The question we will explore is, why should we go to hell for not believing in god? A question often asked which deserves a fair answer, let’s explore and find out.
“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’”.— Matthew 25:41.
Using Logic – should we go to hell by not believing in god? of course not, we can choose to believe what we want to believe and should not be punished for it. What kind of merciless God would do that?
But what does the bible really teach us, is it true that we are sent to hell because we do not believe in God? Let’s analyze the scriptures.
Matthew 25:41 says ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:’
Depart from Me
The expression ‘Depart from Me’ is used at least two times in the book of Mathew, on 7:23 and 25:41. On 7:23 we see that even people that believe in God were denied entrance into the kingdom in heaven, this seem so harsh who then gets entrance into heaven? The verse reads “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”. The key word here is ‘I never knew you’, in short this means that there are impostors claiming to know God. So, what then does it take for God to say “I know you” surely if he is God he must know all the people in the world and their names. For God to know us it means that there needs to be a relationship between Him and us (1 Timothy 2:3-7). If we choose not to believe in him or be fake believers, we are choosing to not be in a relationship with Him. Therefore, he will have no choice but to tell us ‘Depart from Me’.
For those who do not know the definition of curse is ‘the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.’. Notice that the expression here is in past tense which means that it has already happened. We have already been cursed but how? In John 3:16-20 we read For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. As you can read God did not condemned us.
Without getting too deep into Matthew 25:31-46 we can read that it talks about deeds, good ones and bad ones. On one side the sheep did the good deeds and on the other the goats did the bad ones. At the end of this passage on verse 46 it says “And these (goats) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous (lambs) into eternal life”. You might say ‘I do good deeds and I don’t believe in God so I’m I the lamb?’ Well this is only a part of what it is needed not to be cast out of heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”. “Not of works”, means our deeds alone do not determine our entrance to heaven so that we do not boast over them. There needs to be something more then, if the lambs are called righteous then the goats are unrighteous. 1 John 1:5-10 says “… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness …” thus making us righteous.
There are two beings which we can have relationships with, God and Satan but wait not everyone will chose to have a relationship with Satan. Well that’s because a relationship with God is a choice and a relationship with Satan is forced or defaulted. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 says “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”. Key word ‘desires’ a choice he gives us. John 8:44 says “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it”. Who does not lie or steal or even hate sometimes? Yes you can say they are all personal choices but, it defaults you into a relationship with Satan.
Why should we go to hell for not believing in god? Believe in God is a choice, if we chose not to then we reject him. If we reject him there is no other place but hell. God will not force you into a relationship with him but it is his desire to have one with you.