A: Although I haven’t read this particular book, the idea that God is so loving that He could never send anyone to hell isn’t new; it’s been around for centuries. (The theological term for this idea is “universalism” — the belief that all humanity will be saved.)
But this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible makes it very clear that hell is real; in fact, it’s just as real as heaven. You might be surprised to learn that Jesus said more about hell than anyone else in the Bible, and constantly warned us against going there. Some day, He said, God will judge the world with perfect justice. When he does, “he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:41).
This is a sobering truth, and we should not dismiss it or take it lightly. Hell, the Bible says, is a place of eternal separation from God, and is the final destiny of all who deliberately reject God and want nothing to do with His Son. Why would anyone want to go there?
But the Bible tells us another truth: We don’t have to go there! God has provided the way for our sins to be forgiven, and for us to inherit the gift of eternal life. That way is Jesus Christ, who took upon Himself the judgment we deserve. Don’t be deceived, but turn to Christ and give your life to Him, for He alone has opened heaven’s door for us.
Q: Can you give me even one reason to become a Christian? I’m in high school, and a couple of my Christian friends keep bugging me to give my life to Jesus. I like the life I’m living right now, and I don’t see any reason to change. But I promised I’d email you. — K.W.
A: Thank you for your email, and for your honesty in admitting why you don’t want to turn your life over to Jesus. And you’re right about one thing: If you ever do give yourself to Jesus Christ, it will change your life.
But you’re wrong to think it would change it for the worse! For one thing, right now you’re living only for yourself, and to you it seems like the best way to live. But is this true? The answer is no — because that kind of life will never bring you lasting peace and stability. You’ll always be looking for one more thrill ... one more relationship ... one more experience.
Eventually, however, you’ll come to the same conclusion as the writer of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament: “Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). Only God can give us lasting joy and peace; every other way will prove false. And that’s one reason why I hope you’ll give your life to Jesus. His promise is for you: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you” (John 14:27).
Don’t be deceived into thinking God’s way is dull and boring, and every other way is exciting and fun. The opposite is true! Life’s greatest joy comes from knowing Christ and learning to walk with Him every day. Discover this truth by asking Christ to come into your life today. You’ll never regret it.
Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit www.billygraham.org.