Credit: Martin Sanchez on Unsplash
“Does God love those who end up in hell?” Ruth asked her dad, James.
Ruth’s father had called to check up on her, and as usual, she told him about some challenges she was having with her faith.
“Before you answer that question Daddy, I must confess that my belief in the Christian God goes through a whole lot of challenges. Even the question of why God allows evil to exist is one that I cannot be able to answer satisfactorily. I still think that God, being as compassionate and merciful as He is, should be able to find a way to stop evil.”
“The other day Dad, I was driving my children to the barber shop for the boys to get their hair cut. On the way, we saw a hawker on the street. He was holding the cutest puppies ever, displaying them for sale. I thought they were really cute and when my children saw them, they begged me to buy them and save them from being mistreated. When I tried to explain to my children all the reasons I could not do that, they wouldn’t listen. They accused me of not caring for the puppies. I had many reasons not to buy the puppies. I had already been cajoled by my children to get them puppies and guinea pigs which I did. We were not on the way home and if I bought the puppies we could not go to the barber shop. I did not have the money to buy the puppies, pay the vet to get them checked and vaccinated and to take on the responsibility of more pets. My children did not accept any of these reasons. So dad, what reasons can God give us so that we can fully accept that evil has to be here and that He loves those who end up in hell?” finished Ruth.
James replied; “Sweetheart, my first answer to you is that you need to stop trying to understand God and focus on getting to know Him first. When you try to understand God before you know Him, you cannot resist the temptation to question Him and doubt Him. Getting to know God means trusting Him and opening yourself up to being used by Him. You can only get to know God by submitting to His authority over your life.”
James went on, “God loves all of His creation and just because some of us end up in hell does not mean that God hates any of us. He loves us all but has laws that we must obey and if we choose not to obey, there are consequences. This world is temporary and so even though evil exists in it, one day, this world will end and a new world will replace it. So evil is not a permanent thing. It is only for a short while. Don’t you think that there is indeed an advantage to us experiencing or witnessing what evil is and what it can do?” asked James.
Then he continued; “From my experience, I think that I would not have got to know and love God as much as I do had I never been a slave to the evil that kept me hooked on alcohol. I believe that God would never have allowed evil to exist if we did not need it for the fulfilment of His purpose for us.”
James continued, “In any event, God repays and restores. There is no amount of suffering that God cannot repay and restore to an extent that we completely forget we ever suffered. Joseph, after all the suffering he went through lived to see a day when he forgot his suffering. In the same way, if we believe God’s Word and obey Him, one day, we will forget that we ever suffered because He will do for us good things that we would never have imagined could come to us.”
Genesis 41:50-55 – 50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
“My dear, stop thinking that this world is permanent. It is not permanent. Stop thinking that evil is permanent. God is in control of everything that happens in our lives and when we trust Him, He reveals to us everything we need to know. If you want wisdom, pray for it and God will give it to you generously. Have I answered your questions?” asked James.
James 1:5 – 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
“Yes Dad. I’m glad we had this conversation. You amaze me with your steadfast belief in the goodness of our God,” Ruth replied
Leave a reply