I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time now but the only reason I didn’t is because I was afraid that it would come off as an angry rant rather than pointing out the moral flaws of the Calvinist picture of God. Moreover, I was afraid of being accused of committing the straw man fallacy by any Calvinist who came across this post. However, I think such a post is worthy of being written as I believe Calvinist theology has horrifying implications for God’s character. I realize that Calvinists disagree even among themselves on some things. Some are hard determinists who believe we don’t have any free will whatsoever. Other Calvinists believe that we have a compatiblist type of free will (which, as I pointed out in another blog post, isn’t really free will at all), still others believe we have libertarian free will (as opposed to a compatiblist brand of free will) with the exception of whether or not we become Christians. So these Calvinists would say that we have libertarian freedom when it comes to things like what we choose to have for breakfast, but if you’re one of God’s elect, you have no choice in that matter, you have no choice in where you end up for eternity. So…if I misrepresent any view that you; the reader may hold, please don’t accuse me of misrepresenting Calvinism. Simply point out that I misrepresented your Calvinism. After all, it has been said “There is no one thing that you can label Calvinism”. And I believe that’s true. Calvinists do disagree even amongst themselves on small issues (e.g some are hard determinists, some are compatiblists).
Nevertheless, no matter which way the Calvi pie is sliced, I find that it has some very negative implications for the character of God. It makes Him out to be a capricious, arbitrary, unfair, sadistic control freak. Please keep in mind that this post isn’t meant to argue against Calvinism or disprove it in any way. All I’m doing is pointing out the horrific implications of it.
Calvinism’s version of predestination is that God has decided the eternal fate of people before the foundation of the world. They get this view from a misinterpretation of Ephesians 1. On this view, individuals were destined by God, prior to the creation of the universe to be born again Christians. The U in the Calvinist’s T.U.L.I.P stands for Unconditional Election, and that’s exactly the view I just described. God unconditionally chooses certain individuals to go to Heaven and “passes over” everyone else. The L in T.U.L.I.P stands for “Limited Atonement”. What that means is that for those whom God decided to save, Jesus only died for those selected individuals. Jesus didn’t die for anyone else. Jesus only died for people who would eventually become Christians. The I in T.U.L.I.P means “Irresistible Grace” which means that God changes the wills of the people whom He has chosen from eternity past to become Christians, and because these wills are changed by God, they ultimately and inevitably come to Christ and become born again Christians. They have absolutely no choice in the matter. For those God has chosen, there is no possibility whatsoever for them to reject Christ and end up in Hell. Now, this doesn’t mean that God forces people to get saved against their will. No. The doctrine of Irresistible Grace states that God unilaterally changes the desire of the individual so that they choose to come to Christ. In other words, God makes them willing to repent whereas they wouldn’t have been willing before. Now, the T. and P. in the T.U.L.I.P acronym are fairly uncontroversial for non-Calvinists. Although a good many Arminians would argue against the P. which stands for Perserverance Of The Saints, nevertheless, there are Arminians and Molinists who would affirm Perserverence of The Saints. And all Arminians and Molinists would affirm Total Depravity (which, shortly explained, is the view that people cannot come to Christ unless God enables and/or draws them to repentance).
I can’t go into a very exhaustive explanation about what Calvinists believe because that would make this blog post extremely long. But if you want a more detailed explanation of the T.U.L.I.P, look it up for yourselves.
Anyway, the U means Unconditional Election, which as I’ve already explained is the belief that God has chosen certain select individuals throughout every generation to be saved. He made this decision before the universe was even created (according to Calvinists). So what this means is that God pre-determined many people’s eternal suffering in Hell LONG before they ever had the opportunity to do anything good or bad! So basically before The Big Bang, God was just sitting on His throne God decided “Ok, so Rodger Smith is going to do a bunch of evil things, and I am going to send him to Hell”
God decided before the universe was even created that certain humans would inevitably sin and burn. His desire for many people was for them to end up in Hell. God has made a list of people whom He wants to save, and those whom He wants to burn. Why in the world should we worship such a beast? Why would a loving God, a God who’s very essence is love (1 John 4:8) desire such a thing for such a large number of people?
Calvinists often say “God is under No obligation to save anyone." I understand that God is not obligated to save anybody. I agree with that. I would agree that if God decided to never send Jesus to die on the cross to atone for our sins, and if He sent every human He ever created into the firey pits of Hell that He would be perfectly good and just to do so. God is under no obligation whatsoever to provide a way for us to be saved. The only reason He died on the cross is because He loves us. God loves us and that’s why He wants us to spend eternity with Him. However, Calvinist doctrine doesn’t merely state that God chooses not to rescue individuals. It teaches that He got them into that mess to begin with! Remember, Calvinists are divine determinists. They agree with the Westminister confession that everything was ordained by God and everything that comes to pass is according to His will! What this means is that the very fall of Adam and Eve was ordained by God. Adam had no choice but to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. It was impossible for Him to do otherwise (and this is the case even if you affirm a compatiblist understanding of freedom). Eve likewise had no other option but to disobey God. And whenever you do something wrong, according to divine determinists, God had ordained you to commit that sin!
So, not only does God choose not to save some people, but He is the reason that they’re sinners to begin with (according to Calvinists who believe in Divine Determinism)! How in the world could God possibly hold anyone accountable for sins that they commit if it’s His fault that they committed the sin to begin with? If God really does causally determine everything as Calvinists believe, then how can He hold anyone responsible for what they do? I mean, can you imagine a person standing before God on judgment day and the conversation that took place?
God is angry at sin that He Himself caused to happen? Divine Determinism reduces God to the level of a parent who takes the hand of his child, causes it to forcibly slap the face of another child and then proceeds to angrily yell at the child for slapping his friend. It’s madness! There’s no logical reason for God to be angry at sin if He determined a person’s sin (and even if you affirm compatiblism, you still affirm in a sense that God determined your actions, click this link to read why).
Moreover, this view makes worshipping God an oddity.
Given the Calvinist understanding of predestination, worshipping God and praising Him for saving you is a rather odd thing to do.
In fact, when you really think about it, many such ills we have in the world can be traced back to the Fall of Adam and Eve. Unless Adam had libertarian freedom and could have avoided obeying God, one has to conclude that God was behind the fall. That he determined them to eat from the forbidden fruit. Calvinists say all the time that "God is not obligated to save anybody" but on their view of divine determinism, it's God's fault that we were put in this sin situation to begin with! According to The Westminister confession (and other Calvinists like Jonathan Edwards), everything that comes to pass is what God foreordained”. Yes, I agree that He's not obligated to save anyone. We deserve Hell. But Calvinism is more than simply God not choosing to save anyone. Calvinism, according to divine determinism, entails that God is to blame for why we’re in this mess to begin with. It’s like a doctor who purposefully infects his patient with a disease and then refuses to give him the cure for that disease.
Calvinism, with it’s predestination (which logically entails double predestination even if many Calvinists verbally disavow it), and with it’s divine determinism, makes worshipping God an odd thing to do. I had another illustration that I was planning on giving but I think I’ll use this one instead since it paints a better picture in general, of how God saves us and why those who aren’t saved aren’t saved. I saw that the previous illustration I had in this section of the article could also be raised against God on the Arminian/Molinist view as well. It was a really terrible analogy, and so that was one of the reasons that hindered me from publishing this post sooner than I have.
Instead, I’m reminded of an illustration by Kerrigan Skelly. I heard him give this illustration in a Youtube video he made. It’s a story called “The Parable Of The Wicked Firefighter”. I don't know much about Kerrigan Skelly but I heard from one of my friends that he's a Pelagian. Regardless of whether that's true, he nonetheless makes a very good point here regarding the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination.
Here’s the story. Skelly tells it better than I do, so I’m just going to transcript what he said from the video below: “There was this fireman in New York City, and this fireman was not really known for putting out fires. He was known for saving people. Saving people from fires was his main duty. If his section got a call, if his group, or station got a call, he would go there. He would have his axe in hand (he wouldn’t have a water hose in hand), and he would go into the fire and try to save the people who were burning in that fire. He saved many people. Not everyone was saved unfortunately. But, he did save many people, and just about every fire he went to, there were people to save. And so, after he saved so many people, word got around about this fireman. He became first known as a city Hero in New York City, but as he continued to save people, he became known as a state-wide hero and then a national hero and eventually an international hero. He just saved SO many people and the people he saved were so grateful for what he did for them that he was just getting letters and fan mail from all over the place. And the people who were saved by him were going on TV shows, going on radio shows, and just giving him praise, and deservedly so because he was risking his life, his own life, his own existence…to save these people who were caught in the fire. And as things went on, after each fire, a person comes in and determines how the fire was started, and it come to be known to the head, the chief of the fire station that this man was actually the ones starting the fires. He was starting the fires. He was saving people, but he started the fires too.”
Skelly goes on to say
“Now, the people who he was saving, their tune changed. They no longer believed him to be a hero. They believed him to be a wicked enemy and a criminal. Because he wasn’t truly saving them. He was putting their lives in danger in the first place by starting a fire and going to those very fires and saving people out. Now, when this parable started, we could see reason for people to give him praise, to give him honor, to give him glory. From a human standpoint at least. You know, obviously no human deserves these things when it comes down to it. But you see a reason for those things; because he was genuinely saving them. He was risking his life to save them. And, if he wasn’t the one starting the fires, he would have been a genuine hero. But once the people whom he saved found out that he was the one starting the fires, he was no longer a hero to them. He was now the enemy. Now praise became condemnation, honor became judgment, glory became shouts of justice for this man. This man was brought into court of law and by anyone’s standard of justice, what this man did was unjust. Now, you might say ‘well, he still saved some people so he still deserves the praise whether he started the fires or not, there was some that he chose to save so he deserves some praise, honor, and glory.’ Now, there’s one group we haven’t touched on yet, and that is the group of people who did not make it through the fire. These are people whom the firefighter did not save and who perished in the fire. And let’s be honest, this fireman picked and chose whom he was going to save and whom he wouldn’t. Because he knew there’d be lots of people who would be in this building and he chose, before he ever got to this fire who he would try to save. Probably based on the fire’s location, maybe based on demographic or who he liked best. But there was a group of people whom he did not save. And while these people had no reason to condemn this man before they had the revelation that he was starting the fires. Now, they did. From what they knew before, who knows how the fire started. It could have been they who started the fires. It could have been their fault. Maybe someone fell asleep with a cigarette in their hand, maybe their was faulty electrical wiring in their apartment or house. If it was their fault, they can’t blame the firefighter for not saving them. They can blame themselves for starting the fire. When they found that the fireman had started the fire, they were very upset. So this fireman was put away for a very, very long time.”
Hopefully you can see how this ties back into the God of Calvinism. Because not only did God pick and choose who he was going to save, but he decreed all things whatsoever that came to pass including the fall of Adam, including every single sin that’s ever been committed. And His decree of whom He was going to save was decreed from eternity past (according to the West Minister confession and many other Calvinists). So don’t say I’m straw-manning Calvinism. If you’re wondering “Where are you getting this idea”, I’m getting these ideas straight from the horse’s mouth. I’m doing my best to represent these Calvinistic doctrines as I read them in Calvinist writings and quotations.
This is similar to the way God is IF (and thankfully it isn’t), if Calvinism were true. On Calvinism, God is “sovereign” over all things. He determines everything (whether in the hard determinist sense or in the compatiblist sense). He is the reason why Adam and Eve fell. He is the reason why we continue to fall. According to many Calvinist thinkers (e.g Jonathan Edwards, The Westminster confession) Nothing comes to pass except what God foreordains. If that’s true, then that means that God planned for the fall to happen. He planned for all of our sins to happen. God sent Jesus to die only for the (s)elect. And God wants to save only certain individuals while he has no intention of saving anyone else. And those He wants to save will be saved no matter what.
Given this information, why should anyone worship God? God is the reason we were in that situation to begin with. He rescued us via irresistible grace, but why did He put us in that situation to begin with? And why should we praise Him for getting us out of our sin situation? Simply because we were lucky enough for God to choose for salvation? We could have just as easily been chosen for damnation. According to Calvinists, God purposefully leaves the majority of mankind to damnation! A person like me was just lucky enough to be chosen for salvation rather than damnation! Just like the wicked fireman, God started the fire. God purposefully chose to save some while purposefully choosing to leave others in the fire. If people would rightly refuse the wicked fireman praise, if God is as Calvinists say He is, shouldn't we deny him praise as well?
If Calvinist theology was only that God simply chose not to save some people, and left it that, I wouldn’t object to it quite as strongly. In that case, it would be that people became sinners on their own, and it would be their fault that they’re under the wrath of God. And God simply chose to give them what they deserve. But given divine determinism, God is the reason why they transgressed against him to begin with! How can God justly condemn a sinner if God is the cause of him being a sinner? I don't see how he could be.
Giving thanks to God for your salvation, on Calvinism, is really odd. It’s like thanking a doctor for giving you an antidote when it’s his fault you had the disease to begin with! In another article I made similar to this one titled "If God Determined All Things, How Would He Be Worthy Of Worship" I compared the Calvinist vision of God to Syndrome from the Disney Pixar movie "The Incredibles". In that movie, Syndrome sent robots to attack the town so that he could rescue them to begin with. Salvation is essentially like that on the Calvinist view. God's all causing will is the reason we need to be saved in the first place. Not because we freely chose to sin. God determined us to do it. On the determinist view, God is solving a problem He purposefully brought about in the first place!
Irresistible Grace makes our love for God not genuine
I have argued in several blog posts (not having to do with soteriology per se) and in several debates with atheists on the problem of evil and suffering, that the very reason God gives man libertarian freedom is because He wants us to love both Him and to love each other. We know this because two of the greatest commandments is to “Love The Love The Lord your God with all of your heart, and all of your soul, and all of your mind, and all of your strength” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (see Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27) Without libertarian free will, this would be impossible. Why? Well, unless the possibility to not love God and to not love our fellow man exists, any affection we would show would not mean anything.
Just think about it. Let’s travel back to the year 3000 for a moment and let’s imagine that by then, robotics has been perfected. You can now have the type of service that Rosie gave in the Jetsons. If you were to purchase a robot and were to program it to love you, would you feel loved? If you programmed the robot to dedicate it’s entire life to serving you and your family, this robot wakes up at 5:00 AM every morning to make your breakfast, he helps your kids with their homework, he washes your car every Saturday, he gives his life wholly in service to you, and he also tells you on a regular basis how much he loves you, how much he adores you, and tells you how awesome and good a person you are. Let me ask you, would you sense that this robot really, truly had love for you? Would you find his dedication praiseworthy? No. Why not? Because it was impossible for him to do otherwise! You programmed him to do all of the things that he did. He couldn’t have chosen to do otherwise! But you could say “He was willing to do it, so he did it freely”. Well, yes, he was indeed willing to do it. Yes, he did indeed have the desire to do these things. But guess what? His will and his desire was programmed for him. And since this robot could only do what he was programmed to do, he still couldn’t have done otherwise.
Now, let’s say that this was a human being who dedicated his life to serving you. Assuming that human beings are not like robots and do have libertarian free will, would you consider what this person did praiseworthy? Would you feel that this human being had genuine love for you? I would. Why? Because he or she had the ability to do otherwise! There was the possibility for this person to, instead of making sure you had everything you needed, instead made sure everything he needed. He didn’t have to do all of these things for you. He could have done otherwise.
God wants us to love Him. He doesn’t need our love as The Bible says God lacks nothing (Acts 17:24-25), however He does desire our love for Him nonetheless. And He also desires that we love each other (see Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27). Without free will, that would be impossible.
If I were to program my computer to say that it loved me, would I feel loved? No. There would be no love there. I only programmed the computer to say it loved me. It really didn't have any other choice but to say that about me.
Now, if humans are determined, then we're like those robots. We've been programmed to do the things that we do and to be the things that we are. And even if it’s merely our desires that were determined by God rather than God directly determining our actions (as compatiblists believe), we’re still determined to do what we do. On compatiblism, our desires are what control us.
If you still don’t see the point, imagine this scenario. Let’s suppose you had cancer or something but that your dirt poor and couldn’t afford treatment. A stranger comes to up you on the street with 5 billion dollars in their hand and says “I saw your video blog on Youtube about your problem. I recently won the lottery and won 5 billion dollars in cash. I thought you could use the money more than I could. So here, take it.” And you take the money. You start weeping tears of joy because you know that you now have a fighting chance at making it out of this alive. You thank the person for his abundant generosity, and find yourself incredibly impressed at this person’s love for a person he had never even met! The reason you’re happy is because you got money needed for expensive treatment (and most likely much more). But the reason you’re impressed is because this person gave up money that most people never have in their possession, and yet he didn’t have to. He doesn’t know you from Adam and yet he gives up his fortune to help you get treatment. This is why you consider him a man of great love and generosity.
Now, let’s flip the story around a little bit. Let’s say that you had a relative who personally knew this lottery winner and one day, he went to this lottery winner’s house. He puts a gun up to the lottery winner’s head and explains the situation. He tells him that if he doesn’t give you all of his winnings, he would shoot this lottery winner in the head. So, despite the fact that this person doesn’t want to give up his money, he goes ahead and does it anyway in order to save his own life. Now what is your impression? Is your impression that this man is a really good person? No. You’re not impressed. You don’t feel any love or affection from this person at all. You don’t consider him to be a kind and generous person as you would in the other story. Now you know that he just gave the money to you out of obligation. Because he was forced to. He didn’t give freely, and that’s why it doesn’t mean anything to you.
Well, this is the case we have with God. God wants us to be kind, good, generous and loving person. That’s why He gives us free will. He wants us to be kind to one another not because we were determined to, but because we chose to. We didn’t have to, but we chose to anyway. God wants us to worship Him because we choose to worship Him. God would see that our love for Him isn’t genuine if the only reason we worship Him is because He determined us to.
Now I know that the sick person/lottery winner illustration isn’t accurate in the latter part of the story. If one is a compatiblist, one would object “But even though we’re determined to worship God, we’re still willing to worship Him! It’s not like He forces us to against our will!” That’s true. I guess if we wanted to make the above illustration completely accurate we would have, instead of the relative of this cancer patient going up to him and pointing a gun to his head so that he would, against his will, give up the 5 billion dollars, he would instead place a mind control helmet on him which would rewire his brain so that he wanted to give the 5 billion dollars to this cancer patient.
However, noticed that he still couldn’t have done otherwise. The only reason he shows so much charity is because he wanted to, and the only reason why he wanted to was because of this futuristic device made him want to do it. And he wouldn’t have done it otherwise (let’s pretend that this takes place a thousand years in the future again). If you knew that that is why the man gave you all of his money, you still wouldn’t feel loved. You would know that the only reason he’s doing this is because your relative changed his desires mechanically, and made the desire so strong that he couldn’t do anything but that.
So if divine determinism is true, even if one holds to a compatiblist kind of view of determinism or freedom. I don’t see why God would find our causally determined “love” to be of any value whatsoever.
I feel that, if Calvinism were true, I’d rather be in Hell, separated from such a cruel icy hearted puppet master of a God. The hatred I feel for the God of Calvinism is immense. I believe Calvinism is false, so I don't believe in this God I hate so much. But I do hate him. He is not the God I fell in love with when I became a Christian. He is not the God I worship. I've come to understand how atheists can hate a being they don't believe exists for this is exactly how I feel about the Calvinist version of God. I don’t believe he exists, and yet I loathe him with the fire of a thousand suns. He is so revolting, the mere thought of him churns my stomach. A being that creates creatures, who, before he even created them, had every intention of torturing them for all eternity. He doesn't torment them for sins they freely chose to commit; he created them for the very purpose of tormenting them and in fact is the cause of them committing their sins. God decreed both their choices and the fate that resulted from those choices. God’s ultimate purpose for them was to damn them. He wanted their torment to occur even before the events of the first verse of The Bible occurred. How could such a God possibly be worthy of worship? Such a God, in my opinion, deserves to go to Hell to burn there himself.
When I argue against Calvinism, I don't merely believe I'm arguing against a theological viewpoint I believe to be flawed. I see it as defending the morally good character of God. Getting people to see that He's not responsible for the horrors Calvinists and hyper Calvinists attribute to him.
Don't get me wrong, I love Calvinists. They're my brothers in Christ. I just think the picture their theology paints of God is hideous. God has profound personality difference on Calvinism. It's a completely different person (or personS, given the Trinity). Now, don’t mistake me here. I don’t think that Arminians and Calvinists worship different Gods. In my view, we just worship different versions of the same God. Rodger E Olson gives a good illustration to help explain my point in the article that he wrote below: I encourage you to read that.
“Do Arminians and Calvinists Worship The Same God?”
I agree with everything Olson said in that article. Again, I truly want to emphasize that while I find the Calvinist portrait of God repugnant, I do not hate Calvinists. I do not even consider them to be heretics. I consider them to be my brothers and sisters in Christ. There are many Calvinists that I can think of that I’m quite fond of. Some of them are in a theology discussion group I’m in. Others write books and articles. Some of them I really admire like Neil Mammen of NoBlindFaith.com and Hugh Ross of Reasons To Believe. While I disagree with these two men on a soteriological level, I agree with them on plenty of other things. I like finding common ground with people I disagree with. Within the body of Christ, often times I find people who I strongly disagree with on one issue, but I agree with them on 15 other theological issues.
So, this is not an attack on Calvinists. Nor should this be considered the rant of an angry Arminian/Molinist. This is just what I think logically follows if their theology is true. I was really reluctant to write this post and…I put it off for a long time because I didn’t want to give the impression that I was railing against Calvinists. But I think it’s necessary to point out that reformed theology paints a pretty ugly portrait of God. In fact, I often times call it DEformed theology for that reason. If you’re a Calvinist reading this, I hope you won’t think that this is an angry rant or is an attack against you personally. This might surprise you, but I wrote this with a pretty cool head! :-)
Moreover, I know that this isn’t a refutation of Calvinism. At least it isn't much of one. Below, I do quote a few scriptures which argue against the T.U.L.I.P soteriology. But the biblical evidence I cite isn't exhaustive. The main point of this post is just to just point out what I believe are Calvinism's philosophical implications.
Also, if you're a non-Christian, I want you to know that this is NOT how God operates. If you want to know the FACTS, click here.
On the Arminian/Molinist view (i.e the biblical view), God does send people to Hell. But He does so because people do evil things freely. People don't have to do what they do. On the Arminian and Molinist view, God isn't pulling the strings in either a hard determinist or a compatiblistic fashion. On the Arminian/Molinist view, God sovereignly chose to give man libertarian freedom. In His sovereignty, He allows people to choose between alternatives including good and evil. Those who choose evil, He sends to Hell. Unfortunately, The Bible tells us that we've all chosen to do evil at some point in our lives (Romans 3:23), the good news is that God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, baring the punishment that we deserve for our freely chosen actions. Because of this, Jesus paved the way for salvation for all people, because God sent His son for the world and not just some people (John 3:16-18), He died for everyone, and not just those who would eventually get saved (see John 3:16-18, 1 Timothy 2:4-6, 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 2:9). Jesus died for everyone (Hebrews 2:9) precisely because God "...is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9), that God "wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4). The scope of Jesus' death is the scope to which God wants people saved. Calvinists are correct in saying that we can't be saved on our own. We can’t be saved unless The Holy Spirit enables us and draws us to God (see John 6:44, John 6:65). We're "dead in our trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:5) We are completely unable to respond to God in and of ourselves. As Jesus said in John 6:44 "no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" but fortunately for mankind, The father is drawing all men to himself! Jesus said so in John 12:32 "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth shall draw all men to myself." However, this drawing isn't irresistible. It is quite resistible (see Acts 7:51). So, if we resist God's grace until the day we die, we shall be lost to the fires of Hell. However, God doesn't want. He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked but prefers that the wicked turn from their ways and live (see Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:32). God has given us a choice ( Deuteronomy 30:14-19, Joshua 24:15). We have sinned (Romans 3:23, Psalm 14:2-3). God has paved a way for our redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. We can either choose to live for Him, or choose to live for ourselves. Which way we choose will determine our eternal destiny. But God is trying to persuade all men to make the right choice.
God does not want human beings to do evil. Human beings do what is contrary to God’s will. People murder, but one of God’s commandments is “You must not murder” (Exodus 20:13). People commit adultery, but God said “You must not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). People steal, but God said “You must not steal” (Exodus 20:15). People hate each other, but Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself” (see Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27). Jesus also said “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:38-47).
People do what is contrary to God’s will. God does not want people to do evil things to each other. But given free will, God cannot guarantee that the creatures He creates will always cooperate with Him. The majority of suffering in the world is humanities fault, not God’s fault. While God is responsible for the fact of freedom, human beings are responsible for their acts of freedom. Due to causing so much pain and suffering in the world, God must punish us because of His just and holy nature (Psalm 9:7-8, Psalm 9:16, Psalm 10, Psalm 11:16, Psalm 103:6). However, not only is God just, He's also love (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16). Because of that, He does not want to punish us. But what is God to do? How can God administer justice to people who had done evil deeds but also spend eternity in a loving relationship with them? By becoming a man (John 1:14, Philippians 2:5-8) and dying on the cross, experiencing a horrific death to prevent us from enduring the punishment we so deserve. Jesus suffered so we wouldn't have to. All He asks of us is that we repent and confess our sins to Him (Isaiah 55:7, 1 John 1:9). But if we don't repent. If we resist God's saving grace (Acts 7:51), we have no one but ourselves to blame if we end up in Hell.