This age-old question seems to be asked by people who assume that love and justice must somehow be unrelated. Many people would have no problem believing that, if there was a ‘Hell’, Adolph Hitler and other mass murderers and war criminals of the past would be found there. Obviously, the desire for justice dictates such a penalty.
For God to be perfect, He would naturally exemplify perfect justice. This dictates, however, that He not just punish the worst of sins, but all sin. If a judge were to overlook murder and rape, we would think him unjust, but could he excuse the next level of crime down the chain? True justice requires that all violations of the law be punished appropriately.
If we all sin (Romans 3:23), if the wages of our sin is supposed to be death (Romans 6:23), if no-one is righteous on their own merit (Romans 3:10) and if Hell is the place of everlasting (not temporary) punishment for sin (Matthew 25:46), then the implications of this are serious! Every person is deserving of Hell, according to the Bible and it is because we are all inescapably sinners, due to living selfishly and apart from the will of God.
God is also perfect love, though, and the source of pure and unconditional love. This cannot, however, cancel out His perfect justice or vice versa, otherwise He would be less than perfect in one of His attributes. Tomorrow, we’ll look at this issue further and examine how it is that God’s perfect love is actually able to provide the way of escape from Hell, after all!