God is all mercy and love!
(J.C. Ryle, "Heirs of God" 1878)
There is a school of theology rising up in this day, which appears to me most eminently calculated . . .
to promote infidelity,
to help the devil,
and to ruin souls!
It comes to us like Joab to Amasa—with the highest professions of love and liberality. (2 Samuel 20:9-10)
"God is all mercy and love!" according to this theology.
God's holiness and justice are completely left out of sight!
Hell is never spoken of in this theology—its talk is all of Heaven!
Damnation is never mentioned—it is treated as an impossible thing.
All men and women are to be saved!
"Everybody is right! Nobody is wrong! Nobody is to blame for any action he may commit! It is the result of his circumstances! He is not accountable for his views, any more than for the color of his skin! He must be what he is! God is so entirely a God of mercy and love—that He never does, and never will punish sin."
Of all this theology I warn men solemnly to beware. In spite of big swelling words about "liberality and love," and "broad views," and "new light," and "freedom from bigotry," and so forth—I do believe it to be a theology that leads to Hell!
Imagine a Heaven which would contain all mankind! Imagine a Heaven in which holy and unholy, pure and impure, good and evil—would be all gathered together in one confused mass!
Surely the mind revolts from the idea of a Heaven in which there would be no distinction . . .
between the righteous and the wicked,
between Pharaoh and Moses,
between Abraham and the Sodomites,
between Paul and Nero,
between the loving John and Judas Iscariot!
Surely an eternity in such a miserably confused crowd, would be worse than annihilation itself! Surely, such a Heaven would be no better than Hell!