Is it true that all people who do not believe in Jesus are destined for hell?
The issue surrounding hell is a very sensitive and emotional topic. Though the Bible is quite clear in the message of salvation, there are some teachings, like the doctrine of hell, that are difficult for our human minds to resolve.
Heaven and hell are biblical truths. Even though the comprehension of a hell terrorizes us, it is a fact and a certain reality whether we like it or not. A person may think that the unmistakable proof of the law of gravity is unfair. Since they don’t agree or understand this truth, the person will determine that they can fly and jump off a skyscraper with disastrous consequences. We may consider this foolishness, but God also considers foolish those who deny the fact of hell and live according to their own understanding.
Hell is the place of God’s wrath and judgment for those who reject his love in Jesus. God is not only loving, but he is also fair and just. There are only two sides of a coin. There is no middle ground. On the Day of Judgment, a person will either spend eternity in heaven or hell. Jesus says, “the person who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who doesn’t believe will be condemned.” If someone deliberately rejects God’s love in Jesus, then they choose the eternal consequences of hell knowingly or unknowingly. If people go to hell even though we don’t think they should be there, it may be because our perspective is much more limited than God’s.
We have to be mindful of one vitally important truth of the Gospel. God is most decisively revealed in Christ Jesus. There is no salvation outside of Jesus. Nobody can go to God the Father except through the Son. We can be judged righteous and innocent before God by living a perfect life or through the sacrificial death of Christ. The fact is that nobody can come to God on their own. We are all sinners. God will judge people according to their relationship with Jesus and how they have responded to the truth of the Gospel. It is a certainty that all who reject Christ are damned and those with a sincere faith are assured of salvation.
Since God is fair and just, people will not go to hell “by accident.” In difficult cases, only God knows the true heart of a person. The question you should really be asking is what will happen to you and your family. Your only concern should be that you and your loved ones are not among those who reject Christ. Receive him as your Lord and Savior! Let hell be God’s problem, not your problem.
** This question and answer was inspired from the book, “Letters from a Skeptic” by Dr. Gregory A Boyd and Edward K. Boyd, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1994.