I Want a God Who Would Never Send Anyone to Hell, Much Less Create It 17 Nov

(Message 5) “I want a God who would never send anyone to Hell, much less create it!” No one is comfortable with the idea of judgment and suffering in a place called Hell, let alone the idea that a loving God could create such place. Join us as we unpack this idea and how such a place could exist.

Alternative Theories to Hell:

  1. We don’t need forgiveness
  2. There are unlimited opportunities to choose God
  3. Jesus died for everyone

 

Why God is Loving AND Hell exists:

  1. “Love” is defined by God, not by us
  2. We have the freedom to choose
  3. God has freedom too

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Romans 1:18-20

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, 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. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • Have you ever rejected the forgiveness of a friend or relative? What made you respond that way? Did you believe you needed forgiveness?
  • If you’re being really honest, do you find it hard to talk about hell? Do you think some people deserve hell more than others?

Start thinking and sharing.  Ask a question to get your group thinking and to create openness.

  • Let’s first look at a couple views of what the world says about hell and who deserves it.
    1. In the core of our being, we are good and don’t need forgiveness. Have you ever put someone on a pedestal of being perfect and good and then had a glimpse of their sin nature?  How did that make you feel?
    2. Consider Rob Bell’s quote that “eventually everyone will turn to God.” Discuss whether you think that sounds like a good thing or a bad thing. When you think it through, does it sound like freedom or slavery?
  • Now let’s look at what the Bible says about hell and who deserves it.
    1. Do you sometimes find it hard to believe in a literal heaven? What about a literal hell?  Read and discuss these verses:  Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55-56; Hebrews 9:24; John 14:1-4; and Matthew 25:31-46.
    2. Do you ever struggle with the idea that you are evil? Or that children are born evil? Read and discuss these verses: Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10-12; and Psalm 51:5.
    3. Do you sometimes find it hard to believe that God loves you, despite your sinfulness? Do you sometimes find it hard to believe that God loves everyone, despite their sinfulness?  Share your thoughts.  Read and discuss these verses:  John 3:16-18; Romans 5:8; and 1 John 4:16.
    4. Read Romans 1:18-20 and Romans 6:23 to help answer the question, If God IS love, then why do some people go to hell?
  • Have you ever considered that God has freedom, too? Read Psalm 115:3. How do you feel about the idea that God can do whatever pleases him?
  • How did God, who can do whatever pleases him, show His love for us? Read and discuss these verses: John 3:16, 18, & 36; 2 Peter 3:9; and Ephesians 2:8-9.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Talk with your group about the importance of being equipped (2 Timothy 3:16-17) with what the Word of God says about a literal heaven and hell.  Discuss how this will equip you to be a good witness of the love of God, the forgiveness of sins He offers to everyone–the gospel message.
  •  If you have not received the free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus, what’s keeping you from taking that next step with God today?

Start praying.  Be bold and pray with power.

  • Pray through the prayer requests of your small group prayer journal.  Pray that everyone will be equipped to share the gospel message.

Start digging. For further study.

Speaker

Casey Townsend

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