Column — It’s your choice

Published 1:58 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

“If God is so loving, how could He possibly send someone to Hell?”

This question has been asked by folks for centuries, and it overlooks one simple item of truth: God doesn’t send folks to Hell. Read that again.

God does not send folks to hell. Sounds like any funeral service you’ve been to. Have you ever noticed how every funeral you attend, you never hear the preacher say, “Welp…they fo-sho went to Hell.” Nope. It doesn’t happen. Now, before you get wired up and ready to call/text/email hateful messages… or before you get excited and think, “Sweet! I can keep doing what I want and never have to worry about church or living for God ever again!” Hold your horses and words, and let’s read a passage together.

Grab a Bible and read Matthew 25:31-46. This section is known as the “sheep and goats” section. Jesus gives a lesson here on when our time ends in this life and we stand before our Maker. He has a group that He praises on His right (the sheep) and then a group who He corrects on His left (the goats) in this story. The difference between these two? Choices.

The Sheep chose to help/love/serve those around them, hence, doing the same things for The Lord. The Goats chose to not help/love/serve those around them, hence, doing the same things for The Lord. Choices matter! The things we choose to participate in or not participate in. The things we choose to live for and not live for. The people we choose to love and not love…our choices…matter.

Now, when it comes to the goats, He says in Matthew 25:41-43 that they didn’t do a bunch of stuff, and they question him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?(Matthew 25:44)” Our. Choices. Matter.

I hear you, “Wait a second, preacher…what do these ‘choices’ have to do with Heaven and Hell?” God honors your choice.

You see, God does not send anyone to Hell…they choose to go. He simply honors your choice. Our lives are filled with choices. We choose to love and we choose to hate. We choose to serve and we choose to sit still. We choose to worship and we choose to not. We choose to live in and for God, and we choose to live for self. When it is all said and done, and we stand before our Maker…He honors our choices. So…Heaven or Hell? It’s your choice!

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail.com.