Q&A: Why would God send people to hell simply for not acknowledging him?

Question: Why would God send people to hell simply for not acknowledging him? How is that on the same level as murder and all the other sick evils out there? 

This is a perfect example of how easy it is to make God sound like a monster by wording a question in just the right way.

For starters, NO ONE winds up in hell simply for failing to acknowledge God. (Even Christians fail to acknowledge God sometimes.) Hell will be populated by people who vehemently reject God—who say, "I want nothing to do with God or His Son. I refuse to turn from my sin and I reject God and all that He stands for."

Secondly, you need to understand that hell is never God's intended destination for anyone! (In fact, we're told that originally hell was created for the devil—not for man.) The Scripture clearly says that God is "...not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

People have to literally choose hell over God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

You see, Jesus laid down His life for sinners. He suffered terribly on the cross, bearing the condemnation that we deserved. He didn't have to do any of that. But once He did, He made forgiveness freely available to ANYONE who would humble themselves and ask. To reject that free gift of forgiveness is to throw away any chance of being saved! Why? Because, as Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (NIV)

It is only by REJECTING the work of Christ and what He accomplished for us on the cross that people put themselves in danger of hell. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of reject is:

: to refuse to believe, accept, or consider (something)

Hell will be made up of those who looked at God's free gift of life and said, "I'll pass."


  1. Follow up....is there any scripture that supports the idea that there is a chance after death to accept Jesus? Since more blessed are those who have seen and believe but more blessed are those who have not seen yet believe. (When refering to "doubting" Thomas I believe) This has always made me feel as though those who do not believe on Earth would have the chance to see and believe. But, I have never looked/found text that says anything about when your last chance is.

  2. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that after physical death judgment follows, and suggests that this life is all that a person gets for making a decision for Christ. I know of no other passage in Scripture that teaches or suggests that a chance exists after death. But as Abraham said, "Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25)