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Question and Answer

Many have debated the reality of hell. Will God release those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ? And what about those who practice humanitarianism? They aren’t mean people; they just don’t practice Christianity.

The biblical answer to your question as to whether God will “release those who do not believe in our Lord Jesus Christ” is yes, and that includes everyone who does not believe in the reality of personal sin and in the truth of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection to atone for sin before a holy God. The watering down of the doctrine of eternal punishment occurs not because of some newfound understanding of Scripture. Instead, it is the result of minimizing the doctrine to satisfy the current desire for a user-friendly theology, to accommodate people’s feelings, rather than insisting on an absolute standard. It also shows a diminished understanding of the holiness of God, a holiness that should inspire awe in us and fill us with caution. One of my theology teachers in seminary once said, “It matters to God what we do and what we believe.”

To illustrate, as a teacher, I have a standard I expect from my students because I care that they be well-educated and responsible individuals. It’s because I care that I judge their work as less than worthy if it is irresponsible or substandard. A student’s niceness or generosity is not the issue. The standard is.

The familiar verses in John 3:16–18 are plain: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset, Professor of English, Homiletics, and Literature

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over four decades.  She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. She is a speaker and writer and lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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