Transformed – teen devotion – August 23, 2020

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14

How could a loving God send people to hell?

“How could a loving God send people to hell?” This question wrestles with two important biblical truths.

First, is God loving? Yes! God is absolutely loving. In fact, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God is also perfect. Therefore, God is perfect in his ability to love and be love!

Second, does God send people to hell? Again, yes. The same God who is perfectly loving is also just and holy. Because God is holy there are things our God cannot love. He cannot love evil, which is the opposite of holiness. God doesn’t love murder, abuse, selfishness, or pride. Therefore, God justly does something about evil and those who do evil. He punishes evil and all who sin by removing them from his presence. That is, he sends people to hell. Hell is eternal separation from God and his love.

So, is God really loving? Let me tell you how really loving God is!

Even though we all sin, deserve hell, and ought to have God remove his amazing love from us, God did something about hell. He went there. For you! God put his limitless, perfect love on display by sending his son, Jesus, to suffer the pain of hell for sinners like you and me. God didn’t just leave sins unpunished and forget about justice. He carried our sins and experienced hell for us. Jesus was separated from God’s love so we would never be. In doing so, God took our sins from us, then clothed us in Christ’s holiness.

Jesus told a parable where a king (God) invited many guests to enjoy an amazing wedding reception (God’s love in heaven). How did people respond? Sadly, many invited guests rejected the invitation because they wanted nothing to do with God or his love. Logically, they were not allowed into the party. They suffered hell.

Yet, how did the king (God) respond? With love! He determinedly sent his invitation to others so more and more might enjoy the party (God’s love in heaven)!

The same happens today. Though many reject God’s love, God responded to our human evil and sin by sending his Son to forgive. Through Christ, God gathers more and more people to himself! On the cross he removed the rags of our sin and clothed us with his robes of righteousness.

So, how do we respond to the good news of God’s love in bringing us into his eternal party of heaven?

First, enjoy it! Nothing needs to be done. The King has prepared everything for you and given every good thing to you. Enjoy what God has done for you in Christ. Enjoy who God has made you in Christ!

Second, go! Invite your friends to the party. Tell everyone they’re invited! Tell everyone they have a loving God.

Prayer: Dear God, we praise you for your love and mercy. Thank you for sending us your relentless love, which you give us even when we sin. Help us to rejoice in the righteousness you cover us with all the days our life. Use us to spread your love to others so that they too might be with us in your eternal party of heaven. Amen.

Teen Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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