God and Hell

One of the main objections that many non-believers have, and many Christians struggle to explain, is how God could create Hell and send people there. By no means do I think that I can answer this in a short blog post, but I can at least give a brief summary of my explanation that I think has Biblical support. Most of this was my latest response to a fellow blogger who is struggling with the idea to the point of rejecting God completely.

Based on my studies I think that God wanted to create beings that voluntarily (at least in their own mind) loved him. This would mean that they would also have to be allowed to voluntarily reject him. I don’t suppose it possible even for God to create a being that could freely love but not freely hate. (I am purposely staying away from the Calvinist-Arminian debate over free will here because we all make conscience decisions in our own mind that are seemingly not forced).

The Bible tells us also that God is Holy and can’t be sinful or have sinful beings in his presence. The story of Moses asking to see God and God telling him he would surely die if he was to show his fullness is just one story that supports this out of many. God is also outside space and time and therefore eternal and all knowing.

With all of this in mind, and I believe Biblically supported, we could draw a conclusion that God could only create man with the ability to love him without force if he allowed sin (anything other then choosing and living for God) to be a possibility, ultimately knowing that these beings would give in and cause eternal separation and subject to God’s wrath.

So one could say that God should have never created us in the first place, and to me that would be a better argument then saying that you don’t want to believe in a God that would create hell. However if he never created then you or I or anyone else would have never lived, loved, cried, felt pain, or had the ability to receive eternal love from a Holy God. If you believe that God should never have created you or I as a better alternative then I would disagree but it is a concept that would be more difficult to argue against.

But that is speculation since God did create man, and he gave him grace for a time so that they could enjoy, or feel pain voluntarily (or in some cases involuntarily) in a corrupted and sinful world. He also gave some eternal grace to live with him forever through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. And although He knew who they would eventually be, forcing them in their own minds to accept was not an option for God or we would just be robots, so the place was made that would be eternally separated from God’s grace and love, and therefore subject to his Holy and Just wrath, for the first deceiver (Satan) and those who freely (in their own minds) rejected Him.

I think that in the mind of God (Which I can’t say I know or understand but am just taking my best shot based on the Bible which is our only way of knowing God in this life) It would be worth it to Him to have just one creature he created freely accept and love him now and eternally if it meant that the rest of the human race was separated from him and so He created us knowing that many more would be saved.

I am reminded of the time of Noah when God was ashamed of the entire human race that he created and was going to condemn it completely, but then he was able to find favor with one man and I think that it pleased God that one would be saved out of all the evil in the world.

This is the positive picture of God that I have instead of the positive picture of God that I think many Christians want to believe which is that if God is love He couldn’t send anyone to hell, or the negative view of God that many A-Theists and Agnostics share that if there was a God at all in the Christian view He is a malicious tirant running around casting good people into Hell. Neither of these views are supported by the Bible although I think that my view can be. I could also be completely wrong of course, but this understanding gives me much more appreciation for what God has done for me and all who believe and allows me to grasp his love for creation and his desire that all would be saved.

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