To start I want to give a special shout out to Robert who challenge some of the things I said in my post Christians are weird, get over it. This is going to be a series of posts clarifying some of the more controversial issues Christians are arguing about today that have resulted in our misrepresentation. Click for Part One and Part Two of this series.
GROUND RULES FOR COMMENTS: 1) No proselytizing please. The point of these posts are to share information and educate one another on our beliefs not to gain converts. 2) Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. IE – be nice. 3) The discussion can go all kinds of places, so let’s make sure we stay on topic. IF I ask that you please don’t reply to a comment it’s because I want to post a more in depth post on it later, not because I think the comment is invalid.
Now for the fun question: “What’s up with Hell?”
No seriously that’s a good question. I mean, here I am talking about a loving, caring God, who has commanded us all to love one another and love Him, and we talk about His everlasting love for us and yet, despite all that we have very clear biblical examples of people being cast into Sheol or the Abyss, or Gehenna (I think Gehenna is one of them at any rate…that could be from this great book I’m reading now…but moving on). The question is, what kind of God, will condemn people to Hell?
1st things 1st – Hell is real. It sucks; no one likes to talk about it unless he/she gets off on inflicting all kinds of psychological torture; and the Christians I know genuinely want to spare people from it.
Now I can sit here (safely on the far side of your computer screen) and debate the nature and exact torments of Hell with you until one of us drops form carpel tunnel (sp?) but I don’t really care about the “what” so much as the “why”
“Why does a loving God create Hell?”
Because God gives you the entire span of your life to accept Him. God gives you an entire lifetime to come to know Jesus, to accept eternal life through Him and then come to the Father. If you choose to ignore it, which is your right, you’re saying that you don’t want to be close to Him. You don’t want to have a relationship with Him and you certainly don’t want to spend eternity with Him. Which means that come the day of your eternal rest when you are either going to be close to His light or far from it, you will be far from it.
Hell, quite simply, is the complete absence of God.
I can hear the arguments now. First among them goes something like this. “If God loves us so much, He should want to spare us from Hell. Hell shouldn’t be an option. And even then, He should give us something concrete, something clear that lets us know this is for real so we can make the right choice.”
Let’s say that there’s a woman with a certain cancer and a man who emits a certain electromagnetic field that keeps the cancer in remission. The man knows that he gives this woman life and spares her the pain of chemo, and having cancer. The woman does not know. Out of compassion the man decides to spend his life with this woman. But what kind of man goes to a woman and says “The day you leave me you will die.” ? What kind of man does that? So instead he asks her out on a date. Get’s to know her. Falls in love. And they spend their lives together happy. Do you suppose she would have been happy to spend her life with him if he had told her and proved to her that her life depended on him? Do you suppose he would have been happy? Instead they develop a relationship.
Our relationship with God is the same way. Our refusal to build that relationship means that when the opportunity comes for eternal relationship or loneliness will lead isolation in the Abyss. And it sucks. No one here, whether a faithful believer or 100% atheist can disagree with me that it is a horrible consequence. But here are two simple truths.
- That it is horrible does not negate its reality.
- That you refuse to believe does not negate its reality.