If God is love, why would He send anyone to hell?
It’s one of the most challenging questions for Christians to answer. Scripture describes hell as a place of “eternal, conscious punishment.” Those three words—eternal, conscious punishment—come right out of our church’s Confession of Faith. Why would we believe that? How does that square with what we say elsewhere in our Confession of Faith, that God “rules all things in holiness, wisdom, and love”?
Today’s passage addresses this question head-on. Chapter 34 is as bleak and threatening as any passage of Scripture. But as dark as chapter 34 is, chapter 35 is to that same degree bright with hope. Isaiah’s masterful contrast is as graphic literarily as Caravaggio’s use of chiaroscuro is graphic visually.
And it’s precisely against this dark backdrop that we’re able to see why the gospel is such good news.
Title: The King and the Way Home
Text: Isaiah 34–35