Does Hell Make God Evil?
Does Hell Make God Evil?
Many skeptics and atheists believe the existence of hell would imply that the god of Christians is evil. Bertrand Russell wrote: "There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ's moral character, and that is that He believed in hell. I do not myself feel any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment." (Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian, 1957, p. 17). Atheists charge that there can be no God if there is evil, pain, and suffering in the world because a loving God would not allow it to go on/exist. Atheists are appealing to some objective moral standard that is outside of themselves. Evil is the parasite that feeds off good.
What is the source of good? It is the intrinsic nature of God (Mark 10:18). Therefore, atheists cannot account for objective moral evil in their worldview, but the Christian worldview does. God is good, merciful, and gracious in His nature (Ephesians 2:1-10). He is also infinite in His justice and must punish evil (Psalm 89:14; Deuteronomy 32:3,4). How would you feel if you knew there was a judge in your town who decided arbitrarily on a given day that he would free all criminals at their sentence hearings without punishing them for their crimes? Would you not consider that injustice? Certainly. Justice demands that the length of punishment must be longer than the crime committed. Let us use the illustration of a bank robbery that happened at a local bank. Let us say that there were some robbers who took thirty minutes to rob the bank and they sadly murdered a few individuals. Should they only spend the length of time in prison that it took to rob the bank and murder the individuals? No. We all recognize the injustice in that scenario. Would it be morally permissible for God to punish a person for their sins for one second, one minute, one hour, one day, one year, one hundred years, and for all eternity? We do not fully understand the seriousness of sin and the damage that its causes unto God, ourselves, and others around us. Isaiah recognized the seriousness of sin before a holy God in Isaiah 6:1-6. We must see how sin is a treason against a holy and righteous God. We must see as it is and stop watering it down. God does not want you to go to hell (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4; Ezekiel 33:11). What if you saw a man who was running into a burning building to save someone from the fire? Would you view that person as heroic or evil for wanting to rescue someone? What about God (who came into the flesh - John 1:14) who wants to rescue us from sin? He gave Himself to die for our sins (John 3:16). He has done everything in His power and love to detour us from wanting to go down the path of destruction.
God, because of His loving nature, made us creatures of choice. He does not want any of us to perish; instead, He wants us all to make the right choices (Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; Matthew 7:13,14). Will you take yourself off the throne and allow Him to rule your life? Where you want to go in eternity is an indicator in this life. You can choose to say to God: "I want nothing to do with you" and keep on living the life of sin and separation (which if you die in that lost state, then you will go to hell). Or you can fear God, keep His commandments and remain faithful so that you can be with Him for all eternity (Ecclesiastes 12:13; John 14:15; Revelation 2:10).
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