Bible Question:

If God is love, how can he send anyone to hell?

Bible Answer:

The question assumes God has a choice. That is, God does not have a standard of justice. The testimony of scripture is that God deals justly with the wicked and the righteous. He is not biased, dishonest, partial nor can He be bribed. He is not partial. He is impartial and not a respecter of persons. Look at the following verse,

. . . His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32:4 (NASB)

The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. Psalm 19:8 (NASB)

I have not spoken in secret, In some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, Seek Me in a waste place; I, the LORD, speak righteousness Declaring things that are upright. Isaiah 45:19 (NASB)

Abraham says it all with these words,

Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly? Genesis 18:25 (NASB)

The message is clear. God is just and not like us. Yet, God tells us that he does not want anyone to perish,

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)

God has told us that He loves us.  He has told us how to escape hell in John 3:16.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NASB)

While it is true that God sovereignly chooses those who will go to heaven, it is also true that each person has a responsibility to believe in Jesus Christ and obtain eternal life (John 1;12). Eternal life comes by believing in or trusting Jesus, our God and Savior, to forgive our sins. If we do not believe then we are going to hell,

He who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18 (NASB)

We are in this condition because Adam sinned (Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-14) and as a result the entire human race is a race of sinners (Romans 5:17-20). Sinful man cannot live with a holy God (Psalm 5:4). Or put another way, a holy God cannot live with wicked men and women (Psalm 5:4). So we need our sins forgiven. Someone may say that is not fair. Well, God has gone to a lot of trouble for us. He has made it easy to go to heaven. We do not need to do anything – no good deeds – no good anything (Ephesians 2:8-9). All we need to do is believe in, trust or depend on Jesus, as our God and Savior, to forgive us of sins. No one needs to go hell.

Conclusion:

Our holy God is just and impartial. Christ rejecting sinners will go to hell and those who believe in Jesus Christ as God, Savior and Lord will go to heaven. He has told us how to escape. He treats everyone that same. He is a loving and just God.

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36 (NASB)

Reference Links:

Sin and Salvation
What does it mean that God is not a respecter of persons?
Jesus Our Savior
Is Jesus God?
Who Is Jesus?
Predestination and Human Responsibility