The question is sometimes asked, “How could a God of love let people He created suffer unending misery? Dr. Bruce Shelley answers, “Hell is not compatible with God’s love; it is a direct consequence of it.” He says,”The very God who loves us is the one who also respects our decisions. He loves us, but he does not force His love on us. To force his love is to commit assault. He allows us to decide. He loves us, He encourages our response, He woos us, He pursues us, He urges us, but He does not force us, because He respects us.” Maybe that’s why Jesus gave this parable to his disciples, found in Matthew 13. He told how an enemy sewed weeds in a farmer’s field. His workers wanted to get rid of the weeds immediately. But the farmer said no, “let them grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat into the barn.” Jesus’ point is this: each of us is endowed with freedom of choice. When He returns, our choices will be revealed. Those who in this life choose to accept Him will be gathered to him, while those who have chosen to reject Him will be lost. But the choice is ours to make.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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