What do you think? How do you reconcile the idea of hell with a God of love, justice, and mercy?
I found this question on another person’s blog, and it caused me to think for a moment. The article I was reading is here: http://ofdustandkings.com/2012/03/14/hell-doctrine-of-a-loving-god/. You should read it. It’ll make you think.
So, I am going to give my answer to this rather troubling question. I have heard it argued that Hell either doesn’t exist, or that it will be temporary, until God destroys it, or that the unsaved will simply cease to exist. On and on. But, I don’t think it is all that hard a question.
We serve a God who gave us rules. He’s the Creator, and we are the created. He told us what we could and could not do, even explaining to us what the consequences would be. If we chose to do whatever we wanted and broke those rules, then justice dictates that we should be punished. That is what justice is — getting what you deserve. But God loved us, so He gave us a way out. He had His very own Son die for us, and as a free gift, all we were required to do was to believe with our hearts, and confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord. That is both love and mercy. It is the easiest — and hardest — salvation plan in existence.
I have to ask the question — Is God really at fault because people go to hell? Is He obligated to go back on His Word? Would that really be justice? No. Would I be able to trust a God who doesn’t hold fast to His promises and His decisions? No. If He’ll break His Word, how can I trust in His promises? There would be no way to have faith in Him.
God is Love. He shows great compassion to people who have not earned this from Him at all. But He is God, the Creator, The Beginning and The End, too. He isn’t Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. We were created for Him, not vice versa. Sometimes, I think it is good to remember just how tiny and insignificant each of us are. Without my God, I am nothing. He is a God; I am a bit of dust running around on this rock. He doesn’t owe me anything.
I definitely don’t want the justice I earn — I throw myself at His mercy because I know He loves me, and I can depend on Him to be a God of His Word.
I don’t find the concept of hell hard to understand at all. I’d love to hear other people’s take on this…