Debbie, in a comment on my previous post:
The key word in his question is "send" As in why would a good God 'send' a good person to Hell.And it’s true – God doesn’t send anyone to hell; it’s our human choices – specifically our acceptance or rejection of Christ as God, as our Savior, and as our King – that puts us on the path either to heaven or to hell.
God doesn't send anyone to hell. Humans have free will, free choice, they make the decision themselves. They can either choose to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (and go to Heaven) or they can reject Christ and thus send themselves to Hell.
I can use the example of our own judicial system here.
Who or what ‘sends’ a criminal to prison? Many would say ‘the judge’, since he or she is the one who pronounces the sentence. But ask yourself, if there was no crime upon which to pronounce sentence, would there even be a sentence? The answer, of course, is ‘no’; jail is the outcome of a decision made by the criminal to do a criminal act, therefore the person who actually ‘sent’ the criminal to jail was the criminal themselves – the judge was only the one who applied the sentence.
The criminal also knows beforehand that their action is criminal because they’ve been warned – either directly, by police, friends, or their own conscience; or indirectly by having witnesses others jailed for the same or similar offense.
For God, rejection of His Son is a crime; the punishment is hell. If one willfully rejects Christ, and continues to do so until their death, they bring God’s sentence – hell for eternity – upon themselves.
But this then brings up a term Debbie used – ‘free will’. This idea of ‘free will’ bumps up against the ideas of predestination and election, which say God already knows who will go to heaven and hell. This is a topic which has been argued for ages, and ultimately will be solved (perhaps) in our minds once we see Jesus face-to-face. I do have a hypothesis regarding these seemingly-unmeshable ideas, but that’s fodder for a different post.