Here is a dilemma to ponder. A well-wisher anonymously paid off a consumer’s debt; the bill now shows a zero balance. What should the consumer do? Should he or she pay this bill again, even after discovering that a well-wisher had indeed paid it in full? I am one of those who will answer, “Absolutely not.” I’ll say it’s time to be thankful and go on with life. If the consumer insists on paying that debt, after discovering that it has been paid already, a good number of people would wonder if this person were out of his or her mind. Some might even go on to say he or she is a fool.
As ridiculous as this scenario sounds, many people are doing that right now! They insist on paying for their sins, although there is no need. They’d rather go to hell than place their faith in Jesus. An atheist on television trying to raise support to keep Church and State separate concluded his ad with, “I’m not afraid of burning in hell.” Does he know what that means? Why would anybody look forward to going to hell when his sins have already been paid for? This is heart wrenching, and shows defiance and disdain for God. How sad! But just as a person could be considered a fool for wanting to pay a bill that’s been already paid in full, anybody who rejects God’s provision for the forgiveness of sin is also a fool. The Bible says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1 NIV). To these people, God will say, “Have it your way” and reluctantly send them to hell (see 2 Peter 3:9).
We owe God a debt we cannot pay. He’ll forgive that debt, but on one condition—admission of guilt and faith in Jesus. He says the wages of sin is death-the death of a sinless person. No human qualifies as that person, so out of love, He sent His Son Jesus as our substitute – the only one without sin. The Bible expresses it this way, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John3:16 NIV).
Although Jesus died to pay for our sins, it’s sad but certain that some people will still be held accountable for their sins. They’ll go to hell because they refuse to believe in Jesus. But why do they refuse?
Since Jesus has already satisfied God’s required payment for sin, it makes absolutely no sense for anyone to go to hell. If scientists ever discover a cure for cancer, I am sure all cancer patients would line up to be treated; not even one would choose to suffer and die when treatment is available. Pain and suffering in this life will end at death, but pain and suffering in the life to come is without end. We are very limited in our understanding of eternity, which may be why some individuals accept hell so readily, and even joke about it. Hell, however, is not a joking matter. Unfortunately, by the time they understand, it’ll be too late to choose the alternative—life in Jesus!
God will not take His pronouncement back; He will judge sin, because He knows that man knows the truth about Him. Man has chosen to disregard the truth, although deep down, he knows God exists, and that he is accountable to Him. The apostle Paul reminds us, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them” (Romans 1: 18-19).
If you are reading this and have not yet submitted to the lordship of Jesus, please do not take it lightly; hell is for real, and once you arrive there, you cannot turn around. That will be where you will spend eternity. Act quickly!