What About Those Lost Millions?

Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Jer. 17:9-10 π Mt. 7:13-14 π Rom. 7:18 π Eph. 2:2 π Heb. 11:1

If there was ever a cliche for avoiding personal responsibility before God, this must be the crowning achievement: "I can't believe God would send millions of people to Hell." This remains a most popular excuse for rejecting the teachings of the Bible. This statement reveals several misconceptions simultaneously.

The first misconception revealed is a misunderstanding of the nature of God. What is really being said here is that God must be able to be completely understood by my feeble mind or I refuse to have faith in Him. Also, any God that I could understand could not condemn millions of people to Hell who are no better and no worse of a person than I am. In other words, if God would condemn these millions of people to Hell, He would have to condemn me as well - and that just couldn't possibly be true! After all, the argument goes, God is a God of love and He knows that I mean well. This is a perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy. Because I don't understand, I won't believe.

The second misconception is that God is sending someone to Hell. This completely ignores the fact that we have the capability to make a choice. We have been given free will in this matter. No one will end up in Hell who has not chosen to go there. To refuse to receive Christ now is to choose eternal separation from Christ.

The misunderstanding here is a lack of understanding of the nature of mankind's crime against God and of God's "right" to write the rulebook for the universe. Any human manufacturer of a product has absolute authority over his product and can do with it whatever he pleases. But, when we consider the absolute authority of the Creator over His creations, somehow we reach a different conclusion.

Mankind rebelled against a morally perfect Creator, choosing to follow his own limited understanding instead of the all-encompassing wisdom of the Creator. And when the morally perfect Creator had every right and every reason to eradicate this infectious disease called "sin" from His universe, He opted instead to pay the penalty Himself. Righteous and holy God decreed the death penalty on mankind - both physically and eternally - and then sent Jesus Christ, who was God in flesh, to die a horrible criminal's death, thereby taking our sins upon Himself so that we might have a remedy for this otherwise incurable disease. To reject Christ's sacrifice is then to say that He did not need to die for our sins, that His wonderful sacrifice, as painful and hideous as it was, was a waste of time. To reject Christ, then, is not just a mere matter of taste or preference; it is an insulting slap in the face to a loving God who has given everything to rescue you from Hell.

The third misconception is based upon the number of people involved. After all, so the logic says, millions of people can't all be wrong. This statement flies in the face of human history. A little over 500 years ago, millions of people thought the earth was flat. The earth remained round nonetheless. This is a perfect example of the appeal to majority fallacy. Yes, Virginia, the majority can be wrong.

The misunderstanding here is a lack of understanding of the nature of salvation. Salvation is for all who believe. Those who reject Christ have refused to believe in the finished, historical work of Christ. Also concealed within this misunderstanding is the idea that most of mankind should be considered "good enough" for Heaven. And this perhaps is the most basic underlying assumption behind this excuse: that man is basically good enough and can earn his way to eternal life. Both of these are blatantly false. Paul wrote, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find." ( Rom. 7:18 ) Jeremiah, speaking for God, wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, And according to the fruit of his doings." ( Jer. 17:9-10; top ) Man is neither good nor able to attain to eternal life. He needs Someone to rescue him from both his nature and his destiny. He needs salvation. He needs a Savior.

Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." ( Mt. 7:13-14; top ) If this is the case, then we would indeed expect to see millions, even billions lost to an eternal Hell.

It is commendable that someone would have such a heart for all these lost millions. They raise the lost condition of these multitudes as an objection to their own salvation and thereby demonstrate that they may have at least some true concern for these lost millions. However, if they had a true compassion for the lost condition of these millions, they would see the truth of Christ and invest all they are and have and do into securing the salvation of these lost millions. But, in the end, they will probably do neither and thus demonstrate that either this was just an empty excuse to avoid responsibility or that they were completely deceived by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.( Eph. 2:2; top )

The fourth misconception is that of misunderstanding faith. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ( Heb. 11:1; top ) Faith is a trust which places all that we are, do and have into the hands of the One whom we trust. The fact that millions are lost and that the individual cannot understand how a God of love could allow someone to enter an eternal Hell do not combine to make a legitimate answer to God's righteous judgment against sinful mankind. It is a blatant lack of trust in God's provision of a way to get the sinner off his one-way trip to eternal destruction.

Ultimately this excuse is simply a rejection of absolute truth. There is no desire to know objective truth. What is desired here is a pat on the back for possessing psuedo-Biblical opinions, for being smart enough not to be fooled by the Bible. In other words, this person is too smart to believe the Bible and his opinions are of greater worth than those written therein. This is the ultimate in arrogance, a particularly American characteristic if ever there was one.

When one's opinions are based on the truth of the Bible, that one possesses an anchor for his soul. When temptations come, he is not as easily moved. When it would be easy to fit in with the world's sinful ways, he remains Christlike - a direct rebuke to all who would live as if there were no God.

Knowing then that there is a Hell to avoid, it becomes most important that we solidify our reservation in Heaven and then do something that will reduce Hell's population count. Any other behavior is simply evidence that we have believed the deception perpetrated on mankind by Satan.

I'd love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!

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