It usually goes something like this, “How could a loving and merciful God send a good person to hell?”
Perhaps that’s the wrong question. Even more difficult one is, “Why would a just and righteous God allow a bad person into heaven?”
If God is really just and righteous, then surely he would send everyone to hell, because he could not possibly allow any person, even with a single sin, into a perfect heaven.
All of us have not only committed sins, disobeyed God, lied, stolen, cheated, or done something wrong many times in our lives, but also at our core we are sinners. We all have a sin-core or in effect, a nuclear reactor producing the radiation called sin. We cannot help but do what our nature produces.
We do have the capacity to do good things, but still we are sinners.
So we have a dilemma. How can God be both loving and just? How can God show mercy and be righteous at the same time?
The answer is found in one word, the “cross.” Both hard questions are answered and the dilemma is solved. How?
When Jesus Christ died on the cross we see God’s complete love and mercy. Hopelessly stuck in our quagmire of sin, Christ came Himself and died in our place. Out of His love and mercy, He provided a way for all bad people to go to heaven by trusting in Jesus. Jesus is the perfect expression of God’s mercy and love.
When Jesus Christ died on the cross, we see God’s complete justice and righteousness. Sin could not be ignored. A just and righteous God demands restitution for sin! So he came Himself and paid the enormous penalty for our sin. He became our substitute. Jesus is the sacrifice for our sin and by trusting Him, we are saved.
In the cross lies the supreme expression of both God’s love and justice. The cross is the perfect mixture of both mercy and righteousness.
So that’s why we read in the Bible:
As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 6:14a NLT
Our Father, thank-you for the cross. Thank-you that Your Son not only provides forgiveness for our sins, but also gives us a new nature, the Holy Spirit, that is more powerful than our old sin nature.