God is being as kind as He can be in providing such a Hell, not as cruel! Yet this kindness is unspeakably awful!

(c) The Edge off Evangelism?

There is also hovering in the background of this doctrine the fear that, if it be true that all men must hear and refuse the Gospel before they can be sent to Hell, the edge will be taken off Missionary and Evangelistic enthusiasm, since, even if the Gospel does not reach them in this life, it will in the next, so why worry? But it is never right to do evil that good may come, nor to speak a lie for the same purpose. The following considerations will put a very different complexion on the matter. The Missionary or Evangelist does not preach simply because he has been smitten with grief at the awful fate of the heathen, nor because he has the only message which can bring sweetness and peace and hope into their earthly lives, but because he has been selected and sent by God Himself, and woe betide him, if he does not obey His Master.7 It has been foreknown by God that only an insignificant proportion of men would hear the Gospel in this life: there were even whole continents not discovered for hundreds of years, and millions upon millions in China, India, Africa, Mongolia, who have never heard the name of Jesus, and so have died in their sins. Moreover The Almighty has for this Christian Age allowed Satan and his hosts to do all that they could to prevent the spread of the Gospel! How different it will be in the next Age, when the earth will be full of the Knowledge of The Lord as the waters cover the sea, and the covering that is over the face of all peoples will be done away, and salvation easy for all.

The truth is that during this particular Age The Lord God is doing a peculiar thing never to be repeated. He is seeking from the Nations a people for His Son, which shall live and reign for ever with Him in Heaven over the nations of the Earth. It is only during this particular Age that this marvellous Heavenly Salvation is to be offered to men. Before this Age and after it, the salvation that is offered is Eternal Life upon the New Earth: only during these few years is God seeking a Heavenly Bride for His Son. The Missionary of this Age has therefore a peculiar message to take, and he knows that, even if the eternal salvation of men may not depend upon his efforts, yet this "so great salvation" (Heb. 2,3), this