Thursday, September 8, 2011

Defending Hell #3

Defending hell is a strange title for a blog post.  But from my perspective, hell is under attack.  A large number of Christians and non-Christians question the existence of hell.  And ultimately in questing the existence of hell, the existence of God is being questioned, as well as the significance of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross!  An apologetic for hell is sadly necessary. 

Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made upOne objection to the existence of hell is its duration.  Eternity?  Isn't that too long of a punishment?  Wouldn't an all-loving, merciful God believe in remediation, and not eternal condemnation?  No second-chance? 

 Let's first admit that if you believe there might be a hell and there might be a God, that God if he was able to create all things, must be greater than us.  His ways, thoughts, and actions must function on a higher plain than that of humanity.  When we start with that notion, we have to admit that God is soverign and if I don't understand his judgment against sin, it doesn't really matter. 

I also believe that from our experiences in life, we are given the ability to at least reasonable understand how God could justify eternal condemnation  of hell.  Let's consider our own prison systems.  If someone outright intentionally, murders someone we would expect them to receive a death sentence - here life in prison, or a trip down death row.  If someone rapes someone, we likely would also wish for a life sentence, although we know rapists get way less and when released are often times repeat offenders.  If someone who murdered someone gets off the hook - he cry foul!  We desire justice and we desire tat the punishment fits the crime. 

How long would it take to murder someone?  One gunshot - dead.  Murder can be instantaneous.  But how long is the penalty?  Much, much longer.  For a one second crime - one moment of stupidity, or anger, a person receives a life time of punishment.  How is that fair?  It's fair because a life was taken, and the only way to repay a life is to lose your life. 

Now think about hell?  Who is the crime against?  Sins are committed against God.  If a person lives for 30 years, that's thirty years of sinning against God.  As great a value as human life has, the value of the life of God is much greater!  So for a one second - three minute crime committed against a human, a lifelong sentence can be expected in many cases.  For lifelong crimes committed against God - how long should the crime be? 

Also, if we think about the exchange that is weighed out in penalties - a life for a life, we should consider that God is eternal.  An entire sinful life against God - wouldn't an eternal penalty fit the crime? 

But, the love of God objection is usually thrown out here.  I would have to say the love of God justifies the penalty of hell. God Father had his Son, Jesus Christ, brutally executed by the hands of his creation.  Jesus Christ on the cross, suffered the eternal penalty of hell - that doesn't make sense to me, but God is outside of time and it is possible for him to somehow suffer hell in a three hour time span.  If God the Father is willing to allow his son to serve as a substitute for us, and if Jesus Christ, his son, is willing to suffer hell for us, so we won't have to experience hell - isn't that the greatest love of all?  If he experienced hell, even though he was innocent, so we who are guilty won't have to experience hell, how can we truly object to God sentencing sinners who have rejected him from the punishment of eternal hell? 

I still don't get hell - I still don't like it, and I definitely don't want anyone to suffer it, just as God doesn't evidenced through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but my personal likes and dislikes have to be submissive and obedient to the will of God and his Word. 

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