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Topic: Heaven and Hell

Why Hell Exists

by Darrel Cline

How is it that Jesus refuses to allow performers into Heaven just to keep it from being turned into Hell?

The question arises from Jesus' statement that in the day of judgment He would reject those whose claim to a place in Heaven was based upon the fact that they had prophesied, cast out demons, and done many miracles in the name of Jesus. We extrapolate from that rejection that Jesus would reject those who based their claim to heaven upon their performance of good deeds. The question is, since most people think that heaven is a reward for being good, how is it that Jesus will reject those who have tried to attain heaven by being good? The answer is that if He accepted them, Heaven would be turned into Hell.

How so?

Well, to answer, let's consider why Hell exists in the first place. Hell exists to enable God to give people what they deserve based upon their behavior. But, behavior springs from what a person believes in respect to what he loves. So, Hell exists to repay people for loving the wrong things, believing the wrong things, and thus doing the wrong things, or doing the right things for the wrong reasons.

Now, prophesying in the name of Jesus, casting out demons in the name of Jesus, and working helpful miracles in the name of Jesus are certainly within the scope of right things. But, it is clear that if the motive is to gain heaven, that motive pollutes the behavior. Why? Because it springs from the belief that a person can be good enough to qualify for heaven. This is nothing more or less than arrogance. How can a man who has sinned ever believe that he can atone for his sin without moving into arrogance? What pitiful offering could we make to God to make up for the callous disregard for the truth that pervades our lives?

Thus, to do good in order to obtain heaven is an act of pride. God hates pride. He will reject all those who come to Him in pride because it was pride that the devil originally acted on to introduce sin and death into His creation. Thus, since pride is the root of all sin, Jesus couldn't accept the proud into His Heaven without allowing Heaven to be turned into Hell. Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if everyone there was there because they had worked hard enough to make it? It would be a breeding ground for contempt--the contempt the proud always have for those who haven't achieved what they have. It would be a breeding ground for conflict--the conflict that comes when proud people think their way is the best way. It would be a breeding ground for tyranny--the tyranny that pride has always produced because the proud think they should be recognized and served for their achievements. In a word, Heaven would be turned into Hell.

That's why Jesus only saves sinners who have the humility to come to Him for forgiveness and cleansing from their sin.

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This is article #020.
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