Monthly Q&A: May 2022

Q: Do kind, loving, law abiding, gentle, genuine Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists deserve eternal punishment in hell after dying on Earth, for not believing in the existence of the Christianity trinity God? Supplementary question: Does a Christian who brutally raped and murdered a woman, then a week later fully repented to God and accepted Jesus as his lord and savior and then died of natural causes a month later, deserve eternal happiness and salvation in heaven after dying on Earth?

A: It’s important to first establish why human beings deserve eternal punishment in hell.  Human beings are not sent to hell because they are not kind, are not loving, are not gentle, or are not genuine. Human beings deserve hell because we are unrighteous and have rebelled against the knowledge of God and against Him as the sovereign Lord and Creator.

God, in His mercy, made a way for humanity to be saved out of this predicament by sending His Son to uphold the law of God perfectly and to give His life as a sacrifice and atonement for our sin. God declared that there is no other name by which men can be saved (Acts 4:12). Salvation only comes by faith in Jesus Christ. If anyone will not come to Christ for salvation, there is no other way to heaven (John 14:6).

The only way to get to heaven apart from Jesus is to live a perfectly righteous life that fully upholds the law of God in its entirety (Luke 5:32). I emphasize “perfectly” because we are told that to break even one small portion of the law is to be guilty of breaking the entire law of God (James 2:10). There is no one who can claim that they have ever kept the entirety of God’s law perfectly. Even Hindus, Buddhists, etc. will tell you that they aren’t able to perfectly keep the tenets of their own religion. So, we all transgress the law and therefore are all deserving of hell. The level of our kindness, gentleness, demeanor, or behavior don’t factor into the equation at all.

It also doesn’t matter how genuine or sincere we are in our belief. What matters is the truth/validity of what we believe. I can sincerely believe that if I jump off of a building, I can fly. However, if I jump off the building, I will fall to the ground because my belief, no matter how sincere or genuine, doesn’t correspond to what is really true. Jesus told us that He alone is the essence of truth and He is the only way to God (John 14:6). Therefore, if my belief/faith is not in Jesus, it will not save me, no matter how sincere or genuine I am about what I believe. 

In regard to your supplementary question, no one deserves eternal happiness and salvation in heaven. Every human being, from the kindest to the most heinous, deserves eternal punishment in hell for our sin. But God is a God of immense mercy and has made a way for us to obtain what we don’t deserve through His Son, Jesus Christ. Praise be to God that anyone, regardless of what they have done in their life, can be washed clean of their sin if they repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ.

It ultimately comes down not to our kindness or our behavior but to a judicial distinction: whether we are guilty of transgressing God’s law. Apart from Christ, every one of us stands guilty before God for having broken His law (Romans 3:23; 9:10-12). The only just punishment for those who sin is death (Romans 6:23). It doesn’t matter how nice they are or how kind they are. It doesn’t matter how evil they are. If we sin, we deserve death. But, in Christ Jesus we are given the unbelievable opportunity to be made right with God and declared free from any condemnation (Romans 8:1). For those who are in Christ, God has removed the record of sin that stood against them (Colossians 2:13-14).

God has declared that this offer of salvation is available to anyone who puts their faith in Christ whether they be Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, a murderer, a rapist, a thief, a drunkard, etc. (John 6:38-40). But they must come to Christ. Anyone who refuses to believe in Christ (Hindu, Muslim, murderer, thief, etc.) will bear their guilt before God and will die in their sin (John 8:24).