Will God Allow Everyone into Heaven?
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, has argued that although it may seem "kind and idealistic" for God to allow everyone into Heaven, it would not be fair to place criminals with their victims for eternity.
Exploring in a devotional the different beliefs about what happens to people when they die, Driscoll took aim at some views, including universalism, that suggest everyone will get to go to Heaven, regardless of what they have done in life.
"Does it seem fair to you that rapists, pedophiles, murderers, thieves, and the worst human beings could live their entire life harming others without ever changing and be rewarded eternally?" the pastor asked.
"Because we are God's image bearers and have a conscience with a longing for justice, the universalists' cheery claim that sociopaths who rape women and molest children, along with [Adolf] Hitler and a lengthy line of other sadistic dictators from Genghis Khan to [Joseph] Stalin who devoted their lives to evil and cruelty, get to live forever with their victims — sounds like anything but a win-win scenario."
Driscoll reminded readers of Jesus Christ's words in 2 Matthew 25:31–32, 46, where He said: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats ... And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
The Trinity Church leader argued that while it may seem "kind and idealistic" to allow all people into Heaven, the trouble with that is that it would simply be a repeat of the "fallen and sinful, painful life" on earth.
Moreover, he argued, humanity would never be able to escape the evil carried out by such people, and in would turn Heaven into a kind of "Hell."
Other prominent pastors, such as Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, have also warned that nonbelievers will be facing a "final judgment," as found in the book of Revelation.
"One day every person on Earth will meet Jesus Christ. He is inescapable and unavoidable. And if you don't meet Him as Savior, you will meet Him as judge," Laurie said in a Facebook post in December.
Laurie also told The Christian Post in August during the 27th annual SoCal Harvest that "Jesus Christ spoke more about Hell than all the other preachers of the Bible put together."
"He knows of its reality. Know this: the last thing God wants is for anyone to go to Hell," he added.