For forty years now TV evangelists remind us how much God loves us, so much that millions of listeners have come to believe in universal salvation – that God loves everyone so much no one goes to hell. Some even believe there is no hell.
First, God loves what He created – individuals. Like the potter who uses the medium of dirt (think of Adam here) to make a vessel. Some vessels hold water, some oil and others are simply for decoration. The use of the pot does not give it any status.
Vessels don’t compete with each other for rank. At the same time, the Potter can throw the clay back into the mix if there is a problem. He has to remove as much air as possible or the vessel will be flawed. I know a lot of vessels with too much air in them.
Because we are His workmanship God loves us even when we choose to ruin our lives. His role as creator is not changed by your role as a vessel. Human beings are given the opportunity, called grace, to live forever in His presence. We can reject that gift. And if we do, God’s love continues, because it is Holy.
God loves us even when we choose hell. Perhaps it is hard to believe that; how can God still love us when we are there? Because love is not dependent on what you do or what you choose.
He gave you the chance to choose right and you choose something else,. He is not changed by your decision – saddened yes, changed no. In much the same way a woman who is cast off by her husband still loves him even though he goes after another woman. Her love has not changed. His, most likely, never was love for her at all.
But that is because Human Love does not have its root in holiness, at least not until we have a infusion of God’s Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 “because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
God’s love in us allows us to love others in a new way. Without this there is no explanation for missionaries who endure all kinds if deprivation in order to leave the comforts of home for often dangerous, hostile areas of the world. This love is sacrificial, so God is willing to allow you to reject Him. Either He sacrifices himself on a cross to bring you into His kingdom, or he allows you to leave His kingdom for your own devices. It is a sacrifice either way.
And because humans do not know how to do this, they also cannot imagine God would allow anyone to stay in Hell. Right now some reader is thinking, but doesn’t God send some to heaven and others to hell? Some people teach that?
No, God sent us to earth to live our lives in decision – we decide whether God is central to our lives or Self. I love the early scene in Ghost, the movie. A street gang member kills a man and several black robed demons take the killer off to Hell. It could not be more plain. I bet some Hollywood type out there saw that in a dream. All life is eternal, only where you spend it is your choice.
Human love is bound up in time; God’s love is eternal. We are here for the long haul, not just a few short 75 years, or 80 or more. We have a time-date stamp.