Theology

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Hell Rationally Considered

hellThe Justice of Hell


by Brother Jed Smock


"All hope abandon, ye who enter here." Dante read these dreadful words when he entered the gates of Hell with his guide Virgil. Dante may well have been inspired by God when he envisioned the terrible inscription on Hell’s gate as described in his great poem from the Middle Ages, The Divine Comedy. The hopelessness of Hell may be the place’s most tormenting aspect.

When men lose hope in this life they fall into despair and depression. Psychiatrists prescribe drugs which often result in a dependency and addiction, thus preventing the person from seeking the solution to his problem, which
 would be a right relationship with God. Hopelessness may even drive men to take their own lives, expecting that only death can end their misery. The Bible warns that after death comes the judgment. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31); . . for our God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:29). Those hellwithout hope will be cast into the outer darkness of Hell.

Hell And The Love of God

Hell is a witness to the justice, wisdom, and love of God, who originally created Hell not for men but for the devil and the fallen angels (Matt 25:41). If there is no Hell, there is no loving God. If God doesn’t ultimately separate the righteous from the wicked, He is not just and therefore not loving. Hell became a necessity when Lucifer led a third of the Heavenly host against God (Rev 12:4). There was warfare in Heaven and God cast Lucifer out of Heaven (Isa 14, Ezek 28). God made Hell for the Devil and the fallen angels in order to contain evil. Later man followed Lucifer in rebellion and consequently God has, at intervals, had to enlarge Hell to accommodate the multitudes of unbelievers that fall into "the bottomless pit" daily (Isa 5:14). God cannot allow Heaven to become Hell by allowing the wicked to enter. The peace and harmony of Heaven must not be disturbed. What makes Heaven Heaven, but the absence of evil?

What is Hell essentially, but eternal and absolute separation from a holy, loving, and good God? Heaven on the other hand is essentially eternal union with God. At death God gives the sinner what he always thought he wanted--complete separation from what is good and holy. In his earthly life the sinner is not looking for a relationship with God any more than a thief is looking for a policeman. God cannot establish a loving relationship with a sinner because in the nature of things love is a choice. Love is voluntary. God cannot make men love Him. He can influence and persuade, but He cannot cause men to enter into a loving relationship with Him. God has done all that He can do to demonstrate His love by giving His Son. What more can God do than He has done to demonstrate His love for man? The death of His beloved Son is the ultimate expression of sacrificial love. Yet man continues in his rebellion.

Read more: Hell Rationally Considered

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