The Washington Times - August 28, 2009, 08:52AM

 

If one of His children did something terribly wrong, would God allow that person to suffer forever?  If God is an immeasurably loving being, would He be very likely to desire that for anyone?

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Imagine a large extended family gathered for a reunion.  Everyone is sitting down together having dinner, and one person asks his cousin, “I haven’t heard from your son Theodore for a long time.  How is he doing?”  Can you imagine the father replying as casually as to say, “Well, he ruined his life, is addicted to drugs and is homeless somewhere in the city.  We don’t talk to him anymore…can you please pass the gravy?”

 

It is really hard to imagine any normal parent caring so little about his or her own child that they would speak like that. God’s love is infinitely stronger, more pure and more consistent than our own.  Isn’t it likely that He would never rest until He has been able to save and heal all of the people He created?

 

Suppose that hell is not something that God ever wished to exist and certainly not something He puts people into as a punishment, but rather a state of mind and heart that we put ourselves into through failing to observe the simple rules of life that He has taught us through all the major religions - things such as love, fidelity, selflessness, integrity and compassion?

 

If God is truly a totally loving being, it stands to reason that He is concerned about all His children, all the time, in this life and in the next.  And it stands to reason that He works somehow in some way, to redeem everyone — no matter how many mistakes they have made.

 

Does this kind of immense love and concern on God’s part mean that we can say to ourselves that it really doesn’t matter what we do in this life, because God will always save us later on?  Well, if one is driving on a road in the countryside and decides to steer his car off a cliff, it is certainly possible that he can survive, struggle back up the cliff and eventually have the car salvaged.  But wouldn’t it be wiser just to follow the common-sense driving rules in the first place and stay on the road?

 

Surely God’s love is infinite, and surely, He will never rest until everyone is healed and restored to a state of spiritual health and happiness.  But suppose that becoming healed from our mistakes requires not only God’s grace but also enormous effort on our own part?  To put it mildly, it is probably wise to follow the rules of this life as well as we can, while we are still have a chance.