Q. I’m in an area of doubt right now in my life. I struggle with accepting that those who simply don’t believe in Christ will be condemned for Eternity. I believe it because it’s something the Lord taught and the Bible speaks about, but I just find it hard to accept. I feel that it’s so much a kind of lucky ‘oh goodie! I picked the right religion!’ It can’t be just about that. Do you have any advice or help with this? I guess what I’m trying to say is, are the people who feel God in their life and believe that experience Him truely going to Hell because they don’t believe in Christ?
A. There are only two alternatives available to mankind. We choose God or we choose Satan. If we fail to choose God we’re choosing Satan by default. There is neither any middle ground nor is there another alternative. In Ephesians 2:1-3 Paul made God’s perspective on this very clear.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.”
We evaluate people based on how they compare to others, but God’s standards are very different. Even the good things non-believers do are disgusting to him (Isaiah 64:6) and further the enemy’s cause (Matt. 7:21-23). This is not a benign issue, and it’s not a case where some can sit on the sidelines and not participate. In God’s sight people who fail to accept His pardon for their sins have chosen to align themselves with His enemy and will be treated accordingly.
You can’t experience God in your life but reject the pardon He provided for your sins. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). If someone is experiencing God in their life, they’re also feeling the call of the Holy Spirit to come to the Son, and by failing to do so they’re rejecting the Father. He is the only way.