a new contract (or covenant) with God. That contract is signed by the blood of Christ, who, on the cross, accepted God’s wrath and punishment for all of mankind’s sins. He became your shame. Your unrighteousness. Your filth. Your failures. Jesus became all of those when He was crucified. He accepted the punishment reserved for you. He now offers you the chance of complete purification, to be accepted in God’s presence as if you were His perfect Son, Jesus.
But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Escape from Darkness
You see, without that purification, that sanctification, your darkened spirit will be destroyed in God’s presence because darkness can not exist in the presence of Light. It’s just not possible.
“Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—
To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).” (Jude 1:24-25, Amplified)